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Energy Conservation

Audit your home’s energy use

A quick but thorough self-energy audit of your house can save energy and money. The Department of Energy outlines tips for a do-it-yourself home energy assessment. Replace conventional light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) Using high-efficiency CFLs saves energy and money. According to the Department of Energy and the US EPA, Energy Star CFL bulbs are up to 66 percent more efficient and last up to 10 times longer than standard bulbs. CFLs are available in a variety of sizes and shapes. Fluorescent lamps contain a small amount of mercury and must be disposed of properly. For more information about CFLs and how to make the switch check out these websites:
Facts about CFLs

Turn off and Unplug

Turning off and unplugging electrical appliances when they are not in use will save a surprising amount of energy. Many appliances enter "passive standby" mode when they are turned off, which allows the appliances to start up quickly when switched on. Other appliances continuously use energy to power clock displays. According to Energy Star, 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics and appliances is consumed while the products are turned off. Unplugging appliances will help avoid this energy waste.

Renewable Energy

Duke Energy has a program for renewable energy in South Carolina. Duke Energy’s renewable energy plan, carbon off-set program, and technologies can be found here. Check it out to see how you can save not only money but also the environment!

Wash Clothes in Cold Water

Washing clothes in cold water allows clothes to last longer and colors to stay brighter in addition to saving a significant amount of energy. It is recommended to finish the washing process with line drying the clothes to save even more energy.
Why to line dry

Fill the Dishwasher

When possible, run your dishwasher only with a full load in order to cut down on water and energy usage.

Check Your Water Heater

As recommended by the U.S. Department of Energy, set your water heater thermostat no higher than 120°F and keep it well insulated. Also, switching to a tank-less water heater means your water will be heated as you use it rather than keeping a tank of hot water.

Change the Air Conditioner Filter

Clean or replace dirty air conditioner filters as recommended.
Maintaining your air conditioner

Replace Old Appliances and Use ENERGY STAR® Products

Inefficient appliances waste energy. When buying new household products (such as appliances, electronics, and lights), look for ones that have earned the ENERGY STAR® rating. They not only meet federal energy efficiency guidelines, but can save you money. More
How to buy energy efficient home appliances
Energy Star Rebate Information
Energy Saving Purchasing Tips

Switch to Double Pane Windows

Double pane windows keep more heat inside your home so you use less energy.
Today's windows | Choosing Windows

Weatherize Your Home

Caulk and weather strip your doorways and windows.
Weatherizing Guide

Insulate Your Home

Make sure your walls and ceilings are insulated.
Introduction to Installation

Adjust Your Thermostat

Move your heater thermostat down two degrees in winter and up two degrees in the summer. When cold, try putting on a sweater or jacket instead of turning up the thermostat.

Let the Winter Sun in and Keep the Summer Sun Out

During the colder months, opening your curtains or blinds during peak sun will utilize solar heat and daylight, reducing your heating and electricity bills. Also, closing the shades at night will help keep heat inside. Contrarily, make sure to close your curtain or blinds during the hotter months of the year to keep your home cool.

Consider Alternate Sources of Power – Wind and Sun

Alternative power generation not only is a greener option because it is renewable but it can also save costs – the wind and sun are free to use! Learn more about installing alternative power generators including solar panels, small wind turbines and geothermal heat pumps.

Green Design and Renovations

Before building a new home or renovating the home you currently live in, check out sustainable remodeling and construction ideas, techniques and suggestions. This can make your investment last longer and more cost effective.
LEED for Homes

Water Conservation

Capture Rain Water

Capturing rainwater is a great way to reuse water for tasks around your house like watering plants and your lawn. This is a smart and cost effective way to cut down on your water use.
Ways to capture rainwater

Save Water in the Bathroom

Two thirds of the water used in an average home is used in the bathroom, and a lot of it goes into the sewer. Anywhere from 2-7 gallons of water are used every time a toilet is flushed. Do not use the toilet to flush items that can go in a wastebasket or garbage can and be aware of toilet leaks.

Install low-flow showerheads and faucets

Using less water in the shower means less energy to heat the water. Additionally, taking a shorter shower will also help to conserve energy, produce less greenhouse gases, and lower your energy bill. Showers account for 2/3 of all water heating costs. When a low-flow is appropriate

Morning/Night routines

You might have heard this frequently but it is recommended to turn off the faucet while you shave or brush your teeth. You are just running clean water down the drain and wasting money.


Inflate Your Tires

Keep the tires on your car adequately inflated and check them monthly.
How to inflate your tires

Change Your Air Filter

Check your car’s air filter monthly in order to ensure higher gas mileage and high performance power.
How to change your filter

Buy a Hybrid Car or Fuel Efficient Car

When buying a new car, be aware of fuel efficient options in the car market. The average driver could save 16,000 lbs. of CO2 and $3,750 per year driving a hybrid. Compare different hybrid cars to see what the best fit for you.

Carpool When You Can

Carpooling with friends and co-workers saves fuel money. Email co-workers to set up a carpool system at your work place or in the neighborhood.

Don’t Idle in Your Car

Idling wastes money and gas, and generates pollution and global warming causing emissions. Except when in traffic, turn your engine off if you must wait for more than 30 seconds.

Walk, Bike or Bus It

When running errands during the week, walk, bike or take the bus instead of driving. You will reduce your carbon dioxide emissions and save money in addition to getting more exercise and relief from commuter stress.
Trails and Greenways


Recycle in Greenville

Recycling helps to reduce carbon emissions and save energy.
Recycling Guide

Use Recycled Paper

Make sure your printer paper is 100% post consumer recycled paper.
How to understand labels | Paper guide

Ditch the Plastic

2.5 million individual plastic water bottles are thrown away every hour in the US. Start using a reusable water bottle and just say no to plastic!
Reusable water bottle information


Bring Cloth Bags to the Market

Try using your own cloth bag instead of plastic or paper bags. This reduces waste and requires no additional energy. Bags can often be purchased at the check line of most major grocery stores.

Buy Local and Minimally Packaged Goods

When possible, make the effort to buy goods that comes from a local source and that are minimally packaged. Be aware and conscious of these points when shopping. Less packaging can reduce your garbage by about 10%.
Greenville Chamber of Commerce

Check out Greenville’s Farmers Market

Farmers markets dramatically reduce the journey that food takes to your table and avoid costly, wasteful packaging and emissions. Stop by Saturday Market for a variety of local products.

In The Yard


It is recommended to water grass or plants only if they show signs of needing it rather than on a fixed schedule or if rain is forecast. Water during the coolest part of the day to avoid excess evaporation and let the water sink in slowly. Water applied too fast runs off into storm sewers.

Stormwater Runoff

There are many sustainable and green options for managing stormwater runoff at your house including rain barrels, bioswales, and rain gardens. Water Conservation | EPA Watersense Program

Use a Push Mower

Use your muscles instead of fossil fuels and get some exercise with a push mower.

Trees and Vegetation

Strategically planting trees in your yard can reduce heating and cooling bills. Trees provide shade, reducing air conditioning costs by up to 30 percent (USDA Forest Service). Evergreen trees are excellent windbreaks for homes, reducing heating costs and providing a beautiful year-round landscape. Trees also store carbon, which helps reduce global warming effects. The Greenville Foundation makes it easy to plant a tree in Greenville.


Greenville Parks and Recreation

Green Ribbon Advisory Committee Enewsletter

Subscribe to the Green Ribbon enewsletter

Subscribe to get updates on sustainability related initiatives and meeting notifications from the Green Ribbon Advisory Committee.