A little effort really can make a big impact- on your wallet!

One of my favorite publications is Real Simple magazine. Looking
through some old issues, I found some of their practical advice really
relates to our project, and can help us go green- environmentally and
financially!

In the March 2002 issue of Real Simple magazine, their tips section
suggests that we unplug large appliances, like televisions, when going
on vacation (find the blurb at: http://www.realsimple.com/realsimple/content/0,21770,689574,00.html).
This may sound silly, but even turned off, these appliances can still
consume up to 40 watts an hour when they're plugged in! If you went
away for a weekend vacation- leaving after work on Friday (5 pm), and
returning on Sunday night (8 pm), you could be using- and paying for-
204 watts of electricity for your television to just sit there. Now
imagine if you had 5 large appliances that you left plugged in and
turned off- you'd be paying for just over 1,000 watts of electricity,
not to mention the service charges that go with it. In other words,
unplug your appliances and save some dough for the souvenir stands!

Speaking of electric bills- and all the other pesky parcels that seem
to have a habit of popping up in our mail boxes, my trusty magazine
has another money saving tip, which can also help save paper! The
March 2006 issue says that the average household receives 15 bills per
month (Ouch!). However- there is a silver lining to this nasty little
cloud! If you use the internet or phone (or automatic billing) where
it's available, you could save some money to actually pay those bills!
With stamps now costing 41 cents in the USA, based on the average
household, you could save yourself $6.15 per month, which translates
to $73.80 per year!
If you live in the UK, and use Second Class postage on your 15 bills
(24p/letter), you could save £3.6, or £43.2 per year! Our Aussie mates
pay $.50 per letter, and 15 bills a month paid using a free
alternative would save you $7.50 per month, a whole $90 per year! My
exchange students from the Far East pay bills, too. Japanese postal
customers pay 60 yen per first class stamp. Our friends in the land of
the rising sun could save 900 yen per month, and that's 10,800 yen per
year! The article can be found at: (http://www.realsimple.com/realsimple/gallery/0,21863,1152145,00.html)

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