Being eco-friendly isn’t a new concept, but it is certainly taken on a greater sense of urgency in the past few years. With the rise cost of fossil fuels, global warming, and all of the other environmental issues that are coming to light, everyone is looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and become more ‘green’. Being energy conscious can be a good way to help the environment. Turn the heat down, each degree you turn down the heat saves 3 percent of heating costs, while each degree you raise the temperature of your air conditioner saves 3-4 percent of cooling costs. Lower the temperature, in fact by changing the temperature by 2 degrees all year, you can save about 2,000 pounds of C02 a year. If you switch to cold water, you can save 80 percent on energy used for laundry and save an estimated $60 a year. Air dry or hang your clothes instead of using the dryer and save 700 pounds of C02 a year. Turn off those lights. When you aren?t in a room, turn them off and reduce your direct lighting energy use by 45 percent. Stop using heat-producing halogen lamps. Besides using more energy, they are actually dangerous and can cause fires. A cool thing outside can be to install occupancy or motion sensors outdoor lights, they save energy too. While most people are familiar with these methods for reducing the impact on the environment, one great way is to replace outdated appliances with more enegy efficient models. Most manufacturers are now gearing products to the ‘green’ initiative. While appliances are an easy way to think eco-friendly, another option is to find everday materials that are also eco-friendly. By changing their manufacturing processes, most manufacturers have found ways to take items that traditionally were not thought of as being ‘green’, and reducing their impact on the environment. One less obvious way to lessen the impact is by buying direct. One thing that people don’t consider is where they buy their products. Retail stores utilize a huge amount of resources and inevitably have a huge impact on the environment. By sources products on-line or direct from the manufacturer, you are eliminating that high overhead and ecological impact. So by simply changing the way you look at your daily habits and the products you buy, you can have a positive impact on your overall carbon footprint.