alls about energy star

Woo, LAWD! What a week it has been. Between adorable new kittens and the 8-5 turning into 8-til, about all I've got is "Woo, LAWD!"

So. Back to saving the earth.

ENERGY STAR is a program run jointly by EPA and the Department of Energy. Its purpose is to measure the energy consumption of technology and appliance and create guidelines on efficiency, and to give qualifying products a rating that educates consumers on which ones use the least amount of energy. All qualifying products get a shiny little ENERGY STAR sticker on them. 

Those ratings and labels help consumers to choose products that will help save them money in the long run. A section of the website lets you browse all items that have earned the ENERGY STAR rating, for when you are looking to buy something new. When I began the search for a new laptop a few months ago, I searched the Best Buy website and filtered my results to only ENERGY STAR-rated computers. I was happy to find a great, inexpensive laptop that also uses less energy! also helps you improve your home's energy efficiency, without necessarily having to buy new products. Another service is assistance in recycling appliances, CFL light bulbs and electronics, rounding out the cycle of consumerism.

If you are doing your research and looking around for a new appliance or piece of technology, you can also filter your searches on store websites. Best Buy and Lowe's, among others, let you filter to only the qualified products. You can range from computers to printers to refrigerators to washing machines to light bulbs to ceiling fans.

(Fun fact, when I moved to my current apartment, I needed to buy a ceiling fan for my bedroom. I found one ENERGY STAR fan with a light kit, and was set to buy it, when I noticed I could buy an ENERGY STAR fan without a light kit and buy a separate light kit – for less than the cost of the fan WITH the light kit. Win! Always check your options, and you, too, could save $30!)

Many times, ENERGY STAR-rated products don't cost considerably more than their conventional counterparts. They aren't necessarily made of rarer, more earth-friendly materials – they just consume less energy. And that conservation translates into saving you money on your utility bills. The products will eventually pay for themselves!

One of the things I love about my laptop is the Eco Features - I can adjust power settings and optimize performance for consumption, and the amount of energy consumption is very plainly stated – it's easier to see how much electricity I'm consuming.
According to the Department of Energy, "Last year alone, Americans, with the help of Energy Star, saved enough energy to power 10 million homes and avoid greenhouse gas emissions from 12 million cars – all while saving $6 billion." - How Stuff Works
Do you have any ENERGY STAR-certified products or appliances?

Other resources:
How Stuff Works

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