With gas pump prices shooting up to almost three dollars a gallon in the wake of fuel disruptions caused by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, George W. Bush has called for the Federal government and citizens to cut back on unnecessary car trips and flights. But our energy problems aren't just on the road or in the skies: Rising fuel costs this winter will also starve the pocketbook, especially given that the average family of four already spends more than $1,800 annually on home energy costs. That's not only money plucked from your wallet, but greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from fossil-fuel burning power plants. Recognizing these costs, Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman followed up Bush's advice with a call for Americans to drive 55 rather than 65 miles per hour on highways, insulate their homes, and set thermostats lower when away this winter.
It's not just about savings: The more energy we use, the more pressure from industry to open up wildlife reserves such as Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to fuel exploration. Yet, conserving energy is no more difficult than closing the damper in your fireplace or replacing a few incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents. And as fuel costs rise, buying the ripe, Fall harvest of locally-grown foods not only supports nearby small farmers, but skips higher shipping costs of trucked-in food.
Click here for some great energy (and money) saving tips.
More ideas: winter-time energy saving tips.