How are you making your home more energy efficient? Your good ideas could make a big difference.

 

It takes some serious energy to run a home. And we’re not talking about your upbeat personality. We mean the literal energy it takes to run a happy home with the washer/dryer running the 24/7 cycle, the lights, the dishwasher, heating, and much more.

The wide spread adoption of clean energy technology will start in the home. The small changes you’re making at home will make a world of difference in the future. The small steps you take now can amount to big changes in your children’s future. GE is currently hosting the ecomagination Challenge: Powering Your Home, an open call for fresh thinking on eco-home technology and innovations that can effectively harness renewable energy for the home.

Now through March 15, people from around the world are submitting ideas they believe will bring innovation to home energy creation, management and use. Things like, solar driveways that melt snow so you don’t have to shovel it and an appliance that collects excess energy generated by your dryer to act as a generator when you lose power. Viable ideas will be up for serious awards including grants, partnerships, investments and more.

As a mom, you know your home better than anyone else. Problem-solving is part of your everyday life. You’ve probably thought of a million ways to make your home run more smoothly and now is your chance to put those good ideas to work. Sharing your ideas could make a major difference, not only in your home, but in homes across the country.

Check out the conversations bloggers are having about how their families are conserving home energy more efficiently. Share a comment on any of the blogs listed below for a chance to win an energy smart LED GE light bulb that lasts more than 20 years* and can save you $85** in energy costs!  Also, check out the cutting-edge ideas being submitted to GE's ecomagination Challenge: Powering the Home and share your innovative ideas!

Gayle of Grocery Cart Challenge gasped when she opened her last electric bill. "The amount of my bill could have covered the payment for my kids braces.  And then I realized I’ve got computers, electric heat, radios, T.V’s, washers and dryers and all kinds of gadgets running all day long!" Read more for her plan to reduce energy consuption this winer!

Dara of Cookin Canuck and her family have made several changes over the years that have helped to significantly reduce their energy-related bills. Find out what her top energy saving tips are!

Fluid Pudding and the Pudding family is "not perfect. Not by a long shot. With that said, we have been trying our best to teach the girls how to conserve energy, how to recycle, and the importance of donating things that are no longer in use." Learn her strategy for raising two kids who are convinced that the little things we do at home will make a big difference in the future!

Swistle feels that "when you do something, you might find it leads you to do the next thing. When we started recycling paper, we found it more appealing to turn the thermostat down; when we turned the thermostat down, we found it more appealing to reduce the minutes the washing machine ran"  Learn what other gradual changes she's making!

SusieJ and her family are are "relying on electricity more and more everyday to run our lives. The small changes we’re making at home like unplugging unused appliances, washing clothes in cold water and carpooling will make a world of difference in the future!"

Emily of Joyful Abode and her family "only use cloth napkins. It helps that they do a better job than paper napkins, too. They’re wrinkly because I’m lazy about ironing them, but who cares?" Learn what other paper products she's switched out to reduce her waste!

Kristen of The Frugal Girl has already been using energy-efficient light bulbs."I like the warm glow of incandescent lighting, and was loathe to give that up. But I do like to save money, so we've mostly switched to fluorescent bulbs!"

Lizzy of Lizzy Writes uses "reusable bags at the grocery store, rarely run the air conditioning, and turn off the lights when not in the room." Read more to discover her other energy saving ideas!

Heather of It's Twinsanity  uses energy more efficiently by multi-tasking. "When I bake a loaf of bread in my oven I add a batch of granola bars and use that heat to make them both at the same time!" See what other advice she has!

Raising Colorado  only "runs the dishwasher when it is loaded to maximum capacity and we let them air dry." She also has a "digital thermostat on our heater that is programmed to lower the temperature during the day and while we are sleeping."

Shannon of What's For Lunch At My House loves "sending the kids outside to play.  It doesn't officially seem like an energy saving tip, but if they're outside, they're not inside using electricity.  As an added bonus, they're getting fresh air and exercise in the process, which results in lovely quiet time for me!"

Milehimama of Mama Says and her family use "plenty of surge protectors, not just to protect our appliances, but to save energy, too. Hook your electronics up to a single power strip, and you can turn them all off at once." Read on for more of her great tips! 

Jo of Jo's Country Junction  feels it is "important that we show our kids that conserving energy, 'going green', and reducing our carbon footprint doesn't translate into sacrificing something.  It's just a way of life and a good way of life."

Sharyn of Live From Tormville is able to "keep up with the laundry by drying things on the clothing racks. Another bonus is that it all helps add just a little more moisture into our dry winters and helps us cut the energy on our humidifier!"

Lauren of Hobo Mama shares that she's keeping her "dishwashing energy waste down by skipping the heated dry.  Just pop it open at the end, and let the air do its work!" See what other simple ideas she's thought of!

Katy of No Big Dill  and her family try to see how much they can recycle each week! "Once, I tried to recycle a broken laundry basket.  There was a recycling symbol on the bottom, so I thought we were good to go.  Mr. Recycle left it on the lawn for all to see our reject!" See what else she's tried to recycle!

The Saved Quarter knows that "using a crockpot will cost less to run than your range, and makes tasty and tender inexpensive roasts that save even more money!"  Read how else she's making her home more energy efficient.

Tales of Me & the Husband is proud that she's "hired a new trash company and we regularly have at least 5 small bins of recycling along with... wait for it... ONE trash can of non-recyclables at the end of our driveway!" Read on to see how she does it!

 

The sweepstakes on the blogs run from February 15, 2011 to February 28, 2011 and are only open to individuals who, at the time of entry deadline, are legal residents of the United States and are 18 years or older. See official rules for details

*when used 3 hours/day for rated life

**at $0.11 per kWh

 

 

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