One Green Thing: Use less electricity — and at the same time, become safer

By Jan Herbert
Rockford Park District

Whether you were “green” before the color was fashionable or whether you’re just ready to find the “shade” that works best for you, here’s information about doing just “one green thing.”

The more we use (electricity, that is), the more need for us to think about the safety of our home. So, while you are working on ways to reduce your electrical usage, be sure you do some safety checks, too.

For savings: Does your computer printer need to stay on 24 hours per day? Consider moving it to an outlet that works on a switch, along with your computer, desk lamp, etc. Then, when you enter the room, simply turn on the switch and everything can be ready to work. For safety: Remember, as you move these cords, don’t overload outlets with too many adapters or too many appliances. And never force plugs into outlets. Check all the cords to make sure they are not cracked or frayed. Don’t allow them to run under rugs. Check your wall plates while you are at it. Cover unused outlets with plastic safety caps (for child safety).

For savings: Be sure to run your dishwasher, washer, dryer and, in fact, as many appliances as you can, during non-peak hours. For safety: Check all the electrical cords that run to these appliances. Make sure none is running through water or across floors, which can get wet.

For savings and safety: Consider making a “trade.” When you are considering adding something that uses electricity, try to take something else off your personal grid. An example … if everyone in your household has a cell phone, do you really need that answering machine connected to the landline? Suggest callers use your cell phone. Considering adding another television? Have family TV nights instead, and get everybody together in the family room (you will get to turn off a number of other appliances throughout the house, too).

For more information, e-mail Jan Herbert at

From the May 15-21, 2013, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!