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Green Port Tip: Keep Your Cool

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Just because it's hot outside doesn't mean you have to lose your cool when paying your electrical bill.

These green home cooling tips from WebMD will help you save money and keep your cool during the dog days of summer. The article includes tips to reduce your body heat, low-tech interior and exterior cooling, and air conditioning settings and maintenance. Here is a list of some choice cooling advice:

  • Close your shades during the day to keep the heat out during the hottest hours.
  • Keep your refrigerator stocked - a full fridge requires less energy to stay cool.
  • Check your A/C unit and thermostat for maximal efficient operation.
  • Consider investing in the future with bigger projects like planting trees and installing whole house fans.
  • Using Energy Star light bulbs not only saves you money by using less electricity, they also produce 75% less heat!

Stay informed about Green Practices by signing up for the Port of San Diego's environmental tips email newsletter.

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Green Tips for Summertime Cooking

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It's prime time for outdoor meals. Now you can show off your green know-how and hip entertaining skills with these green tips:

  • Use local, fresh summer produce for fresh and healthy salads and side dishes that require little to no cooking energy.
  • When hosting friends at home or at a picnic, use reusable or recycled paper cups and plates, and always encourage recycling of bottles and cans.
  • Fill pitchers of water and ice instead of buying individual bottles. You can even add mint, cucumber, rosemary, or lemon to add some flavor to tap water for a refreshing, healthy drink.
  • Consider replacing your charcoal grill at home with an electric one. They generate fewer air pollutants than burning charcoal or propane - better for the cook!
  • If using a charcoal grill, go easy on the lighter fluid because it contributes to air pollution and can irritate your lungs. Better yet, use a chimney starter to eliminate lighter fluid altogether. Also, try to buy lump charcoal from invasive tree species or from sustainably managed forests; briquettes may contain coal dust and toxic additives.

No matter what the occasion this summer, it's easy and healthy to be green!

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Water With Care

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Forty-million acres of lawn exist in the United States, and lawns are the single most irrigated crop in the USA, according to NASA. It takes over 180 gallons of fresh water per person, per day, to keep our lawns green. 

Adopting a few smart-watering habits this summer will help you care for a precious resource and save money on your water bill.

  1. Water your garden only at night or in the morning to decrease evaporation during hot, dry spells.
  2. Add 2-4 inches of mulch and compost to your soil to retain water and cut down evaporation. Mulch also cuts down on the number of weeds that can compete with your plants, making it an important part of your yard maintenance plan.  Miramar Greenery offers mulch for free or reduced prices.
  3. Use soaker hoses or drip irrigation to apply water directly to roots, cutting the amount of water used by 50 percent compared to sprinklers. The San Diego County Water Authority's 20-Gallon Challenge helps residents save money through WaterSmart Evaluations and by offering rebates on irrigation controllers and rotating nozzles.
  4. Consider replacing your thirsty lawn with drought-tolerant native plants. Use this online tool to determine what native plants may be best for your garden.
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SDG&E Summer Savings

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The weather is heating up as we get closer to summer. That means more air conditioner use and higher electrical bills. SDG&E has ways to help you save money AND reduce your electrical use. You can either sign up for the "Reduce Your Use" Program or become an SDG&E "Summer Saver".

Save energy between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Reduce Your Use days and you'll be rewarded with a credit on your SDG&E bill. Set up an alert and they'll let you know when to expect a Reduce Your Use day. For more information check out this video from SDG&E about the Reduce Your Use Program.

As a Summer Saver Program member SDG&E will install a Summer Saver device on your central air conditioning unit at no cost. On select summer days, when electricity is at its peak, they will activate the Summer Saver device to cycle your central air conditioner "on and off" for a few hours. Summer Saver is only used May through October. It may be used as little as one or two days, but will never be used more than 15 days.

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Energy Efficient Holiday Decorations

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It's never too early to begin thinking about your holiday decorating!
 
This year, decorate with energy efficient LED holiday lights and save on your energy costs. LED lights use up to 90% less energy than your conventional lights. They are also brighter, last up to 100 times longer, and are cool to the touch which make them less of a fire hazard and safer for you and your family. With all these benefits, what's not to like?
 
Do you live in San Diego County? This year, SDG&E® will be hosting six LED Holiday Light Exchange events throughout the county. These events allow you to exchange up to three conventional holiday light strands for an equal number of 15-foot, multi-colored LED holiday light strands (while supplies last).
 
As part of the Port's Energy Efficiency Partnership with SDG&E, one of these exchanges will be hosted by our very own Port tenant as part of Surfin' Santa's Arrival at Seaport Village on November 26th from 1 pm - 5 pm. There will also be an exchange in the Port's member city of Chula Vista at the Starlight Parade on Saturday, December 3.
 

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