2008-09-04 / Editorial

• EDITORIAL

A few simple ways you can save money

These days our household costs are increasing so fast that we can't keep up. A gallon of gas is out of sight. Heating oil makes last year's prices a real deal. Electricity rates just took a big hike. The expense of getting rid of our trash costs more than the garbage.

What can one do to save money?

Drive less. Walking, bicycling, car pooling or taking the bus will have a direct impact on your wallet. Combine your errands into one trip instead of several. Check the tires on your auto. Proper tire pressure will give you much better gas mileage. Get your engine tuned up.

Insulate your home. Make sure there is adequate insulation in your walls and attic. Replace broken windows. Use weather stripping to stop those cold air leaks. These are simple measures that will pay huge dividends and your home will be more comfortable this winter.

Turn off the lights around your house. Shut down the computer. All of those electronic gadgets that have glowing lights are sucking up electricity. If nothing else works to turn off the glowing lights, unplug the gadgets when they are not in use. If you have an older refrigerator, consider replacing it with an energy-saver model.

Finally, recycle, recycle, recycle.

We used to hear that we needed to recycle to save the earth. Our landfills were running out of room and there was a limit to our supply of natural resources. Recycling was green. Recycling was good.

Well, all of that remains true.

In today's economy, recycling hits even closer to the home budget because it saves big money. The costs of dumping our garbage at the upstate landfill just increased by 17 percent. And the state also charges the town an additional premium when our community's landfill quota is exceeded.

That means you are paying more to have your garbage hauled away whether it is done by Island Rubbish or you take your trash to the north end transfer station. Everything costs money these days.

It costs the town nothing for the recycling. Last year Jamestown ranked 11th in the state in recycling. Even so, last year the town saved about $80,000 through your recycling efforts.

It's clear that we can do better. Be sure that you are doing everything possible at home and at work to recycle. Set aside the plastics, newspapers and cardboard for recycling pickup. Be sure you are recycling the right plastics. Only those with the numbers 1 and 2 can be recycled. If the container neck is smaller than the base, it can be recycled. All other plastics, unfortunately, must be tossed in the trash.

Recycle. You'll be helping the earth and saving yourself a few bucks.

Every dollar counts these days.

— Jeff McDonough

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