Just finished reading, "Living Like Ed," by Ed Begley. Jr. I watch his show on Planet Earth - a channel that I am rather addicted to. And I am pretty "in the know" with ideas for sustainable living - but his book certainly taught me a few things!
1. Did you know that those ratty blankets (that no one would buy at a garage sale, and Goodwill would throw away) are perfect for your local animal shelter? They need blankets all the time for bedding. So, we are going to hop down to our local shelter and supply them with some of our own.
2. It is best to use your electricity during OFF-PEAK hours. Now, I already knew this - but I didn't know there were 3 tiers of usage hours. HIGH PEAK is from 1pm to 5pm on weekdays. LOW PEAK is from 10am to 1pm and 5pm to 8pm on weekdays. OFF PEAK is from 8pm to 10am on weekdays, and on weekends. So, it is pretty easy to throw in your laundry in the morning, or do your vacuuming. Not a problem to run that dishwasher after 8 at night.
3. Even if you can't afford to buy solar panels (which would start around $30,000), you may be able to lease them for a $500 deposit and monthly payments (which would be similar to your current electric bill!)
So, I encourage you to check to book out for more great ideas. It is a quick and easy read. His wife Rachelle also puts in her "two-cents," so it is lots of fun!