There are so many ways that you can reduce energy consumption. These tips will not only help you save money on your utility bills, they will also help you conserve our natural resources. Some of the ideas are common sense; others may be things you haven't thought of before. With the winter months and rising energy prices heading toward us, it's time to get serious about conservation.

Reduce Energy Use

This is somewhat common sense. Turn off lights when you leave a room. Turn off televisions, radios, computers and other media devices when they aren't in use. You should also unplug your coffee maker and other appliances that aren't used constantly. Even having them plugged in draws a tiny bit of electricity. It may only be a few pennies on your bill each month, but it adds up over the year.

Recycle

National Recycling CoalitionAnother way to reduce energy consumption is to recycle. Many cities are now adopting programs that let you toss all of your recyclables in the same bin and set it out by the curb. If this isn't the case in your area, you can still make recycling simple. Set

up several bins in your kitchen, garage, basement or other area around the house. One for newspaper, another for plastic, one for cans, and so on. Then toss your recyclables in the proper bin, and take them to the recycling facility on a regular basis. Some of these things, such as aluminum cans, can actually be sold and put some money back in your pocket. Not only that, but this list shows how much energy can be saved by recycling common household items.

Light Bulbs

Some types of light bulbs use much more energy than others. Switch out your old, energy-sucking light bulbs for new ones that use less electricity. And don't forget to recycle the old light bulbs properly. Most cities have special recycling facilities for light bulbs, batteries, electronics and related items.

Keep Appliances Clean

Glisten Appliance CleanersKeeping appliances clean is another area where you can reduce energy consumption. By using appliance cleaners like Glisten Cleaners you can save hundreds of dollars a year - these products clean your appliances to like-new efficiency. Cleaned appliances function with less energy consumption than those that are dirty or not well-kept. Glisten Dishwasher Magic intensively removes lime, rust, grease and other build up that affects the machines energy use and performance. It will improve water jet circulation, lowers electrical consumption and lessens the risk of break down, extending the life of the machine. Dishwasher Magic is also the only EPA-registered Disinfectant* for cleaning the dishwasher killing 99.9% of e-coli and salmonella. Glisten Washer Magic removes abrasive build-up and energy sucking residue from hard to clean areas inside the washing machine drum. That build-up and residue are also the cause of many odor issues inside the machine. Glisten Disposer Care foams away grunge deep inside the garbage disposer cleaning sidewalls, blades under the splashguard and in the pipes; improving its performance and extending the life span of the unit. Glisten Microwave Cleaner steams to soften messes and energy robbing grime. Its patented foaming scrubber quickly and easily cleans the microwave oven.

*Effective Disinfectant by the EPA – Dishwasher Magic is a limited disinfectant against gram-negative bacteria Eschericha coli (ATCC 11229) and Salmonella choleraesus (ATCC 10708)

Replace Appliances

Appliances affect energy usage. Keep them running with Glisten Appliance CleanerIf your appliances are beyond a simple cleaning, this is another area that can cause a huge difference in your utility bills. New energy efficient appliances can pay for themselves in just a couple of years of use, as they use much less electricity, gas, water and even cleaning products such as detergent. In addition, many utility companies offer rebates or buy-back programs that will pay you to upgrade to new models.

Replace Toilets

Your old toilet is likely using much more water than it needs to. You can upgrade the parts inside the toilet to reduce water use,but it is generally easier and more cost-efficient to upgrade to a new model. A new lower-flow toilet is generally less than $200.

And your water company may offer incentives to you for upgrading.

Cleaning Supplies

Cleaning supplies are another area where you can reduce energy consumption and save hundreds of dollars a year. You can make your own cleaning supplies by finding recipes online. Vinegar, hot water, lemon juice, baking soda, coffee grounds and other simple household items are great for cleaning. Plus, you save energy consumption by not purchasing cleaning supplies at the grocery store that are packaged in cans, bottles and plastic containers that need to be produced and recycled.

Weather-Proofing

This is a huge factor in energy loss and increased utility bills. Weather-proof your house to cut down on your heating and cooling bills, and keep air inside your home. This includes treating the areas around windows and doors. You should also make sure

your crawlspace, attic and basement are properly insulated. Spray-foam insulation is one of the best methods for doing this. And don't forget to weather-proof around outlets, light switches and vents for maximum efficiency.

New Windows and Doors

This is another common way to decrease utility bills and energy consumption. Upgrade your existing windows and doors to newer models. New windows and doors will cut down on your heating and cooling costs. In addition, they will improve the look of your home and increase the resale value should you decide to sell. And again, some utility companies and homeowners insurance providers offer incentives and rebates when you replace your old windows and doors.

Gardening

Did you know that a garden can reduce your energy consumption and save you money? Home-grown fruits and vegetables taste better, are healthier for you and the act of gardening has actually been shown to reduce stress. Plus, you save money by not having to drive somewhere to purchase these food items. A nd your garden will help improve the environment, as well.

Transportation

If you drive a lot, combine trips to save on energy consumption and reduce your costs for fuel, maintenance on your vehicle and cut down on pollution. When you can, share rides with others. You can also walk, ride a bicycle, or rollerblade to where you need to go. Some people have downgraded to a motorcycle or motor scooter to save money and enjoy the nicer weather on pretty days.

Roof

Your roof is another aspect of your home that can cost you a lot of money on utility fees. If your roof is more than ten years old, it's probably time to think about an upgrade. Likewise, if your newer roof has not been insulated well, you are losing money by allowing treated air to escape from your home. Upgrade your old roof or have the new roof insulated better to cut down on energy use.

Electronics

This is another area where many people consume a lot of energy and don't even realize it. Recycle your old cell phones, smartphones, tablets, laptops, computers, printers and other electronics. Many stores and facilities will accept these for free. Some newer electronics actually have value and can be sold to places online. You can also find local schools, colleges and universities that accept these items for recycling. A s well, some organizations accept old cell phones to give to women's shelters and military personnel serving overseas.