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Waste not

These simple measures will help you conserve water and energy in your kitchen, bath, and laundry room.

Last year, President Obama declared October Energy Action Month. His proclamation called for reducing the country’s dependence on foreign oil, investing in new technologies, and — here’s where you come in — harnessing the “creativity, drive, and entrepreneurial spirit of the American people.” OK, so you might not be inventing a new type of solar panel or developing sustainable biofuels, but you can still do your part by conserving in three of the most energy-draining areas of your home: the kitchen, bath, and laundry room.

The most obvious thing the three rooms have in common is water. New Englanders may not think they need to conserve water because there are rarely significant droughts in the area. But, says Brian Swett, chief of environment and energy for the city of Boston, delivering potable water and treating waste water is very energy intensive; it accounts for 3 to 4 percent of the nation’s electrical consumption. “If it stays cold,” he says, “that’s one thing, but if you’re converting it to hot water, then you’re adding even more energy consumption to it.”

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