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If you purchase energy efficient appliances or make energy saving improvements to your home or business, you can save money on your utility bills. You can also save more money on these purchases, in the form of tax incentives, such as tax credits and rebates, or sales tax holidays. Use these databases to find out if you qualify for state, local, utility, and federal incentives:
Each year, homes, businesses and communities generate tons of waste. Learn what you can do to conserve natural resources by committing to reduce and reuse, recycle, and properly dispose of waste:
Reduce and reuse by buying used or reusable items instead of disposable; look for products with less packaging; maintain and repair products instead of buying new; and borrow, rent, or share items that you use infrequently.
Recycle by collecting and converting waste materials (including glass, paper, metal, plastic, tires, textiles, and electronics) into reusable items. Most communities run a recycling program. Check with your local government to learn how to participate. You can also recycle food and garden waste into nutrient-rich fertilizer by composting.
In the United States, much of our energy comes from nonrenewable energy sources like coal, oil, and natural gas. Over time, these resources will dwindle, becoming too expensive or too damaging to our environment. By "going green" we can switch to renewable energy sources that are constantly replenished and will never run out.
The most common renewable energy sources are:
Hydroelectric power, or hydropower, uses flowing water to turn turbines to produce electricity. Almost all states use hydropower as a clean and less expensive way to generate some of their electricity.
Solar energy uses a variety of technologies to convert sunlight to usable energy. Energy from the sun can be used to heat water, heat or cool air, and generate electricity for individual homes or buildings. On a large scale, it can be used to produce electricity to power cities and small towns.
Wind energy uses air blowing across propeller blades causing them to spin to produce electricity. These can be set up on a small scale to cut electric bills for individuals, or on a large scale by utility companies to produce power for customers.