Tuesday is Earth Day, a time to appreciate the planet. Have you been thinking about ways to go green? Your grandparents might be the experts. Turns out there's plenty of low-tech energy savings to be had around the house, and some of it is pretty old-school. Here's a mix of high-tech gadgets and low-tech solutions that won't break the bank, and will help you save power and conserve water.
Scotts 20-inch classic push reel mower
$124.99 at Target
Probably invented by someone who never tried to mow bahi grass, this push reel mower doesn't need gasoline — just a lot of manpower. Hey, count it as your workout, and this little mower is cheaper than a treadmill.
Solio solar charger
$99.99 at Target
This handy portable solar charger comes in white, black, pink and silver, and allows you to charge your cell phone, PDA and iPod using the power of the sun.
$20 at gaiam.com
It's the cheapest solar-powered appliance you can buy. This retractable clothesline extends up to 40-feet. Worried about what your neighbors, or homeowners association might think? Under Florida law, homeowners associations cannot prohibit clotheslines.
$23.98 at amazon.com
Plug your television into this gadget and find out just how much energy your appliances use even when you're not watching them. This device shows you where the vampires are in your home, like the cable box, which sucks power even when you're not watching back-to-back reruns of Law & Order.
$109.99 to $299.99 at
or free (see below)
Collecting rainwater in containers is about as low-tech as it gets. If you want to learn the best way to do it, county extension services offer workshops, and free or discounted rain barrels if you attend. For more, see the Resources box below.
Belkin conserve surge protector
$49.95, available at retailers this summer
Once you've found the vampires, banish them with this: a remote-control surge protector that also protects your power bill by cutting off electricity to devices that suck up killowatts even when they're not in use. (The low-tech, free solution is just to unplug the suckers.) Some estimates claim that vampires account for as much as 10 percent of your electric bill.