This last Saturday was Earth hour. The idea is that on Earth Hour (8pm local time on March 31st) everyone shuts down all their lights and electronics for one hour, the event raises awareness about reducing energy consumption while encouraging solidarity within local, national, and global communities. Not a bad concept. With that in mind I thought I would share a few small ways that we can curb energy consumption every day, some of these are already habits for me but others aren’t. Take a look through this list and pick a one or a few to focus on this week!
Please note that this list was compiled from several different lists I’ve read in the last few weeks and is in no particular order.
- Turn out lights when you leave the room.
- Contemplate switching to CFL (compact florescent lights) to light your home
- Make sure your home is properly insulated and sealed to minimize stress on your heating and cooling systems.
- Turn off your computer at night. While newer laptops draw very little power while in sleep mode, every little bit does help.
- Watch out for ‘phantom loads’ by unplugging appliances and devices when they are not in use. Many of these items draw a small amount of power even when they are not turned on. (Think indicator lights, chargeable batteries, standby features ect.)
- Clean your furnace filter monthly and make sure it gets regular maintenance. A furnace in tip-top shape will be more efficient.
- In the summer; keep windows and blinds closed during the day to keep hot air out and open at night to bring cool air in to keep your home cool with less reliance on an air conditioner. The opposite also helps in the winter.
- Don’t overload your freezer or refrigerator (Not easily done in our little fridge!)
- If you use a dishwasher use it only for full loads.
- Line dry your clothes! (added bonus: fresh breeze scent without the nasty chemicals)
- Read light bulb packaging carefully. The package will list both a lumens and a watts value, the more lumens per watt the more efficient the light bulb.
- If you’re in the market for new appliances take your time and research your options. Buy appliances that fit your family and usage, appliances that are too big or too small will not be as efficient.
- Take an extra few minutes to vacuum vents and ducts, light fixtures, electronics and appliances to keep them working efficiently.
- Contemplate installing dimmer, timers, or motion sensors on lights to make sure they are only on when needed.
I am sure there are many many more tips and tricks out there that I have forgotten to add or not heard about yet. Please feel free to share if you think of anything more.