When people think of conservation, they usually imagine steps big businesses can make to lower their environmental impact. There are also things you can do at home to produce less waste and increase your savings. Most homeowners know to use Energy Star appliances, seal drafts and ensure their house is insulated, but there are other ways to save energy you might not have considered.
Sustainability is crucial to our world’s future. Though you may not be a huge corporation or government agency, every small step you take toward conservation and energy savings is a step in the right direction. Aside from the obvious steps you are taking already, consider these smart ways to save energy in your home.
Keep the Freezer Full
When there is empty space in your freezer, it takes more energy to keep it cold. Be prepared for guests by storing extra lasagnas, casseroles and popsicles in the freezer while saving energy. A full freezer will also keep its contents colder for longer periods in the event of a power outage.
Organize the Fridge
Unlike the freezer, the refrigerator needs air to circulate in order to maintain temperatures. One way to ensure you aren’t leaking energy is by organizing the contents of your fridge. Every time the door remains open while you’re looking for leftovers, energy escapes. Save time and energy by keeping food easily accessible and knowing where things are.
Exercise in the Evening
Morning exercise has been a rallying cry for years now, but that can seem overwhelming to many busy people. Instead, consider the energy-saving method of an evening workout. Your body will be warmer and will acclimate easier. The thermostat won’t need adjusting for cooler nights. There are many other benefits to evening workouts, too.
Leave the Oven Door Open
What’s better on a cold or rainy day than fresh-baked bread or cookies? Not much, except maybe a toasty warm kitchen. Once you’ve made the day’s treats – warming up the house and making food is a double energy-saver – leave the oven door open. The heat is wasted otherwise, and it will keep your home cozier without needing to crank the heat.
Insulate Your Loft or Attic
Most people who are energy conscious have insulated their homes, but some don’t think about energy leaks in places that don’t get much use. Attics and lofts are often culprits when it comes to energy leakage. Insulation can often be blown into attics and lofts with minor cost.
Energy can fly out the door if it isn’t properly controlled. Thankfully, there’s an app for that. From smartphone applications that control power outlets to energy cost calculators, there are plenty of ways to use the technology in your hand to save energy.
Check Your Thermostat Before You Leave
When no one is at home, it’s unlikely you need the same amount of energy that you would when it’s bustling and full of people. Turning down your thermostat is a simple task, but it’s surprising how many people don’t realize how it can save money and energy. Avoid temptations to turn it all the way off, because it takes more energy to get it started back up.
Line Dry Your Clothes
You are already using energy to keep your home warm, so why not use that energy to dry your clothes? It will take a bit longer, but they will smell great. What’s more, you won’t have to worry about them being forgotten and wrinkling in the dryer. Outside line drying is great, but if winter makes that impossible, hang a line across the laundry room and let them dry without wasting energy.
Unplug Home Electronics
Many devices still use energy when in stand-by mode. DVD players, game consoles and even electric toothbrushes are energy drainers when not in use. If unplugging them is too much of a hassle, use a surge protector that lets you unplug with a flick of a button or an extension cord that you can control with your smartphone.
Transform Your Stationary Bike Into a Power Source
You may think this only works in cartoons, but hooking up an exercise bike to an electric generator will create power. Work out your body while saving energy and staying warm to boot. The setup isn’t foolproof, but for those who are interested in DIY projects, it’s a great source for savings.
Use Your Chimney or Block It
Fireplaces are great options for saving energy, but if you don’t use yours, energy may be flying up the flue. Block your chimney if you don’t use it or only use it occasionally.
Read a Book That’s Not on a Device
When you choose to read a book or magazine in its real form, you are saving energy. Smart technology is amazing, and it saves energy in many ways. Using it more than you need to, though, means charging it more and using more energy to run it. When you can, choose the nontech version. It can also be more fun.
Spend Some Time at the Library
You were looking for a book, right? The library is a great place to spend some time and find something to read, but there are often other perks, too. From movie nights to book clubs, libraries are hidden treasures of fun. The lights and heat must be kept running, whether there are five people there or 300. Turn your thermostat down, grab a book and cozy into one of their chairs.
Some people wear the same jacket in spring as they do in winter, then don’t understand why they’re cold. If you are one of those people, add a layer in winter. It’ll keep you from cranking the thermostat or taking long showers to warm up. Consider wearing thin, long undies as a base layer on the coldest days.
Thoughtfulness generally means treating people with kindness, but it can also mean being thoughtful about small actions that can have large implications. Being energy conscious is kind, too. You are considering future generations while saving money and lowering your environmental impact.