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The winter months bring with them an unspoken invitation to hibernate. There is nothing that I love more than curling up on the couch next to a warm fire under a cozy blanket with a good book and a hot cup of tea. However, it can be easy to overlook our energy usage when hyperfocused girl-holding-mug-at-fireplaceon comfort. In my journey to living a more eco-friendly lifestyle, I have learned a thing or two about how to use less energy. It’s now my turn to share this knowledge with you.

So here are twenty simple hacks to keep in mind this month to help conserve energy. Not only do these hacks help preserve the natural elements Mother Earth works so hard to create for us, but they help lighten the amount due on your electric bill at the end of the month as well.

FIVE HACKS TO SUSTAINABLY CHARGE

Did you know when you have something plugged into an outlet, it draws power? It does. Even when your electronics are not turned on or used, they still pull energy from the source. So next time you pass by something plugged in that you are not using, try one of these five things:

  1. Plug your computer and accessories into a power strip. When not in use, turn off the power strip. Just be sure to power down your computer first.
  2. Put your cell phone in airplane mode when charging. Doing so will save energy, reduce the amount of EMFs in the room, and charge faster. When done charging, unplug the charger. Or you can plug your charger into the same power strip for your computer and cut it off when not in use.
  3. Power strips work wonders all around the home. Set one up to support all of the televisions in your home, inside and out. Kick off the strips before bed and during the day when these electronics are not in use. This power play works double duty, helping cleanse the air in your home by producing fewer EMFs from smart TVs.
  4. Save on battery power by putting your portable electronics in power saver mode when not in use. It will make your charges last longer, so you don’t need to recharge as often.
  5. When was the last time you recharged sustainably? Technology is so prevalent in our lives these days. Pick one day a month or week and unplug from it all. Grab a book and a blanket, sit outside and enjoy a good read with nature and some fresh air.

These are great ways to be responsible for plugin devices used regularly. However, for those items that are not easy to plug and unplug, we move on to five hacks to maintain low energy usage in your home.

5 HACKS TO MAINTAIN LOW ENERGY USAGE

The HVAC and clothes dryer are two of the most significant components of energy usage in the average American home. Want to maintain a lower energy usage year-round? Try these five hacks.

  1. This first one might seem like a no-brainer, but it can be a daily struggle. Turn off the lights when you are not in a room. Kids can be the worst culprits, but adults carry these bad habits too. I can’t be the only one. It’s easy to overlook a night light during the day if you don’t know it’s on. I check every room in the morning to ensure all lights are off after the kids are in school. When they are home, I send them back into their rooms to turn off the light switch. If you want to kick this one up a notch, use daylight to the fullest. Open blinds and curtains on sunny days in the winter to warm the home and read by the window during the day.
  2. For your clothes dryer, run it less. Hang up as much as you can. If the weather is not conducive to line dry clothing, use your shower rods with some hangers. Not only does this hack use less energy, but it also helps preserve the life of your clothes. If you need to run the dryer, try to do it just enough to fluff the clothes. Also, be sure to leave the door open in the winter months if your unit is in a separate room to help warm the home. In the summer months, keep it closed off to keep the home cooler.
  3. Regarding your HVAC, the best thing you can do is purchase a programable thermostat for each unit in your home. The best investment you can make for your energy usage. If you rent or are not ready to buy a programable thermostat, try turning your heater down two degrees, day and night. If it’s summer, turn your thermostat up two degrees.programable-thermostat
  4. When it comes time to upgrade or replace your appliances, always buy Energy Star Certified appliances. They use electricity in the most efficient possible way.
  5. For your light bulbs, LED should be your next purchase. They use less energy, provide safer light, and put off less heat.

So far, we have covered great tips for your energy usage at home. Keep reading to learn ways to use less energy when you are out around town.

 

5 HACKS TO TRY WHEN YOU ARE OUT AND ABOUT

  1. When running errands, go on foot or by bike if it’s safe and possible. If not, consolidate trips, so you are not driving as much. Bonus: Fresh air is good for the mind, and exercise is good for the body.
  2. When driving, drive slowly and defensively. Maintaining a steady speed saves gas and reduces wear and tear on your vehicle.
  3. For your vehicle, maintain proper air pressure in your tires at all times and replace them as recommended. Your fuel usage is greatly affected by the maintenance and health of your tires.
  4. Give your town’s public transportation system again, only if it’s safe and possible.
  5. Connect with your community and friends for carpool adventures. Carpooling does not need to be limited to a daily commute. It can include kids’ activities and random items forgotten at the grocery store. Reach out to a neighbor or friend next time you hit the store and see if they need anything.

These hacks can help us be mindful of our daily habits to minimize our carbon footprint by using less energy. This last section gives a few random hacks to keep in mind if you take your journey one step further.

 

5 MORE RANDOM HACKS TO SAVE ON ENERGY

Here are five more hacks to help the planet and help you when you are trying to reduce your energy consumption.

  1. When waiting in your car, turn off your engine whenever possible instead of idling.
  2. Wash your clothes in cold water only.
  3. If the nights are cold but the days are warm, open your windows in the early mornings and early evenings to release any warm air captured from the sun.open-window-with-book
  4. Trading in your power mower for a push mower will use less fuel and give you a new exercise routine.
  5. Go meatless once a week. I will be the last person to force a meatless lifestyle on anyone. However, one night a week should be easy enough to try.

There you have it, twenty hacks to be more sustainable with energy usage. Can you think of other suggestions to save on energy?

If you enjoyed reading this post, you might also enjoy reading these previous posts for a more sustainable laundry room and kitchen.

Thanks for stopping by. Cheers to a more sustainable you.

Jaime 

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