Taking steps to live greener plays a critical role in our efforts to decrease global
warming and preserve the planet.
Many of us are looking for ways to live in a more environmentally responsible and
eco friendly way in an attempt to decrease our ecological impact.
There are so many practical steps we can take to conserve our resources and help
keep our planet healthy.
Some of the most common include sustainability, recycling, alternative energy sources,
green construction, reducing energy consumption, choosing organic and local food–
just to name a few.
Even though you are trying to be more eco-conscious, you may not know that there
“When you look at the big environmental picture,
it can seem intimidating.
It’s tempting to assume there’s nothing
you can do to make a change.
But the small things are cumulative,
and it starts with the individual.
In short, you can make a difference.”
If you are concerned about the environment or just want to save money (or both!),
you are probably looking for ways to reduce your electricity use.
That cell phone charger that stays plugged in, the computer that stays on waiting
for someone to use it, and the TV that sits on standby all night represent prime
examples of how “going green” can save energy and save you money–if you
unplug them, that is.
For even if the items are not working, they are consuming energy!
There are many other smart ways to reduce your home’s carbon footprint by reducing
your electricity usage.
Here are 21 suggestions for getting those utility bills down and shrinking your
1. Just Unplug It
Unplug electrical devices when they are not in use, especially those electronics
that have a rechargeable battery (if it’s blinking, it’s using electricity).
2. Go LED or CFL
Invest in LED or compact fluorescent light bulbs.
If you are able, have skylights or sun pipes installed.
3. Lights Out
Turn off lights during the day and when you leave a room.
4. Time It
Use timers on your lamps.
5. Turn It Down
Turn your thermostat down before you go to bed and when you leave the
6. Use Green Energy
Look into alternative energy sources for your home –you may be able to
install solar panels, a small wind turbine, or, in the near future, a magnetic
generator to generate electricity.
Even installing a small solar panel or wind turbine that will run one appliance
will save electricity.
7. Insulate Well
Check your home’s insulation, and seal any cracks as necessary.
Apply weather stripping to doors and windows, and insulate your attic
if it is not already.
8. Cool Naturally
Cool your home with fans and open windows in the summer.
9. Change Filters
Make sure you change the filters in your heating and cooling system
as often as the manufacturer recommends.
10. Insulate Heater
Your power company can probably assist you with this, and may even
provide the bubble wrap-like insulation for your water heater.
11. Turn Heater Down
Turn your water heater down to 120.
This is also a good protection against accidental burns.
12. Embrace the Sun
Open the curtains and shades and let sunshine warm and light your house.
Close curtains and shades in the summer to keep hot sunlight out, or use sheets
of removable window tinting.
This will cut your electricity use by reducing the need to run your central heat
or air conditioning.
13. Air Dry
Hang your clothes up to dry, either indoors or out.
The clothes dryer uses a lot of electricity, and giving it a rest will decrease your
consumption quite a bit.
Grab a broom and sweep whenever possible instead of running the vacuum cleaner.
15. Use a Pressure Cooker
Pressure cookers reduce cooking time and stovetop temperature, thereby reducing
the time your stove is on.
16. Use a Crockpot
Use a crockpot on low to cook long-cooking foods like roasts–it takes less
energy to run a crockpot than a stove.
17. Cook Out
Cook outside whenever possible–since patio grills are relatively inexpensive.
Or you can go to a local park or forest that has public grills or fire pits.
18. Turn Down Fridge
Turn your refrigerator down (but not so far that you find food spoiling too
quickly – that, of course, is also wasteful).
19. Look for the Star
Choose Energy Star appliances when buying new–this means the appliance is
up to government standards in energy efficiency.
20. Rekindle the Romance
Have dinner (and other meals!) by candlelight.
21. Plant Trees
Landscape with trees and shrubs that will shelter your home from the wind
in the winter and provide shade in the summer.
Of course, these are just a few of the many ways to cut down on electricity use
in your home.
But it’s a start.
Becoming informed about green living and its impact on the environment is the first
step towards each of us doing our part because it’s going to take a global effort.
If we want our children and grandchildren to live healthier lives, it needs to start
with us and needs to continue.
Remember, small steps are cumulative and add up to make a big impact.
As our planet faces dramatic changes–where our actions are believed to be
the prime cause–it just makes sense to do as much as we can to cut down on our
electricity usage and reduce energy consumption starting at home.
What other tips can you add to cut down on electricity in your home?
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