Reducing your energy and water usage at home is good for the environment, and it can also save you some money on your utility bill each month! Here are just a few quick tips for an energy-efficient lifestyle.
- Unplug electronics when not in use. Even if you aren’t charging your phone, a phone charger that is left plugged into the wall will continue to use energy. Likewise, leaving your phone plugged in overnight wastes energy. Most phones only take a few hours to charge.
- Turn off lights when you aren’t in the room. This may seem obvious, but it’s helpful to remember.
- Choose cold water. When machine washing your clothes, choose cold water because heating water takes extra energy. Plus, hot water breaks down dyes and causes shrinkage more than cold water.
- Use a lid when boiling water. Boiling water without a lid takes a lot more time, and thus uses more energy from your stove.
- Don’t open the oven door. Opening the oven door while something is cooking can cause the temperature to drop significantly and require your oven to use more energy. If you have an oven light, use that instead to look inside.
- Fill the dishwasher. Make sure your dishwasher is full before you run it.
- Replace lightbulbs and take care of the ones you have. Updating lightbulbs to newer, more energy efficient models can save electricity. Also, you can reduce the need for multiple light sources by making sure your lightbulbs are clean.
- Close curtains and blinds. Blocking sunlight with curtains and blinds can help keep your home cool in the summer and put less stress on your AC.
- Clean lint traps. This is a really easy way to maintain your dryer, and it helps the dryer run more efficiently.
- Change Heating/AC filters regularly. This might require heading to the store, but it’s essential to make sure your heating and cooling units are running well because they often account for a large chunk of your energy bill.
- Low-flow shower heads. Older shower heads can put out as much as 4-5 gallons of water per minute. Low-flow shower heads are simple to install, relatively inexpensive, and can save you a lot of water.
Here are some DIY crafts that will also help you save energy and water.
- DIY clothesline
Using a clothesline instead of a dryer is a great way to save energy, but if you don’t have the backyard space, don’t worry! Indoor clotheslines work year-round and are often easier to assemble. Here’s a link to a project idea:
- DIY weather stripping
Weather stripping is basically the process of sealing the cracks in doorframes and windows to decrease the air flow in and out of your house. This will make sure the cold air or hot air can’t escape, and your heating/cooling units won’t have to work as hard. Here are some suggestions for materials and tips for installation:
- DIY rain barrel
You can use a rain barrel in your backyard to catch the excess water that flows off your roof and through the gutters during a rainstorm. The water it collects can be used for watering plants, which means you won’t need to use your hose as often. Here’s a guide on how to build one: