Today is National Cut Your Energy Costs Day, a day set aside to re-examine our daily habits and improve the overall efficiency of our lives.
Here are ten easy-to-implement tips:
1. Use daylight as much as possible. Remember, it’s free, and it doesn’t pollute.
2. Turn off all lights, even if you leave a room for a few minutes.
3. Switch all light bulbs to CFLs—the curly-looking ones. While they are more expensive, they can last up to ten times longer than the traditional incandescent bulbs.
4. Turn the heat down one degree in the winter, and set the air conditioner one degree higher in the summer. You probably won’t notice and could easily go up/down an extra degree or two.
5. Use the refrigerator wisely. Decide what you want before you open the door, clean the coils periodically with a vacuum cleaner, don’t set the temperature any colder than necessary, and keep it full.
6. Eliminate vampire power. When televisions, computers, DVD players, microwave ovens, and appliances are turned off, they continue to suck the energy out of the wall and out of your wallet. Where possible, use smart power strips with on/off switches that can be turned off when you are away for an extended period.
7. Unplug the charger as soon as your digital device is charged. When plugged in, a charger continues to draw energy.
8. Turn the water off while brushing your teeth or shaving. On average, a faucet can use anywhere from one to three gallons (four to eight litres) per minute. If you take the dentist-recommended two minutes, twice a day, that could add up to 12 gallons a day—4,380 gallons a year. Note: Newer faucets tend to have lower flow rates than older ones.
9. Fix those leaks. In North America, the average household leaks nearly 10,000 gallons of water each year…a staggering amount of money literally pouring down the drain.
10. Wait until you have a full load of laundry before using the washing machine. Half loads use twice as much water. Consider setting the temperature to warm rather than hot. This cleans just as well and uses half the energy.
Any more tips to share?
These are very wise and useful tips, Joanne. Although I find it hard to turn down the heat with these freezing temperatures but I do turn down the heat at night, especially in the room where I keep my Christmas plant and my orchid. Apparently cool temperatures are good for them.
Hi Carol, I can certainly empathize. In Ontario, we’re also dealing with windchill temperatures of -20 degrees C. I would recommend waiting until this cold snap is over before turning down the heat. 🙂