The latest UN report on climate change essentially gives us 12 years to fix all the damage we’ve done to the Earth before there’s what they deemed as a “climate change catastrophe” occurs. But besides recycling and participating in Meatless Monday, what can the layperson do to combat climate change?
Eco friendly living is easier than you think. We’re going to go over eight easy tips on how to be more green, save electricity, and reduce your energy use. This will not only make you a bit greener, but it will also save you a bit of green as well.
Keep reading to learn energy and money saving tips you can easily apply to your home.
1. Turn Off Your Lights!
Can you still hear your mom yelling at you to turn the lights off before you leave the house? Well, it turns out she wasn’t just trying to save money on the electric bill: turning your lights off when you’re not in a room or when you leave the house will reduce unnecessary energy consumption.
Artificial lighting can also increase the temperature in your home, which could result in your overusing air conditioning, fans, or other cooling devices. Turning lights off when you can will reduce your need for these other things, which will also reduce your energy use and save on your energy bill.
2. HVAC Maintenence
Your heating and cooling systems are essential: they keep you warm in the winter, cool in the summer, etc. But if you don’t keep up with a regular maintenance and repair schedule, you could be using up more energy and electricity than you need to be using.
Not only that, but you won’t be getting an even temperature throughout your home, and the entire system may stop working altogether. Discover more about when to repair your HVAC system, when parts need replacing, and how keeping it well-maintained can help you save energy and money.
3. Consider Solar Energy
Solar panels convert the sun’s light into usable, clean energy. While most homes can’t function on solar energy alone, using solar panels will reduce your need to use other more traditional electrical energy sources, which will reduce your consumption.
While installing solar panels will require a significant initial investment, the money (and energy!) you’ll save in the long run will be worth it. You can also get significant tax credits for using solar energy, as well.
4. Unplug Things When Not in Use
Certain appliances and devices will continue to use electricity and energy even when they’re turned off. These are called “vampire devices” since they constantly suck up electricity and energy.
Make a habit of unplugging things that you’re not using like DVD players, TVs, Apple TV, computer chargers, video game consoles, lamps, etc. This will reduce the amount of energy you’re using up without even knowing it. It can also lower your electric bill.
Homes without proper insulations can’t maintain their temperature easily: they’ll lose heat in the winter and they won’t stay cool in the summer. This leads to many uninsulated homes overworking their HVAC systems, which uses up a ton of energy unnecessarily.
This is also something you will find that many foundation repair companies recommend when they are rebuilding homes or raising their elevation. With more homes now needing to raise after flooding and coastal flooding, insulation is just another good practice to be taken during these times.
Insulating your home will keep in the heat and maintain the cool AC without outside air changing the temperature and causing your HVAC system to be overworked. This will reduce your electricity consumption, and make your home more comfortable to live in. It’s a win-win.
6. Energy Efficient Appliances
Like solar panels and insulation, installing energy efficient appliances will require an initial investment on your part. You can install energy efficient dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, water heaters, air conditioners, and more.
Appliances like these account for a huge percentage of your overall electric usage and bill. Switching from older models to certified energy efficient appliances will reduce that usage and, in turn, your electric bill.
In fact, new and energy efficient appliances can use up to 50% less energy and electricity compared to older, non-energy-efficient models.
7. Rely on Natural Sunlight More
Back in the old days, the sun was the only source of light, unless you lit up a gas lamp or a good ol’ fire. Take notes from our ancestors who used these methods to rely less on electric light and electric heating.
During the day, try and use the natural sunlight coming through windows and skylights instead of turning on lamps or lights. This can reduce the amount of electricity you use throughout the day.
You can also use the natural sunlight to warm your home as well. On the nice fall day, let the light shine in your home and turn down your thermostat to save money and reduce the amount of electricity you use on heating.
Along the same lines as the previous tip, use your windows to your advantage. Instead of instantly cranking up the air conditioner or fans in the summer, try opening your windows and letting the natural air cool down your home.
Consider installing curtains as well. During the day, leave them open to let in natural light instead of turning on lights (as we suggested in tip #7). But in the summer, you can close the curtains tight to keep out too much light that could make your home heat up and result in you overusing your AC.
Also think back to tip #5: insulation. Make sure your windows are properly sealed and insulated. If they’re not, they could be letting in drafts (or letting out air), which could result in you, again, overusing your HVAC system to maintain the desired temperature inside.
Eco Friendly Living to Save on Electricity
Nobody is perfect when it comes to eco friendly living. Simply existing in the modern world involves using up energy, electricity, non-recyclable products, and a certain amount of waste.
What we can do, however, is our best. We can do our best to reduce our electricity usage, reduce our impact on the planet, and improve our environmental consciousness by following eco friendly living tips like these ones.
Keep educating yourself on green living by visiting our blog.