A Young Man’s Quest to a Greener Household: Part 2
After discovering my family’s horrid energy-sucking habits, I did some research into some effective ways to save electricity, money and the environment! Here is some of what I came up with:
Turn ‘Em Off:
This is by far the easiest solution to wasting electricity. Flick those switches to “off” when there is no need for them. You don’t need 12 different lights on when everyone is asleep, so do a double check before bed or set timers on lights that spread a lot of light. If it’s sunny during the day, let the natural sunlight in!
Use CFL Bulbs:
We recently switched all appropriate light bulbs to energy-efficient compact fluorescent ones, which are brighter, last up to 10 times longer, and help save a lot of money over time. They use 90 percent less energy, which is a plus for you and the environment! These are nothing new, but you’d be amazed at how many people are behind on the trend. Many people are averse to the brightness of these bulbs, but newer ones are made in a variety of glows, made to mimic incandescent bulbs and even daylight.
Conserving energy isn’t just limited to your lights; everyday, electricity is wasted through your outlets when things like chargers and appliances are left plugged in. When your phone is at 100 percent, take the charger out of the wall. While some new chargers can solve this problem, many are still energy suckers. The same goes for appliances like microwaves or hair dryers and game systems that are left on. My family has invested in power strips that can be easily switched off when not in use.
Programmable thermostats are nothing new, so if your home is without one of these, you are seriously behind. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the proper use of a programmable thermostat can cut heating and cooling bills by from 5 to 20 percent. Remember to be smart when programming: the difference of one degree can save you a lot of green! Typically, for every degree that you turn your thermostat down, you will use 3-5% less energy and could save anywhere from 2-10% on your heating bill.
Check out my next post when I tackle my family’s recycling habits!