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Respect your mother! Mother Earth, that is! Earth Day is April 22. But you don’t need an excuse to save the planet or a complete overhaul to your lifestyle in order to make a difference. There are several ways to conserve energy and minor things you can do in order to help preserve the earth’s most precious resources. We’ll share some tips on how to conserve energy (and some money) both at home and at the office!
ways to save energy at Home
- Do install window shades – 80% of your home’s heat comes through the windows so adding blinds or shades can help reduce the light and heat that enters your home.
- Don’t fall asleep with the TV on – the bright light on the tube is draining your energy cost and bill! If you have a habit of dozing off late at night, set the sleep timer before you plop down.
- Don’t keep appliances plugged in longer than needed. Phone chargers, lamps and anything plugged into the wall is still sucking up energy even when they’re not on or being used.
- Do program your thermostat. We can’t stress this one enough! Programmable thermostats like the Nest Learning Thermostat can automatically adjust to your schedule and optimize the temperature to conserve energy.
- Don’t leave fans on in empty rooms or while you’re gone. They’re blowing your electric bill, right out the window.
- Do change your air filters regularly.
- Do invest in solar panels to help convert the sun’s rays into energy for your home. Read our review of the best solar panel companies.
- Do purchase nontoxic cleaning products and biodegradable soaps.
- Do pay bills online rather than through the mail. You will be more likely to get your bill in on time, and save the cost of a stamp as well!
- Do utilize a “green” dry cleaner, who only uses natural products.
- Do use CFL bulbs and find out from your city council how to dispose of old batteries and CFL light bulbs properly; most communities recycle these and do not allow them to be thrown in the trash.
Energy Conservation In the Kitchen
- Do use Energy Star®-rated light bulbs and appliances. These are proven to use significantly less energy than those not branded. They can save you about $40 in energy costs over their lifetime.
- Don’t leave the fridge open longer than necessary. We’re all guilty of it, but get in and get what you need quickly so your fridge isn’t wasting cold air out the door. And do keep it full because empty fridges tend to use more energy.
- Don’t set the oven temperature higher than necessary or leave it on longer than possible. In fact, go ahead and do yourself a favor and double up on baking items whenever possible and turn off the oven 15 minutes prior to completion.
Video: Give your Home an Energy Efficient Check Up
This 2-3 minute video gives you a quick checklist of things you can do to ensure your home’s “insides” are healthy.
energy saving tips at Work
- Do turn off the lights when you leave a room and at the end of the day.
- Do install light sensors. Products like the First Alert Motion Sensing Light Socket can detect when someone enters a room and turn off lights automatically when there is no activity for a specified period of time.
- Do shut faucets off tightly and report any leakage to your supervisor or building maintenance immediately.
- Do only print out emails when necessary and whenever possible, use the back side of pages or recycled paper.
- Do turn off the actual power strip instead of simply the piece of equipment itself.
- Do assign the person who stays latest to turn off major appliances like printers, coffee pots and TVs at the end of the day. If you are a 24-hour business, consider shutting off several monitors during non-peak business hours.
- Do bring your lunch to work in a reusable lunch bag. Not only is it Earth-friendly, it’s healthier too!
- Do adjust the temperature at the end of the day, on weekends and holidays. (Better yet, use a programmable thermostat to do it for you – see our recommended product above!)
- Do replace light bulbs with CFLs or LEDs which not only use less energy, they also last longer.
- Do keep blinds closed in conference rooms and unused areas to keep heat from escaping in.
- Do power off computers at the end of the day or employees use hibernation mode on desktop computers overnight.
- Do have virtual meetings whenever possible to save on fuel and travel costs.
- Do encourage teleworking to cut back on emissions for the environment.
What are you doing to help conserve energy? Any additional energy conservation tips you’d like to share?