Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Day 21: Reducing Electricity Usage

You knew it was coming! Either because I mentioned it in the previous post, or because it's such a fundamental way to be greener, reducing our electricity needs can greatly impact the environment.



Like water conservation, I could write a 31 days series just on this topic, so I'll do a bullet list for ya.

General

~ Close the lights when you're not in a room.

~ That goes for your computers too! Close them when you leave them, or at the very least put them in standby.

~ Unplug unused appliances and electronics. Did you know they use a bit of electricity even when they are turned off? Yup, that little on you monitor, on your TV, etc, consumes some energy uselessly. It's called phantom load, or vampire lights. Read more here. All you need to do is unplug, or turn off a powerbar that has everything plugged to it.


(picture source)

~ Change lightbulbs to energy efficient ones. They are so much better than incandescent lights, and they last soooo much longer! But you must be careful when disposing of them, because they have mercury in them, which iis only harmful if the bulb breaks. You can easily recycle them by bringing them to Home Depot or IKEA, to name a couple stores.

~ Wrap your water heater with a thermal blanket. If it's hot to the touch, then you should really consider this. You could save 9% of its operating costs by doing this.

~ Insulate any hot water pipes that are exposed. Those pipe insulators aren't just for crafting!! haha!

Heating and Cooling

~ Winterize your home. Make sure the seals on your windows are still air tight, and that your weather strips on your doors are also sealing properly. Consider adding an other air pocket with window insulation kit.

~ Stop drafts with draft blockers. They can really be cute! And you could use some old socks or whatnot to stuff them!


Family Fun

~ Turn the heat or A/C down during the winter and summer, respectively. Or forgo the A/C all together and just use ventilators and open your windows! We're too cheap for A/C right now, and I grew up without it until I was like 19 or something, so I'm ok without it. But we don't have unbearable summers here, either.

~ You can wear comfy bathrobe to keep you warm, knit sweaters, and use blankets.

~ Use hot water bottles to help keep you warm at night. I need one of these bad! I've heard good things. Just for those nights I go to bed without my boyfriend and I can't warm up my feet!

~ Heat your house in the winter with a wood fireplace. This is one of my fondest feelings of home, the fireplace. My parents burn logs from old rotten trees, big branches, but mostly pallet wood which we get for free! My dad just cuts it down to size with the chain saw, doesn't even remove the nails.

Kitchen

~ Use the toaster oven instead of conventional oven. We cook everything in there, but then again we're just 2. I know when we have a family that won't be always possible, but we'll try and use it as much as possible.

This is the one we have, it's really quite big, we can do frozen pizzas in it.

Oster Toaster Oven

~ Use the right size burner for the job. You lose a lot of heat when you use the big burner for a little pan!

~ Exchange your appliances for energy efficient ones : refrigerators, oven, stove tops, dishwashers. If you're current one is still in good order and you want to switch out, don't throw it out but sell it.

~ Speaking of dishwashers, choose the air dry option instead of the heat dry option.

~ Make your appliances run as smooth as possible. That means cleaning your fridge's coils. But also your air filters, and A/C filters need some cleaning every once in a while.

Laundry Room

~ Exchange your appliances, again, for energy efficient ones. They use both less electricity and/or and less water.

~ Wash with cold water as much as possible.

~ Do full loads as much as possible, so you don't have to do as many.

~ Air dry your laundry instead of drying in the dryer. I live in an apartment that has the "laundry room" together with the kitchen and I made this work. So can you!


I can hang about 30 pieces of clothing on hangers to air dry on the rod attached to my laundry shelves! It's really awesome!

Outdoor

~ Have spot lights that turn on when there is movement only instead off always being on.

~ Don't have too many outdoor lighting, or at the least have some LED lights, like for Christmas.

Activities

~ Make a night a month where you have fun with the family and turn off all electricity in the house. Light some candles, tell stories, play a game, whatever!

Now, I'll say this: I think reducing our electricity needs at home is just part of the solution. Commercial properties and work places need to get on board too. I suppose that's the same for recycling and buying too needlessly, as well. Still you should do your part at home.

I know I didn't cover everything, so if you've got more to add, I'd love it if you'd leave me a comment!!

And just a little note, but the rest of the series might be spaced out more. I need to give my apartment a little TLC, it's looking really bad. And things are really going well (knock on wood) at the lab so I'm quite busier. I just don't have the time for this every single day. I'll still try my best to finish the series as soon as possible, though! Thanks for your understanding :)



I party at these parties.

1 comment:

  1. What great tips. I hope they save me some money in addition to helping the environment :)

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