In theory, most of us agree that we should be more conscientious when it comes to saving energy and the environment, but in practice, things aren’t going so well. Many people continue to waste resources, including their own, when doing otherwise is a simple matter of adopting a few better habits at home.
1. Lights. By now, most homes should be light by CFL bulbs, not the old incandescent type. These new bulbs last forever and are a much more efficient use of energy, saving significantly on the environment and in your wallet. Also, no matter how efficient the lights are, don’t keep them on when the room is empty!
2. Your washer. People tend to use a washing machine on an as-needed basis, without putting much thought into it, however; a lot of money and energy can be saved if you wait until your machine is completely full and run it on the cold water cycle. The biggest drain coming from the washing machine is the power needed to heat the water, and the biggest waste is usually running it half-full.
3. The dryer. The same principles apply to the dryer, in that it really saves if you wait until you’ve got a full load. Also, if possible, consider hanging a clothes-line for your laundry and using that instead. Your clothes end up smelling a lot fresher and once you see the before and after on your electric bill, you will be hooked! Whenever you do opt for using the machine, keep your settings on the energy efficiency mode to minimize waste.
4. Running and heating water. A long hot shower is nearly irresistible on a cold morning, but this lets a lot of money and energy down the drain. Limit the duration of your showers and keep the temp on a milder setting; this is actually much better for your skin too. Never keep the faucet running when you are brushing your teeth either, as this wastes gallons of water, by your use alone. Multiply that by the general population who employ the same wasteful habit and you’ve got a serious depletion of natural resources that is completely unnecessary!
5. Washing dishes. Your dishwasher should always be set to the energy saving cycles and not programmed to dry the dishes. As with other appliances, it’s very important to wait until the machine is at capacity prior to running. If you find your household has to wait too long for the dishwasher to get full, wash them by hand instead of powering up for half a load.
6. Your PC and other electronics. Try keeping them all plugged into a power-strip and shutting them completely off after use. To most people’s surprise, these gadgets continue to drain power (and cost money!) even when the apparatus is set to “off.” You must disengage their plugs from the actual wall-socket and of course, that’s highly inconvenient, so make good use of the power-strip and reduce the waste.
Improving your green-factor at home will alleviate your conscience and save you money, so you’ve got no excuse not to pick up on these simple habits!