Whether you know it or not, your home is constantly using energy. From your plugged-in electric coffee pot to your idle television, you are losing tens of hundreds of dollars every month, even when you are not home.
Not only does this put a dent in your wallet, it increases your impact on the environment. The good news is, there are dozens of simple ways you can improve your sustainability at home.
In the Kitchen
While cooking, use lids on your pots and pans. Using lids helps cook your food more quickly, saving you energy. You can also wash everything in cold water or make sure that your dishwasher is completely full before you run it.
If you are making something in the oven, make sure to keep the oven door closed the entire time it is cooking. You can also put your food in the oven before it reaches the preheating temperature. You do not have to wait for it to warm up. This way, your food cooks faster and you use less energy.
In Separate Rooms
Make sure to seal your windows with plastic in the winter. This is a cheap, simple way to keep all of your heating and cooling trapped inside your house. You can buy this shrink film for less than $20 at most hardware stores – which is much cheaper than the cost of the energy that you would be losing otherwise.
You can also redecorate your home to make it greener. For example, add hardwood floors to your rooms. More hardwood means more heat insulation – and also an opportunity for more homey decor. Although rugs can absorb heat, hardwood floors absorb more and keep it there for much longer.
Moving furniture around helps increase the efficiency of your home as well. Start putting lamps in corners so the light reflects on two walls rather than one. Purchase a lighter lampshade, and maybe even one made of natural materials. You can also switch to LED bulbs. They are cheaper and can last 25 times longer, using 80 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs.
In the Bathroom
The easiest way to save water and energy is to take shorter showers. People typically take 8.2-minute showers, which uses over 17 gallons of water. If you cut your shower time down by half, you can save over 60 bottles of water per shower.
Another simple way to use less water is to shut off the sink as you brush your teeth. Keeping the sink running for a full two minutes twice a day uses over 9 gallons of water. By simply shutting off the sink during this time, you save just as much as you would by taking shorter showers.
Making these simple changes in your everyday life will help you transition into a more efficient, affordable, and sustainable lifestyle.