Thanks to Direct Energy for sponsoring today’s discussion.
Saving energy isn’t only good for your wallet, it’s good for the environment, too. Water, gas, and electricity may seem like they are in never-ending supply but this isn’t true. As a society we must be mindful of the resources we consume in order for our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to have access to these same resources in the future.
I am very happy to partner with Direct Energy to offer some ideas for conserving energy and living life a bit greener. There are just a few things that you can do around your home that will make a big impact on your life and consumption of natural resources.
Here are some of the things that my family does to lower our impact, save money, and live a little greener.
This may seem like a no-brainer yet so many people don’t recycle at all or do it very little. Our town gives us a large bin for recycling that is picked up every two weeks. There are times that it’s full in that time and we need to run the excess to the recycling center and we have considered getting a second recycling bin. For most of our neighbors it is the opposite. The amount of trash I see my neighbors throwing out weekly alarms me a little, to be honest.
2. Use reusable grocery bags
We bring our own bags to the grocery store each week. In fact they have started or are considering a bag tax in several counties near me which means that if we forget our bags we had better be ready to pay up.
3. Install a programmable thermostat
We have our thermostat set to go up or down in temperature depending on the time of day. During the day it is set to 65 degrees because we get a good amount of sunlight that warms the house, it goes up to 68 degrees in the evening, then back down to 65 at night. We also have it similarly set for the air conditioning in the summer months. This saves us a lot of money on our heating and cooling bills.
4. Purchase an energy-efficient washer and dryer
Our washing machine in an HE toploader and our dryer has an eco drying cycle. Both are energy-efficient.
5. Install an energy-efficient furnace
Now I realize that this probably isn’t something that you would go out and do if your furnace doesn’t need replacing but we had to have our furnace replaced and did so with an energy-efficient one. We can definitely tell a difference in the warmth of our house, the speed in which is warms up, and the positive impact on our utility bill.
6. Line dry your laundry
We don’t line dry as much laundry as we used to because of our HOA but we do hang our cloth diapers to dry
7. Use cloth diapers, wipes, and menstrual products
Not only are fewer resources used in the making of cloth diapers and menstrual products than their disposable counterparts, they don’t sit in a landfill taking up valuable space for hundreds of years. Plus there aren’t any chemicals and they’re cuter.
8. Plant a garden
Save money on your grocery bill and lessen your footprint by planting your own vegetables. I just planted my seeds to start seedlings for replanting last weekend and I am so excited to finally have a garden this year!
9. Be mindful of water consumption
Take shorter showers, turn off the water while brushing your teeth, use an HE washing machine, etc to lower your water consumption and lower your water bill in the process.
10. Turn lights off when leaving the room
I am pretty crazy about the lights. I know that I probably drive my kids crazy but I definitely enforce the “turn the lights off when you leave the room” rule with an iron fist.
11. Use reusable snack bags
Instead of throwing away plastic sandwich bags all the time, use cute reusable snack bags. I am in love with these adorable little bags.
12. Set lawn sprinklers on a timer
Even if you don’t have a sprinkler system installed in your yard, turn on a timer in the house if you use a sprinkler and hose for your lawn instead of letting it run all day. Your lawn only needs 1″ to 2″ of water per week which you can achieve in 20-30 minutes of watering depending on your grass and soil type. Also for maximum efficiency you want to water your lawn early in the morning before the sun gets hot to reduce evaporation.
Find out more tips for saving energy from Direct Energy.
I would love to hear how you and your family conserve energy and live a little greener!