If you don’t have any money to invest in green, sustainable, eco-friendly products or strategies you are in luck! Here are 15 ways that you can start to trim your utility bills by using less energy and water. Unless you have been living under a rock you have probably heard some of these before, but they are still worth repeating.
Turn Off the Lights: This is a favorite of dads everywhere. I can still hear my dad, and now I’m repeating it to my kids: “When you leave a room, turn off the lights.”
Turn Down / Up the Thermostat: By adjusting your thermostat down a few degrees in the winter and up a few more in the summer you can make a significant cut in your heating and cooling bills. There can be added benefits to doing this: more snuggling in the winter and less clothing in the summer.
Stingy Showers: By taking shorter showers or even skipping one here and there, you can save thousands of gallons of water a year. As an added bonus, your energy bills will go down as well, since it typically costs more to heat the water for your shower than for the water itself.
Wear it Once More: Wear your blue jeans and dress shirt more than once before you wash it and save hundreds of gallons of water and cut your energy bills at the same time.
Power Down: Don’t just let your computer sit there and let the screen saver run all day. If you are going to be away from your computer for more than a half an hour, go ahead and turn it off.
Line Dry Your Clothes: Hanging your clothes out to dry will not only save you energy, but your clothes will smell better (no dryer sheets required), be less wrinkled (saving you on ironing), and will last longer – effectively saving you money four ways.
Open the Windows: On those wonderful days where it is in the 80’s in the afternoon, but temperatures drop to the 60’s over night, open all your windows when the temperature drops below 78° (recommended thermostat setting in the summer) at night and let that cool air in. Then in the morning close all your windows to keep the heat of the day out. With the help of a couple of window fans you can easily avoid turning on your air conditioner well into May or even June (depending of course on where you live).
Open the Drapes: On those wonderful sunny winter days, open the drapes and let the sunshine in. This energy from the sun will help to warm your house and help to lower your heating bills a little too.
Close the Drapes: Yet, on warm summer days that very same sunshine can be an unwelcome guest in your house and a considerable burden on your air conditioner. On those days, closing the drapes can keep the temperature in your house several degrees cooler and keep your air conditioner from running quite as much.
Wave it: On of the most efficient method of cooking is with a microwave oven. Microwaves concentrate the cooking energy on the food and avoid heating up an entire oven, stovetop or even kitchen.
Keep it Raw: Better yet, eat it raw. Avoid cooking all together and enjoy a green salad, but keep in mind that a green salad need not be limited to some lettuce and spinach, with a few baby carrots and cherry tomatoes thrown in. Consider adding several of the following: onions, radishes, any one of a variety of nuts, broccoli, peas, cucumbers, celery, bell peppers, cheese. Along with your salad you could enjoy a deli sandwich and some fruit. Why heat up your food and your kitchen, especially on those how summer days?
Wash in Cold: Many laundry detergents these days do a fine job of cleaning clothes in cold water. By washing your clothes in cold water your clothes will still get clean and your hot water heater will get a break.
Close it Off: Many houses built over the past ten to twenty years have a room that is called a living room on the floor plans, but it is there primarily for resale value and is seldom used. Many of these same houses have a guest bedroom as well that may be used a few times a year. By closing off these rooms your heating and cooling bills could be significantly reduced.
Up with the Sun: “Early to bed early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” This may be an old idiom by Franklin, but is also good advice if you want to save some money on your lighting bills. If you don’t stay up so late you can turn off all those lights and save a little money.
Be a Water Miser: Only turn the water on when you need it when you are brushing your teeth and shaving and you can save hundreds of gallons of water a year.
Take a few free steps to save some energy and water, along the way you will find a little extra money in your wallet as well.