We could all use a few extra dollars in our pocket, and more-so, we could all probably do a little more to save energy and reduce our carbon footprint. While we may not be able to go out and plant trees everyday, there are a few energy and cost effective tips we are happy to share to make our pockets, and our planet, a little greener.
- Run your utilities (washer, dryer, dishwasher) between 12am – 8am. Most energy is being used during the daytime, and as a result, this is the most expensive time of day to run appliances. Be a night owl or an early bird and you can seriously reduce energy costs. Some cities/counties require that you actually enroll in this program. If this sounds like something that could seriously help you, then consider calling your energy provider today to inquire about the program.
- Wash clothes in cold water. Believe it or not, most washing machines today are highly effective and efficient at washing clothes in any temperature, and the need to wash clothes in warm water is a myth. Washing clothes in cold water not only saves on heating, it also extends the life of your clothes, as cold water is more effective at keeping color and reducing stretch that happens in the wash.
- Replace old appliances with newer, more energy efficient ones. New appliances are crafted and equipped to reduce the waste of energy and water. If you have an appliance which is over fifteen years old, it may be time to consider a more cost-and-energy-efficient model. If you live in an area serviced by Con Edison, you may even be eligible for a rebate on your new appliance! Consider choosing Energy Star appliances, which may be more expensive at first, but have the potential to reduce your energy usage from 10%-30%.
- Control your thermostat through your phone. If you have air conditioning, whether central or units, you can set your thermostat through your phone, and Con Edison also has a rewards program for it! When you and your pets aren’t home, set the temperature on your air conditioner a little higher so it’s not running for an empty house.
- Microwave it! This applies if you have an electric stove, but according to the Consumer Energy Center, your microwave uses 2/3 LESS energy than your electric stove.
- Unplug electronics when not in use. Most electronics actually suck up energy even when powered off. Try switching-off your power strip, or completely unplugging electronic devices when not in use to save some energy.
- Opt for ceiling fans over air conditioners. Ceiling fans provide a great deal of cool-feeling air and use significantly less energy than air conditioners. If possible, consider flipping on the fan, or even investing in one in a room that gets a lot of use.
- Make conventional ice. Using an ice tray instead of an automatic ice maker reduces power and water waste.
- Use a dishwasher when there are a lot of dirty dishes. Sounds strange, but your dishwasher wastes less water than washing dishes by hand. But this only applies if you can really fill up your dishwasher; it’s a waste to use it for just a few things.
- Wash your hair less. Unless you get super-greasy, or are covered in pool chlorine/beach water, try skipping a hair wash or two. It’s actually better for your hair to skip washes (at least every other day), as it allows the natural sebum of your scalp to moisturize your scalp and hair, and it will significantly reduce the amount of water you use in the shower.
- Indulge in a bubble bath. Baths use much less water than showers do! Why not drop in one of our famous mondo bath bombs and take a luxurious bath? You’ll be saving tons of water, and moisturizing your skin…plus, who doesn’t love awesome bubbles?
- Vacuum less. Your vacuum uses a ton of energy! Try reducing your vacuuming to once per week, or you can annoy your family and vacuum between midnight to 8am (see tip #1).
- Stretch your bleach. Nothing really disinfects and sanitizes quite like bleach, and while this tip is not so much about energy efficiency as it is product efficiency, it’s still super useful. You don’t need to waste money buying expensive cleaners that have bleach in them, but buy conventional bleach and stretch it with water. You’ll get the same results for far less money, and you’ll be saving on plastic waste when you reuse your spray bottle.
- Switch to cost-efficient fluorescent lighting. Most light bulbs aren’t halogen anymore, but if they are, consider switching all of your lights to fluorescent bulbs which use much less energy. Or you can save on electricity all together and get some candles!
- Invest in a water filter. You can seriously reduce wasted plastic and money by switching away from plastic water bottles and just using a water filter. There are ones you can fill and stick in your refrigerator, or there are some you can attach to your sink.
Do you have an awesome energy efficient tip? We would love to hear it!