Thursday, August 14, 2008

Minimalist Living: Fifteen Ways I Have Saved Energy

1. By turning off the lights! Sounds simple, but when I really became conscious of it, I realized we left lights on all over the place. Outdoor lights left on during the day were a big offender.

2. I connected surge protectors to both our TVs and now turn them off there. This cuts down on standby energy drain. I do keep my DVR cable box plugged into the wall though because I record only what I want to watch and then watch it when I'm in the mood. This has cut down on my TV watching as well.

3. I plugged in my make up mirror, flat iron and blow dryer into a surge protector. This helped me because I turn them all off at once on the surge protector and I never leave one of them on by mistake any more.

4. Every time a light bulb goes, I replace it with a compact fluorescent bulb. I like to get the longest lasting bulbs possible because that means I won't have to deal with it for a long time. Our house has some tall ceilings and stairwells!

5. I installed floor to ceiling thermal curtains in the hottest parts of our home. They keep it cool in summer and warm in winter.

6. In the winter time when it's cold, instead of cranking up the heat, I fire up the stove and do some batch cooking. It warms up the whole house!

7. I placed umbrella tables on my front and back decks in front of large windows to block some of the sun as a tree would. They also provide shade for my cat and dog.

8. I set my Energy Star washer to the quickest setting - 35 minutes. Everything seems to come out just as clean as they do on a longer cycle.

9. I hang up a lot of the wash. I try to have a hang up load and then a dryer load. I don''t have a clothes line,  just a tension shower rod in my laundry room where I hang things on hangers. (It's mostly shirts and my fluffy skirts.)  Socks, towels and jeans always come out better tumbled I think. I also set throw rugs and comforters outside to dry.

10. The refrigerator is supposed to be the most energy thirsty appliance in a home. They run better when full, so I fill the freezer with bags of home made ice, bread and frozen homemade food. My husband does a pretty good job keeping the fridge filled up with beer! I also vacuum the coils regularly and try to have an awareness about not leaving it ajar!

11. We installed a programable thermostat and turn the air or heat off when we leave the house.

12. I alternate between sweeping and vacuuming the hardwood floors.

13. I bought a Voltair Solar Backpack and keep it on our super hot deck and charge our cell phones, iPods, and rechargable battery charger with solar energy.

14. I set our Energy Star dishwasher to the lowest setting - 35 minutes. The dishes still get clean and I don't have to wait around so long to put them away.

15. We moved into the city. This saves us gas because we walk a lot, and a lot of stove time because we hit every happy hour in our neighborhood!


Chief said...

Great tips...when you do drive, try hypermiling.

phoenix said...

some really cool tips. you can read my "Green page" and add some stuff there.. I'm always looking to see where I can save energy..

Eva White said...

Good tips and here is one more: use an electric car. really, ever since i got an electric vehicle, i simply don't notice any transportation costs. I especially love this solar assist truck and car that ZAP makes.