Monitoring your energy consumption may seem like a chore, but it’s really an opportunity to give back ‒ not just to ourselves and our communities, but to future generations as well. Climate and sustainability are big issues, but that doesn’t mean they’re beyond our control. The choices we make have a huge impact. Even a small act like  flicking a light switch can save massive amounts of energy over time, leading to a healthier planet and a better tomorrow. 

National Energy Conservation Day is held every year on December 14. It began in India, as a way of encouraging responsible energy consumption. By celebrating it, we’re lowering carbon emissions, as well as showing our friends and neighbors how easy it is to improve the environment. The power’s in our hands!

So, what can you do to reduce waste and promote efficiency? 

Open Your Blinds in Winter

Take advantage of free light and heat from the sun. Rather than leaving your furniture in the middle of the room, move it next to a window instead. You won’t just save energy; you’ll be happier as well as sunlight boosts serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for our sense of well-being.

Wash Your Clothes in Cold Water

Setting your washing machine to “cold” cuts energy usage by 80-90 percent, without lessening your ability to fight stains. In fact, for some fabrics, cold water is actually better. Grass and blood stains set in with warm water, but not with cold. It also won’t shrink or fade your clothes.

Close Your Blinds in Summer

Blocking the sun lessens the strain on your air conditioner. It doesn’t have to work as hard to keep things cool. Rest comfortably at night by opening the windows again, to disperse whatever heat’s built up during the day.

Rinse Your Hands In Cold Water

Heating water takes a lot of energy, so the less you rely on it, the better off you’ll be. Most people rinse with hot water because they think it kills more germs, but that’s a misconception. Soap kills germs. Water just helps you lather. The temperature doesn’t matter.

Switch to LEDs

LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) last 50 times longer than conventional bulbs and use 1/10th the energy. They aren’t more expensive than conventional bulbs either. So the next time a light goes out, swap it with an LED. You’ll see savings almost immediately.

Turn Off Your Computer

Running your computer all day wastes energy, even if it’s left in standby mode. Turn it off at night and whenever you leave home. It saves electricity and is better for your hard drive.

Unplug Your Appliances

Many of the devices in your home draw power when not in use, such as: 

  1. Cable/Satellite Boxes
  2. DVR & DVD Players
  3. Video Game Consoles
  4. MP3 Players
  5. Smartphones
  6. Tablet Computers
  7. Coffee Makers

Together, devices like these are responsible for up to 20 percent of your energy consumption. Generally, anything with a large plug or charging brick will continue using power until they’re disconnected. Smart power strips are another solution. They automatically cut power to devices not in use.