Think going green means you’ve got to buy a solar-powered tiny home and head into the woods? Think again! There are simple ways to improve your energy efficiency and be a little more eco-friendly without going off the grid.

Use a “smart” power strip.

Replace your outdated power strips with a smart version. Smart powerstrips can sense when your appliances are off and go into “phantom” mode. This means they don’t pump electricity to them when they’re not in use and save energy and money.

Wash your clothes in cold water.

Of all the energy used to machine-wash clothes, about 85% goes to heating the water. So switch to cold water whenever possible.

Match your pots and pans to the right burner.

When cooking on your stovetop, use a burner that is slightly smaller than your pot or pan. Cooking this way will keep you from wasting any energy from unused heat.

Don’t hand wash dishes.

Washing dishes by hand tends to use more water and energy than an energy-efficient dishwasher. Either upgrade to an energy efficient appliance or switch up how you hand wash dishes. Be mindful of how much hot water you use and only use it when needed.

Switch your lightbulbs.

Energy star certified light bulbs use approximately 70% to 90% less energy than conventional incandescent light bulbs. Plus they last about 15 times longer. So you’ll save energy and money.  

Weather strip your windows.

Properly sealing your windows and doors is important year round. Ensure your windows and doors are efficiently weather stripped and caulked and you could cut your energy usage by up to 25%.

Use an Energy Star approved washing machine.

Energy Star certified washing machines use about 25% less energy than typical models. This means you should see a dip on your energy bills. Plus, if you wash only full loads, you’ll save even more energy and money.

So, sure, you could go off the grid. But you can also do your part by making simple changes at home to become more energy efficient. It’s good for the environment and it’s good for your wallet.