One of the things that I’ve been trying to read more about is simple ways that I can reduce the amount of energy that I use around my house. With all the talk of trying to become more environmentally aware, I wanted to make sure that I was “doing my part” in an effort to reduce my energy consumption.
Aside from the whole environmental aspect, I’ve also been noticing my energy bills start to get more and more expensive, so in addition to doing my good deed for the earth, I figured I’d also like to reduce my energy consumption in order to save some of my hard-earned money.
On that note, I’ve put together a quick list of three things that I’ve started doing that cost me next to nothing to implement, but have started to save a lot of energy and money:
- Use a clothes line instead of your clothes dryer. This is something that I just recently started doing on a “larger scale” in an attempt to try and save some money on my electric bill. Obviously, you’re not going to want to do this on a day when it might rain, or in an area where birds frequent (if you catch my drift), but if you can air dry your clothes on a nice sunny day, you should see a pretty nice drop in your electric bill.
- Bump up the thermostat by one degree in the summer and down one degree in the winter. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for feeling comfortable in my own home, so I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect people to set their thermostat to 80 degrees in the summer and 58 degrees in the winter. That being said, you’re probably not going to notice much of a difference if you adjust the temperature by a degree or two. If you have a programmable thermostat, this probably isn’t going to make too much of a difference, however, if you leave your thermostat set at a constant temperature 24 hours a day, adjusting by even just one degree will make a difference in the amount of energy you consume and the amount of money you spend.
- Take advantage of natural lighting. How many times have you been sitting in your home reading the paper or working on the computer with your window shades drawn and your desk lamp on, even though it was perfectly sunny? Instead of sitting there with your artificial (and energy-using) lights, why not take advantage of the free light provided by Mother Nature? In the debate between incandescent and CFL bulbs, I think sunlight will win every time!
While there are literally hundreds of ways that you can reduce your energy consumption, these three ways cost me less than $4 to implement (all the money went to a clothes line and clothes pins) and have probably saved me at least three or four times that in the couple of weeks that I’ve implemented them.
That’s not a bad return on investment, especially considering that while I’m saving money, I’m doing my part to save the environment!