How to Reduce Energy Consumption and Lower Your Carbon Footprint

With the events that unfolded in the past year, we all came to see just how bad things can get when an energy crisis emerges, and many have embraced the fact that energy conservation and environmental sustainability are the only way to move forward.

As individuals, we all consume energy in our day-to-day lives, and our homes are much more wasteful than you’d imagine, ranging from all the lights we leave on for days to the many faulty heating/cooling systems in American homes.

A faulty temperature regulation system implies that it’s using much more energy to achieve a desired temperature, and you’re going to see that on your utility bill sooner or later.

However, there’s a lot more to it, as high energy consumption also means a bigger carbon footprint, and for those of us that are looking to save mother nature, that’s a major issue.

Increase efficiency

While all your appliances may be functional, the same can’t be said about their efficiency, as most devices tend to deteriorate with years of extended use.

On top of this, some appliances weren’t energy efficient from the start, and no matter how much you’ve grown attached to them, it may be time to throw out that old dishwasher.

In order to identify which appliances are more suitable for your newly energy-conscious home, look for the Energy Star label on the front when browsing your local store, as this indicates that it meets very strict efficiency criteria.

You’ll find this label on just about anything, from refrigerators to ACs and washing machines, and even if they don’t work on the same principle, all devices have certain criteria that make them efficient or not.

At first, this may seem like a waste of money, especially if all your appliances are working just fine, but in the long run, making the change could save you hundreds of dollars every year.

Utilize natural light more

This one doesn’t apply to everyone, as living in an apartment means there’s little you can do about the room arrangement or the amount of natural lighting your home gets.

On the other hand, homeowners should be worrying about this from the early stages, regardless of whether they’re buying a home or building it for themselves.

Making sure that every room gets enough sunlight is crucial when it comes to lowering your energy consumption, especially during spring or summer, as those two seasons have the greatest amount of daylight hours in a year.

In fact, natural light is much healthier than resorting to artificial lighting sources, as it provides us with Vitamin D, which is crucial for growth and overall body health.

If you can’t afford the luxury of natural light, look for other solutions, one of which are LED and CFL lightbulbs, which are far more energy efficient than your standard bulb that’s been around for over 100 years.

Unplug your electronics

It’s not uncommon for your TV and other devices to be plugged in all the time, as the hassle of having to plug them in every day just doesn’t feel worth it.

In fact, most people aren’t even aware that the little light on their TV is enough to substantially increase their energy bill in the long run.

This phenomenon of electronics drawing power even when they’re not turned on is often referred to as standby power, meaning that every single device in your home that is connected to the electrical grid is constantly wasting energy.

With the theme being energy efficiency and lower energy consumption, this one’s a no-brainer, and every time you notice one of your appliances is plugged in without being used, take that extra minute to prevent it from contributing to your monthly electrical bill.

Be conscious of your laundry habits

Usually, the laundry we do isn’t dirty enough to warrant the use of hot water, and the majority of stains can be washed out with a simple rinse.

That being said, most families in the US just use the standard program on their washing machines, resulting in a lot of wasted energy that could’ve been utilized elsewhere.

Heating water accounts for the majority of the energy used in the washing process, and you’ll be surprised to see just how much you’ve saved after only a month of implementing this habit.

Apart from this, you could also make sure to only run full loads, as it’ll save you both water and energy, just make sure not to mix your colored clothes with the whites, as it could ruin an entire batch.

Final word

Being energy efficient is much easier than it looks, and most of the time, it just means incorporating a few good habits in your daily chores.

Of course, bigger projects can make much more of a difference, but if you’re working with a tight budget, even plugging out your appliances every so often will do the trick.