Already switched to green energy but what to do now? There are so many tips out there to save energy and minimize your carbon footprint and yet all we hear about are the hard and frustrating climate change facts and other global issues that are largely up to big corporations and political leaders. But don’t despair – we gathered a list of tips and tricks for you that make it possible to really make an impact all by yourself!
You might already participate in the annual Earth Hour but much more important than this (symbolic) gesture is turning the lights off in your everyday life. Make it a habit to switch the light off every time you leave a room and ask yourself if you really need to turn the light on to begin with.
Bonus points for switching to energy saving LED lightbulbs! A modern LED lightbulb has a lot of advantages over your traditional bulb: It uses about 75% less electricity, has no mercury and lasts 25 times longer – so it’s not only good for planet Earth but also for your wallet.
Your lights are not the only thing our planet would like you to turn off: Pull the plug on your electronics. Literally.
Don’t leave your computer or TV on because you’ll be gone for “just a minute”. You might take longer than expected and not even need the device when you come back. Just leaving them on standby might seem practical but doesn’t even make much of a difference time-wise nowadays – but it does for our planet.
Did you know that idle electronics consume the annual power of 12 power plants in the US? We recommend investing in a power strip to stop that right now (with a single simple switch)!
We are used to not to care about our water consumption – we open the tap and there it is, drinking water to our heart’s content. Of course we all know by now that we should never just waste drinking water but another important point is to not waste HOT water.
If you are also guilty of not caring too much about how much water you put in the kettle to make your one cup of tea or always wash your hands in warm water even though you don’t really feel the need to, we urge you to watch your bad habits and make those small but important changes. It is also better for your health since hot or even warm water absorbs all kinds of contaminants from the pipes much easier than cold water does.
And your clothes don’t need the heat either: with modern washers and cold-water detergents you simply don’t need high temperatures anymore and since 90% of the energy used for a wash cycle is used for heating the water you should really consider to ditch that practice.
The washer is not the only machine that eats up lots and lots of energy to care for your clothing: Your dryer is a hungry monster that takes about 120 kg CO2 per year to be satisfied. We suggest putting it on a diet and hanging your clothes out to dry as much as possible instead.
Of course at some point you’ll reach a limit of saving energy with modifying only your habits (and this step might not be possible for you, but if you can): do not only improve your habits, improve your life(style).
Saving on energy for heating or cooling down your living space is never as easy as choosing a sustainable and energy-efficient build: installing good windows, smart technology and isolation to your walls, floors and basement will save you lots of money and energy over time. It’s worth it!