*Thank you to Direct Energy for sponsoring today’s post, and encouraging me to share tips for a smarter home!
Here are a few tips that I use to make my home an eco friendly home.
Unplug energy sucking devices when they are not in use. Common energy wasters include your computer, printer, DVD player, phone chargers. Unplug these electronics at night or when you are away from home. I am a stickler for unplugging unused electronics. I even extend this to the kitchen. The toaster, blender, food processor, all get unplugged when not in use in my kitchen. The microwave uses a lot of electric just sitting there in between uses, too. I no longer own a microwave, but for those that do, unplug it to save energy. I use power strips for electronic devices and turn off the strip at night. That’s convenient for computers, monitors, and printers or TV’s, dvd players, and video game consoles. The energy savings of turning off the power and the convenience of not having to plug everything in again.
Use cloth napkins, instead of paper napkins. I switched to cloth napkins many years ago. I still love using them. I even have special cloth napkins for cookouts! When my kids were little, I used wash clothes, (purchased just for this and kept separate from wash clothes used in the bathroom), as napkins. So much better to clean little hands and faces with. You will be surprised that using cloth napkins doesn’t create extra loads of laundry. I just throw them in with the towels, napkins take up very little room in the washing machine. And are a breeze to hang on the line.
Hang laundry, instead of using dryer. In fact, I don’t even own a dryer! That’s right, I hang laundry outside in all kinds of weather. I have several lines hung on my covered back porch, too. So there is a possibly of rain (or snow) later in the day, I will often hang my laundry on the porch so if it does rain, it won’t get wet. I also have two clothes drying racks that I use in the house on the days it is impossible to hang laundry outside. I put the drying racks over the floor heating vents in the winter so they dry faster. Notice the electric meter in the picture below? I love to look at it while I’m hanging laundry on the line and see the numbers not moving! I know I’m definitely saving money when I’m hanging my laundry on the line. I can see it with my own eyes!
Switch to energy efficient lighting options. We use CFL’s in many of our lighting fixtures. You may know them as “the curly bulbs”. lol They even make CFL’s for ceiling fan lights and hanging light fixtures that we use. You get the same energy savings as a CFL, yet the bulbs look like traditional bulbs. You can also use LED lighting options for energy savings. I haven’t tried any of these yet, but they are on my list to try.
Use glass instead of plastic. I use the glass jars that peanut butter comes in to store leftovers, freeze food, and to store dried foods in the cabinet. By using glass jars, including reusing the jars from store bought food items, I can avoid buying plastic freezer bags, and containers. You can see the peanut butter jar with beans in it in the picture below of my freezer door. Using glass jars for food storage is convenient, eco friendly, and saves money!
The next thing on my list to get for my eco friendly home is a programmable thermostat. We already keep our thermostat set low in the winter, 62*, and high in the summer, 72*, but a programmable thermostat would help us save even more energy. And that means a great savings on our electric bill! Since your youngest is a teenager now, we don’t have any little ones to worry about coming uncovered at night. I would love to be able to turn our thermostat down to 58* at night in the winter. I do not look forward to getting out of bed before everyone else, and face the chilly air, to turn the thermostat back up! Having a programmable thermostat would save me time, and money.
Some communities in the US can sign up for the Direct Energy Meridian Savings Plan. With this plan you get a competitively priced fixed energy charge, up to three Honeywell Smart Thermostats at no additional cost, plus a smartphone app that allows you to control your thermostat anytime, anywhere. A smartphone app for your thermostat would be super convenient, saving both time and money.
For more information about smart thermostats and Direct Energy, visit the Direct Energy Facebook Page
At Direct Energy, we are committed to helping our customers build a smarter home, and thus cut down on their energy usage – saving the customer time and money. Currently we’re offering the opportunity for anyone to learn more about creating a smarter home by visiting our Facebook page. For customers living in Alberta, Canada we offer the Comfort & Control Plan, and for those in Texas we offer the Meridian Savings Plan.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: This post is sponsored by Direct Energy. My opinions are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”