Make Earth Hour a Part of Everyday Life
Tips to cut energy costs and go green at the same time.
On Saturday 24 March 2018 at 8:30 p.m. local time, millions of people around the globe showed their commitment to a sustainable future and planet by ‘switching’ off.
To help you become more conscious about your energy consumption, we’ve put together a handy list of tips to help you reduce your footprint, not just for an hour each year but for everyday life.
If you feel like you’re being zapped by high costs when it comes to your energy consumption, or are looking for a way to go green, try some of these tips and tricks.
1. Seal up the house
If your home has air leaks, you could be costing yourself hundreds of dollars in added heating and cooling expenses. If air is seeping out of your home, your air-conditioner will need to work harder. Luckily, it’s easy enough and fairly cost effective to fix with caulk or weather-stripping. Be sure to check windows and doors, and around pipes as well as insulation – they can be the main culprits for leaks. To confirm a leak you can place a lit candle nearby – if the flame wavers, there’s definitely air flow.
2. Wash your clothes with cold water
Washing your laundry in cold water can save on your power bill as your machine is not using extra power to heat water. Where possible adjust your washing-machine setting to ensure you’re running a cold-water wash.
3. Turn off appliances at the power point
Obviously, this is one for appliances you don’t use often or that don’t need to continuously be running, like the fridge. Idle appliances switched in at the power point or in standby mode they are still sucking up power even if you’re not using them. Things like the kettle, toaster, TV or your laptop, for instance, do not need to be plugged in all the time. A simple flick of the switch can end up saving you hundreds.
4. Seal your refrigerator
Your fridge is a power hog. It’s one of the appliances that runs 24/7, 365 days a year. If it’s not sealed properly you run the risk of making it work double time. Check that the rubber around the door isn’t warped or torn. If it is, it’s time to call in a professional to reseal it.
5. Clean your air-conditioning filter regularly
A dirty filter will restrict air-flow, causing the A/C system to run longer, which in turn uses more energy. Setting a recurring reminder to change your filters will help the A/C system run more efficiently.
6. Turn off lights or switch to energy saving bulbs
It’s common sense but many people forget to turn off lights when they leave a room. If you’re not in a room, there is no need for the light to be on. Being diligent about turning off the lights can make a difference to you power bill. Alternatively, if you’re watching TV at night and don’t need the entire room lit up, try using lamps to provide a dim light. Of course, don’t forget there are energy efficient light bulbs available these days. If you’re using normal lightbulbs, you may want to consider switching.
7. Get a water saving showerhead
Your shower head is one of the biggest water guzzlers in the house. If you’re using an old showerhead, you could be putting money down the drain. Installing an efficient showerhead can save you up to 19 litres of water a minute. Not only will you be saving water, but also money.
8. Install a rainwater tank
In Australia, particularly in summer, our gardens require a substantial amount of water to keep them looking their best. But this can cause a serious spike in your water consumption. If you’ve got the room in your yard, why not consider installing a rainwater tank. That way, you can keep your lawn lush without putting a dent in your wallet.