Day-to-Day Living, Ways to Reduce Energy Consumption

Looking for ways to reduce your energy consumption but don’t know where to start? If you’re new to the energy saving world, it can be overwhelming to just pick it up. You might start by researching “ways to save energy.” Below is a list of topics you might come across:

Cooling
Heating
Lighting
Appliances
Water heating
Electronics
Windows
Roofing

Don’t get me wrong, these are all very important and worth considering, but if you are a beginner and want to really save energy in the long-haul, you might consider changing your day-to-day tasks and mindset first. Below, I discuss a few of these simple ways to reduce your energy consumption. I do dip into the list above here and there; however, my tasks focus more on the mental side of saving energy. In doing these tasks, you can begin to gain a better sense of what it means to live day-to-day without using so much energy. From there you can do more specific things (like insulating your windows) that will help you save energy. I came up with these ideas because they are all things I actively do day-to-day to reduce my energy consumption.

1. Waking up with the sun…

A somewhat easy task to complete daily (unless you have insomnia) is to make sure you wake up with the sun. This usually lends itself to going to sleep when the sun goes down. When you do this, you are able to complete work and other daily responsibilities in natural daylight. You can spend less time staying up late with the television, computer, and other unnecessary electronics and lights on.

2. Open your blinds…

I often notice that some people don’t bother opening up their blinds and instead turn on multiple lights in multiple rooms. Reconsider leaving your blinds closed. Take the time to open them in order to take advantage of the natural sunlight.

3. Open your windows…

So long as it’s decently nice outside, take the time to open your windows to get some natural ventilation. It’s a good alternative to using fans, the air conditioner, or the heater. Even if it’s a rainy day it can be a good idea to open the windows.

4. Pack your food…

Instead of buying a bag of chips on the go, pack a small snack for yourself to take with you. It’s a really easy task, it’s cheap, and it usually ends up costing a lot less that buying a $1.50 bag of chips each day. This task tends to encourage the packing of healthy snacks. When you are done with the bag you packed it in, consider keeping it for the week or a few weeks and reuse it! You could even try packing it in a reusable glass or plastic container.

5. Communal meals…

If you live with roommates or have neighbors, you might consider having communal meals once a week or maybe every day. You can save a lot of money, time, and energy when you cook together versus each person cooking independently. Even if you don’t have the time to sit down and eat together this can be a very positive chore. Besides, as you might know, when you cook alone for one or two people you tend to throw away more food. Roommates are usually easy to gather for communal meals. If you don’t live with family or roommates, it may seem silly to want to eat with neighbors. Nonetheless, it’s a really great idea that helps build a better sense of community in your neighborhood.

Doing all these day-to-day tasks can help you get in the mindset of saving energy. I would also suggest that these tasks help you gain a stronger appreciation for the natural environment. They can also instill a better sense of what it means to live in a cooperative community. Encourage your family and friends to try these day-to-day tasks. Try the list yourself for a week and if it alters your mindset, be the person that inspires others to try them as well.

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