Every day, people share their easy tips for saving energy
- Katherine D. Rodriguez
If you are not ready to go off-grid, get good at building fires. (Hello, nomads!) You know that energy-saving tips should be more practical.
We’re lucky that, occasionally, someone comes up with a brilliant idea that can drastically reduce their electricity bill (without changing their life). We asked Australians to share their energy-saving tips and compiled them all together.
It’s free (and it works)
These are some of our favorite ways to save money on energy. These tips make it easy to be more energy-conscious or even more fun. Except for the push-ups. Push-ups could be more fun.
Set your heating and cooling to a timer
Set the thermostats to your preferred temperature a bit before you arrive home. You don’t have to put it on high-speed the moment you get home (and risk leaving it like that all night).
Create a shower timer with two songs
Sing your two favorite shower songs with all you’ve got. Then, the shower’s over. You’re responsible if you still have soap on your body. You should have known that the last reprise would be coming.
All the things at once, cook them all
You can use your oven to cook three things at once. You can save the time it would take you to heat up your oven if you cook them separately. You’ll also prepare all your meals and lunches for the week – perhaps you can try tip #4 now?
Try out a new activity to warm yourself up
One reader wrote that they and their partner danced ballroom every night to (in their wholesome words) “warm our home and our souls.” Why use a heater if you can dance salsa?
Heat or cool only the rooms that you are using
This is better than using energy to heat your entire house. We hope you feel proud of yourself if you have a studio.
Candlelit Date Night
Gather everyone around candlelight for dinner one night per week. To avoid cooking, one reader suggested that you could eat cheese for your entire dinner – which we would also recommend.
Reduce your heating or increase your cooling by 1 degree
You may not even notice the difference. If you can, set the temperature to a specific level. This will stop anyone from sneaking around your house. Leonard put on a sweater.
Instead of charging children board, make them pay for the bill
Is there anything more satisfying than having your child ask you if the heater is needed? Doubt that. Make your children pay for the electricity bills. This will encourage them to think about how they use energy and learn to conserve energy before moving out independently.
Save money by running appliances at night
It will be less expensive to run if they are at off-peak prices.
Use cold water to wash
Cold water is an excellent option if you have little dirt. It will clean well and save energy (as heating the water takes up almost all of the energy in a washing machine, according to CSIRO).
How to defrost foods naturally
Let frozen items thaw on a window sill instead of using the microwave. If you are the type of person who thinks about dinner as they eat breakfast, this is easy. You can also put a reminder on your fridge for everyone else.
Blocking the Hot Tap
One reader said they placed a cup onto the handle to make it more challenging. The simplicity of this idea blew us all away.
Trick your pets into using hot water bottles
You can use food and pats to lure your cat or cover yourself with catnip if it is not a community-oriented feline.
Create your warmth
Push-ups and sit-ups are also good for you. This person says it’s green and keeps him lean, so they’ll do it. Bravo, Hercules.
Read aloud to your children by torchlight
Imagine the fun of getting lost in a pretend adventure under the half-light from a camping torch.
Optimize your home for airflow
One reader created the ideal conditions for a constant end-to-end air flow in their home. Open and close windows and doors to see if a cool current can be created.
Read weather reports
You can use as many appliances as you want until you generate electricity.
One reader told me that they compare their energy bills to those of their neighbors, and the person with the highest usage at each quarter pays for everyone else’s dinner. Sometimes victory tastes sweet.
Vacuum your refrigerator coils
This tip is the least interesting but will help your refrigerator release heat more effectively.
Insulate hot water pipes
If it is cold outside, your hot water may lose some heat on the way to you. Give the pipes a jacket if possible.
Fill up your freezer
It doesn’t matter if you use ice blocks. Empty milk bottles are an excellent option. The ice blocks take up space so no hot air can enter (and your freezer will have to cool down). It also gives you something to hold on to when it’s extra hot and to dream of snow.
Keep blankets near in winter
The heater becomes less appealing if there is always one nearby.
Reflect sunlight into your room
You can use a mirror to reflect the sunlight into your room if it gets darker sooner than you would like.
Please do not start the dishwasher until it is full
Before you start, if this process usually takes several days, give everything a quick wash. This last step is more difficult when you have teenagers. Good luck.
Keep coffee warm in a thermos
You can avoid boiling the kettle repeatedly throughout the day by brewing a single batch of coffee or tea and storing it in a thermos.