Why is it that power companies decide to hike up their charges just when you’ve gotten used to the mammoth amount on your electric bill? Don’t fret; you can lower your energy consumption (and carbon emissions) just by making small changes in your habits and thinking big.
Here are a few family-friendly tips:
- Sleep together
If you really can’t take the tropical heat, lay out mattresses in the biggest room with air conditioning. This way the entire family can enjoy the cold without having to turn on more than one air conditioner or electric fan and letting it run the whole night. Do this for two nights a week and see the difference it makes.
- Don’t machine-dry
Take advantage of the summer-ish days that arrive every so often and do your laundry then. After the laundry has been washed and rinsed, stop the washing machine and wring the clothes out with your hands. Then lay them out on a clothesline outdoors so the sun can do the drying for you.
- Rethink your appliances
If you’re just beginning to build a home, it’s a great idea to look at the fine print on the appliances you’re choosing from. Most tags on refrigerators, for example, indicate how much energy the unit consumes. You can even purchase a fridge that has a glass door that can help you check what’s inside without wasting energy opening the door and leaving it open while you make your choice.
When looking for a computer, buy a laptop instead of a desktop since the former uses less power. Also look at the sizes of the appliances you’re choosing from. Will you buy a huge rice cooker for your household when a smaller one will do? Details like that make a difference.
- Re-roof your house
It will be expensive, but with the right thatching, your house can become noticeably cooler. This reduces your need for air conditioning.
While you’re at it, paint your rooms in light colors too. This has the same effect. You also could have more windows installed. Or for a simpler cool-down tip, stay downstairs where the temperature is lower. You could also get a wading pool and laze about in the water with your hubby.
- Load up on the washing and ironing
When using the washing machine, fill it with as many clothes as is reasonable. This way the water, soap, and energy usage are maximized. Same goes for ironing; a considerable amount of electricity is used to heat up the iron, so it’s wise to maximize that as well. Remove the plug when you’re at your last few pieces of clothing. The iron has enough heat to tidy the last few items out.
Make it a habit. Do it conscientiously before you head out or go to bed, and also after you use your appliances. Unbeknownst to some, switching off the television with the remote control doesn’t cut off its power usage. That little red standby light still drains energy that, while seemingly of a small amount, actually adds up bigger than you think.
- Look for something to do
Most of the things we do for fun today need plugs and sockets to be enjoyed. But that wasn’t the case when we were kids. If you have a family of your own, why don’t you introduce your tech-savvy kids to the park, the zoo, or even the condo pool? For more ideas, check out our list of 7 Family Bonding Activities at Home
Find more tips on saving electricity at Green Living Tips