Make Energy Efficiency a
New Year’s Resolution
What do you want to accomplish in the coming year? Whether your goals focus on self-improvement or altruism, energy efficiency is a great goal worth considering. Focusing on ways to improve energy efficiency in your home can benefit you by saving you money, but it’s also beneficial for each and every person living on the planet. There are a lot of different ways to approach this kind of goal. Whether you do something as simple as changing out your light bulbs for efficient CFL or LED options or focus on a fully eco-friendly range of products, make this year your most energy efficient yet!
Electricity seems like a given in the modern world. Plug into an outlet and you’ll get the juice you need to charge your phone, power your hairdryer and illuminate your home. Every bit of electric power you draw is generated somewhere, and that’s where energy efficiency comes in. Even if your local area uses green power technology to provide electricity, being more efficient can mean more money in your wallet after you pay your bill. Start your energy-efficiency resolution off with baby steps like turning off lights when you leave a room and unplugging electronics when they’re not in use.
Composting is an eco-friendly way to generate organic fertilizer for your garden. Even if you don’t have a large collection of plants to take care of, composting can be a good step to take in your energy-efficient mission. When you compost food scraps, newspapers and other biodegradable organic matter rather than throwing it in the trash or even recycling it, you’re reducing the amount of energy needed to process and transport waste. Letting these organic items break down in your back yard means the trash company doesn’t need to haul it away, and their trucks in turn don’t put out as much exhaust or consume as much fuel.
Give Your Car a Break
Consider extending your energy-efficiency resolution to include fuel efficiency by cutting down on how much you drive. You might not be able to skip your morning commute, and that’s totally fine. Can you walk the kids to the bus stop instead of driving them? Can you bike to the grocery store to pick up a few items? When you reduce fuel consumption by walking or biking instead of driving, you can improve your own personal health and fitness too. Start with small changes. Try to leave your car at home and bike or walk to work a few days a week or even just a couple of times a month. You might end up really enjoying that peaceful outdoor time every day!
If you’re making a new furniture purchase in the coming year, keep your resolution going by focusing on eco-friendly furniture options. What is eco-friendly furniture? It’s simple: furniture that’s made using sustainable materials and processes. From wood furniture made from FSC-certified lumber to upholstered sofas covered in soft, healthy organic cotton fabric, eco-friendly furniture uses earth-focused materials instead of standard components sourced and manufactured without a focus on the environment.
Eco-friendly furniture supports your energy-efficiency resolution before it even reaches your home. That’s because many eco-friendly furniture materials are manufactured with a focus on energy and resource efficiency in mind. Consider reclaimed wood furniture, for example. Reclaimed wood is a type of lumber that’s taken from its original form and repurposed into something new. A beautiful antique barn can get torn down and, instead of having that wood go to a landfill or burning it, it gets converted into a range of bedroom furniture. The reclaiming process does use energy, of course, but not nearly as much as it takes to grow, harvest and process a living tree.
Even More Ways to Save
Once you get in the habit of thinking about energy efficiency in your home life, it becomes second nature to consider the most eco-friendly way to approach everyday tasks. You might opt to use stoneware plates rather than disposable ones for your next backyard barbecue. If you start a compost pile, you have a good incentive to try to grow your own vegetables rather than using energy to drive to a store and buy them. But you don’t have to make radical changes to meet your goal and make a difference. Think in terms of small steps first, and be sure to give yourself credit for making progress at each.