Energy Saving Tips for Beyond Earth Hour
Earth Hour takes place on March 19, 8:30-9:30 pm so grab your candles, your family, a good book or board game and spend an hour of quality time while doing something good for the environment!
Thinking beyond Earth Hour there are many things we can do to reduce our energy consumption all year round and here are just a few we found.
- Plant a tree to shade your house from direct sunlight. Trees near buildings reduce air-conditioning needs by a third and save up to half the energy used for heating.
- The next time you need to replace your roof or shingles, choose a lighter colour so that it reflects more of the sun’s rays so your home stays cooler during the hot summer days.
- Set up a charging station for gadgets like tablets, phones and music players — plug everything into a power bar and turn it on only when you need to charge something.
- Switch to compact fluorescent (CFL) or LED light bulbs. They’re 75 percent more efficient than conventional bulbs.
- Insulate everywhere — the roof, floors, walls, basements. It’ll keep you cool in the summer and toastier in the cold seasons.
- Choose Energy Star appliances — they’re way more efficient than their ancestors. A new refrigerator, for example, uses 40 percent less energy than a model produced before 1993.
- Check walls, doors and windows for drafts and seal them up — up to 40 percent of heat loss is from these areas.
- Any plugged-in electronic gizmos (think microwave, electric toothbrush, laptop, clock radio, game console) suck energy when they aren’t being used. This is called phantom electricity and can cost up to 10 percent of your bill. So if you’re not using them, unplug them.
- If you’re buying a home, be sure it meets R-2000 standards (which means it will use two-thirds of the energy of a conventional home). R-2000 costs a little more up-front, but in the long run, the design saves money on utility bills and boosts resale value.
- Go for a walk instead of watching TV or booting up your computer. It’ll do you and the whole planet a lot of good!