After spending nearly 6-months in oppressed land, no dedicated electricity, and hardships beyond acceptable limits, we returned home determined to keep our habits of living without electricity and apply it to the consumer-driven lives here in America. Conservation goes FAR beyond saving dollars on the electricity bill, or saving the Earth; it’s about appreciating Allah’s creations (people & all living things) SO much that we don’t want to be wasteful in anything: our lives, time, money, and natural resources! Living simple & more green has to come from the core of wanting to worship and praise Allah subhana wa Ta’ala first and foremost. We’ll sustain together!
Jakob details some awesome ways for the entire family to start saving electricity right now, and every day forward!
10 Electricity-Saving Tips
If electricity was like water, it could be collected in buckets and used for various chores around the house, but anyone who pays the bills knows it’s not that simple. That’s why being more conscious about how we use power can help save significant dollars throughout the year. Doing so will also help the environment because the less electricity that needs to be generated by power plants, the less pollution they will spew into the air.
That being the case, there are two main things to keep in mind when trying to start cutting back on household electrical usage. One is to understand a bit more about what machines and devices around the household are energy vultures. The second is simply having a greater awareness of when to flip the switch and turn something off.
The following are a few tips that incorporate both ideas and can lead us towards better savings on home electrical usage.
- Lights: The standard incandescent bulb is slowly being faded out for better energy saving bulbs called compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). The difference is that CFLs produce less pollution when manufactured and can last hundreds, sometimes thousands of hours longer. If you’re still using an incandescent bulb, switching to CFLs makes sense. Otherwise, as most electricians will suggest, when it comes to lighting, timers and motion sensors are a smart way of cutting down on electrical usage. Utilizing natural sunlight during the day can be another positive factor.
- Small appliances: Believe it or not, many small appliances in your home like coffee makers, microwaves, and mixers still use low levels of voltage when attached to electricity but not in use. For this reason it’s important to unplug them whenever they are idle.
- Refrigerators: Refrigerators run 24/7 and attempt to keep food fresh with a constant temperature, yet every time the door opens and as long as it stays open, it loses degrees and must work hard to bring it back up to speed. To prevent extra energy usage, open the door as little as possible and for short moments. Replacing old appliances with newer energy saving ones will also contribute to better efficiency.
- Stove tops: If you use an electric stove top (even if you use gas), covering pots when boiling water speeds up the process. It’s also beneficial to keep in mind that depending on the situation, boiled water can often be immediately reused before it cools. For example, if you were steaming green beans, use that water for boiling eggs. It takes a little planning but will save some time and most of all energy.
- Laundry: Do full loads and line dry, or at least hang wet clothing on a drying rack inside your home.
- In the yard: Instead of using electric lawnmowers, weed whackers, and trimmers, try manual yard equipment. It may require a little extra push, but you’ll be saving in the bank. Also, pick up some solar powered lights for the yard and walkway.
- HVAC systems: Drafts are the bane of heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems because the loss or infiltration of air forces them to work harder upping the energy usage. Keep windows and doors closed as much as possible, try to only heat or cool rooms being used, and change or clean HVAC filters every few months for better efficiency. To make a further difference, dress accordingly in the summer and have extra blankets readily available in the winter. That way, you’ll touch the thermostat less frequently.
- Ceiling fans: If you have a choice between installing an HVAC system or ceiling fans, know that the latter uses little electricity, and when set in reverse, blows warm air down. Another simple way to achieve a more comfortable room temperature is utilizing the sun–letting more in when it’s cold and less in when it’s too hot.
- Computers: Computers not in use should be turned off or put to sleep for the night. To micromanage hard drives, monitors, and other related devices like printers in unison plug them all into one electrical strip that simultaneously turns power on and off.
- Voltage converters: If you have to use a converter, make sure it’s not left plugged in. Keeping it in the wall can increase energy usage.
Aren’t all of Jakob’s tips doable? What do you find hard, easy or fair? Do you do everything already as an All-Natural-Mama? If so, please share additional tips in the comments below as well.