In the United States, people love their big houses. Many tend to fill them with all kinds of gadgets and appliances that run on electricity, which sucks up a lot of energy. In fact, according to the World Bank, American households are some of the biggest consumers of power in the world.
That’s not only bad for the environment but also your wallet. The average U.S. household spends $2,000 per year on energy bills, which is only going up as the cost of electricity rises. It’s also estimated that different households in the United States emit over five gigatons of carbon dioxide annually.
So what can you do to have a more sustainable (and cheaper) household? Here are five steps:
Get an Energy Audit
The very first thing you should do is gain the necessary knowledge about your energy consumption by getting an energy audit. It will give you a detailed report on how much energy your household uses and where you can make changes to be more efficient. Many electric companies offer this service for free or for a small fee.
Once you have your energy audit, start considering ways to reduce your energy consumption. One known method is to start making some simple swaps.
Make Some Simple Swaps
After your report, start making simple swaps to reduce your energy consumption. For example, switch to LED bulbs if you’re still using old incandescent light bulbs – they use 75% less energy. Also, consider upgrading to a more efficient model if you have an older refrigerator. You can also unplug appliances when you’re not using them, saving you up to 10% on your energy bill.
These swaps are crucial in reducing your electrical bills. Moreover, the less excess electrical energy you use, the more you can reduce carbon emissions. You don’t necessarily have to move to renewable energy directly. These swaps are an excellent option if you don’t have the money for renewable energy directly.
Reduce Standby Power
Standby power, more commonly known as vampire power, is appliances’ electricity when turned off but still plugged in. Even when your devices are turned off, they pull power from the outlet. This wasted electricity can add up to 10% to your energy bill each year.
Start by unplugging any device when you’re not using it to reduce standby power, especially if it has a power adapter. If you have multiple devices, consider using a power strip so you can easily switch them all off when you’re done using them.
You should also avoid leaving your devices on standby mode. Standby mode still uses electricity, even though it’s not as much if you turn the device on. If you’re not using a device, turn it off completely.
Additionally, you’ll have to get any broken home appliances fixed immediately. Damaged appliances can emit a lot of standby power and can also be dangerous in your household. A home appliance repair service can ensure that your broken home appliances are repaired immediately. They can also check any devices causing a spike in your energy consumption.
Reduce Your Digital Pollution
The internet is one of the most significant users of energy. For example, a single person can contribute about 136 kilograms (286 pounds) of CO2 by getting multiple e-mails. That might not seem like a lot, but when you consider that there are over 4 billion internet users worldwide, it starts to add up.
You can reduce your digital pollution by being more mindful of the content you consume and share online. When you’re browsing the internet, only click on links that are relevant to you. When you’re done with an article or video, close the tab or window instead of leaving it open in the background.
If you’re sharing content, make sure it’s high-quality and informative. Don’t add to the noise – only share things that will add value to the conversation.
You can also reduce your digital pollution by using energy-efficient devices. For example, if you’re using a laptop, make sure it’s plugged in when you’re using it and unplugged when you’re not. This is because laptops use more energy when running on battery power.
You can also reduce your digital pollution by reducing your time spent online. Instead, take some time offline to disconnect from the digital world and reconnect with the real world.
Making your household sustainable doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Start by getting an energy audit and creating simple swaps to reduce energy consumption. You can also reduce standby power and digital pollution to reduce your carbon footprint further. Implement these five steps, and you’ll be on your way to a sustainable (and cheaper) household.