Guest post by Naomi Shaw
As more people begin to learn the many benefits of going green, there has been an increase in consumers who want to start making more energy efficient choices. But, sometimes it can seem overwhelming—as if you have to give up everything you love or completely change your lifestyle in order to be more eco-friendly. Luckily, that’s not the case, and you can make it seem more manageable by using home energy checklists.
How can checklists help you save energy?
Creating checklists will break down the larger task of becoming more energy efficient into smaller, more manageable pieces. Instead of thinking of the big picture of saving energy, you can think of it in different segments, such as powering down appliances, making repairs around the house, and adding insulation. When you’re able to view it this way, it doesn’t seem as overwhelming, and you become more willing to take on the challenge.
Making a checklist also holds you accountable. The benefits of becoming energy efficient are not immediate. You will begin to see savings on your utility bills at the end of the month, and you may never directly see how you are helping the environment by going green. Because of this, it’s easy to stop and think “why am I doing this?” when you become frustrated. But, a checklist broken down into to-dos for today, the week and the month hold you accountable for getting certain things done in a specified time period.
It may be helpful to use a checklist app, like Wunderlist or Google Keep, to track your progress. Set reminders on your phone to complete the different items on the checklist so you can’t keep pushing it off until the next day.
What should you include on your checklist?
Of course, the exact items you include on your checklist will vary depending on your energy needs. However, there are some basic items that should be included on everyone’s list.
Start small on the “today” list with these activities:
- Turn down the temperature on your hot water heater.
- While you’re out there, look to see if your hot water heater already has an insulation blanket. If it doesn’t, add this to your “this week” list.
- Unplug any devices that are not in use. If you already have a power strip laying around the house, plug as many devices as possible into it so you can easily turn everything off at once.
Then, set bigger goals for your weekly checklist:
- Take a trip to your local hardware store to buy items for your home such as energy efficient light bulbs, low flow showerheads, and caulking material to seal cracks around your doors and windows.
- Clean your air filters and set a reminder on your phone to clean them again at the same time next month.
- Install a programmable thermostat to help you control your home’s temperature and reduce wasted energy.
As you can see, saving energy doesn’t have to be time consuming or stressful, so there’s no reason why everyone shouldn’t start living a more energy efficient lifestyle!