Nowadays it seems difficult to do anything without contributing to the ecological footprint.
We are increasingly 'dependent' on electronic devices and on being online all the time, not to mention more basic needs such as using motorized means of transport, turning on the light, or having a refrigerator at home.
For all these reasons, it is increasingly important to think of efficient ways to save energy without compromising our lifestyle.
Try to implement alone or with your family, for the sake of the Planet and everyone's future.
1. Unplug your children
Create a rule for your children and make it a game, like 'Three days a week without screens'.
For instance, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, children should stay away from TVs, consoles and tablets
This will not only help the environment and save on your electricity bill, but also contribute to the discovery of new hobbies and habits, such as reading, playing board games, or simply engaging in family talk.
2. Use your pet as a hot water bag
Definitely an unconventional way of saving energy, but it works.
Come winter, instead of heating water for the hot water bag or using electric blankets, put your pet on your lap.
A dog's body temperature ranges from 38° C to 39° C, while a 10kg dog releases at least 69 BTU worth of energy just with its presence.
Considering that a small heater produces about 7,000 BTU/h, all you need is 102 dogs in your room to obtain the same effect!
3. Give your electric plugs a break
Socket timers are small, inexpensive, automatic devices that plug into sockets and enable you to set the time when they switch on and off.
You can install timers on devices that will be switched off for many hours and do not need to be on stand-by mode.
For instance, set your TV/Box socket timer to switch off from 1 am to 8 am
4. Make friends in your neighborhood: support local shops
If you're one of those people who go to three different supermarkets because potatoes are cheaper in one of them, the other one has the best bread, but the third one's meat is the best... think twice.
Fossil fuels are the least friendly to the environment and, unless you drive an electric car, all that driving is rather inefficient.
Choose the days when you will be in the hypermarkets area to do these purchases or, even better, opt for local grocery stores.
Whenever you walk or ride your bike to do your shopping, you are contributing to the health of the planet.
5. Dazzle the voyeurs: keep mirrors by the windows
Strategically positioning a large mirror next to a window will allow you to enjoy natural light much more efficiently.
Position the mirror so that sunlight hits it and reflects across the room.
This will brighten up the space until the sun goes down without having to turn on the lights.
In summer the sun sets around 9 pm, so this simple trick can make a big difference on your energy bill.
Moreover, with the sun hitting the mirror in the right position, it will ward off the gaze of curious neighbors.
6. Flood your fridge
By which we mean, of course, fill it up with water bottles... It may seem strange, but having the fridge always full prevents heat from sipping in and taking up empty spaces when you open the door.
Therefore, if you don't have enough food to fill it up, just stuff it with water bottles.
By preventing your fridge from using extra energy to offset incoming heat whenever you open the door, you will be improving its energy efficiency levels.
7. Be a prima donna: don't hand wash the dishes
If you're looking for an excuse to never wash another dish by hand again, you found it.
Consumer studies have shown that washing dishes by hand, or even rinsing them before putting them in the dishwasher, is a huge environmental waste - both of water and energy to heat it.
Therefore, scrape any leftover food (if necessary, use a newspaper strip) and put the dishes directly in the dishwasher.
Turn it on only when it's completely full.
8. Get some fresh air: hang your clothes out in the sun
This habit, which is very common in Europe and very environment-friendly, is the least popular way to save energy in the United States.
Most Americans prefer to use tumble dryers, but the consequences are quite negative: not only because of the electricity bill (and environmental costs), but also because clothes wear out faster, which means that you have to replace them more frequently.
Therefore, go European: use this inexhaustible clean energy source - the sun - to dry your clothes.
9. Be the boss in the kitchen: turn your oven into an ally
There are several ways to turn your oven into an ally in the fight against energy waste.
Avoid preheating whenever possible, and only use the oven for servings that justify it - for smaller dishes, opt for the microwave or mini-oven.
Turn it off 7 minutes before cooking is finished, as the heat is retained during this period.
Moreover, using the oven in the winter warms up the house without having to use any heating equipment.
The roast is done?
Turn off the oven and leave the door open to warm up the kitchen.
10. Discover the Inspector Gadget in you: invest in home automation systems
Setting your home equipment to work remotely or automatically sounds a bit futuristic, but there are several solutions that can make this easier.
EDP, for instance, created EDP re:dy - an app that gives you an overview of the equipment you have at home.
The app allows you to control your equipment wherever you are, record each appliance's consumption levels, and predict the cost of your next electricity bill so you can assess your savings in real time.
This solution is available in Portugal and Spain.