Before you leave for your summer vacation, make sure you’re following these ten energy saving tips:
1. Unplug before you go!
Even when they’re not turned “on,” entertainment devices can drain a lot of energy if they are left plugged in while you’re on vacation. In fact, TVs, DVDs and Blu-Ray, cable boxes, Wi-Fi and video game consoles consume 7% of the electricity used in the United States.
2. Opt for Public Transportation
While Uber and Lyft can sometimes carry 4-6 passengers, public transportation can transport 30-100+ people at a time depending on the type of transportation. Opting for the bus or train is an easy way to reduce your carbon footprint while you’re traveling and is often less expensive, and helps ease congestion on roadways.
3. Eat local
The best way to get a taste of the culture and food while you’re traveling is to eat local. Bringing a reusable tote bag or even carrying a few items in your hands from a farmer’s market is an easy way to cut down on plastic packaging and reduce your carbon footprint.
4. Turn Down Your Water Heater
Lowering your water heater temperature while you’re away is an easy way to save money and conserve energy. While many homes will have their water, heater set to 140°F, your home only needs to be set at 120°F, costing your family anywhere from $36 to $61 annually. Turn it down even lower while you’re on vacation to increase savings!
5. Turn Thermostat Up
Whether you’re using a traditional or programmable thermostat, turning it up will reduce energy consumption and your energy bills. In fact, you can save 10% on your heating and cooling costs by turning up your thermostat 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day. If you’re looking to save all summer, setting your thermostat to 78°F is recommended by the Department of Energy.
6. Use Blinds and Curtains
Stop excess heat from warming up your home’s internal temperature while you’re away by ensuring blinds are down, and curtains are closed. While you might not care what the temperature is while you’re traveling, the air conditioner will have to work harder when you’re back home to lower the temperature to your comfort level.
7. Adjust your pool filter settings to run less often
While you don’t want to come home to a dirty pool, shortening the pool filter schedule to run fewer hours a day, from 8-12 hours down to 6, will still keep it clean and ensure that you’re not unnecessarily consuming energy.
8. Reuse Towels and Sheets
Skipping laundry and simply reusing the towels and sheets provided by your accommodation conserves both water and energy for the hotel. Few people wash their own towels and sheets every night, so why not opt for the same while we’re on vacation?
9. Bring Your Own Toiletries
If you plan on checking a bag on your travels, packing your own toiletries is a simple way to reduce waste during your trip. While hotel-provided shampoos and conditioners are convenient, each one contains only a day, or two worth of product and billions of half-full bottles are thrown away each year.
10. Programmable lights/turn lights off
While we all know to turn off the lights when we leave on vacation, sometimes it’s easy to forget or run out in a hurry. For some people, you might even want to turn them on at night to deter suspicious activity. Besides changing out old lightbulbs in your home for new LED bulbs, a growing number of people are choosing smarter alternatives. These alternatives can help connect various smart home platforms so people can remotely control their homes while they’re away. This smart home connection not only helps reduce energy consumption, but it also helps make homes more efficient and allows more visibility to what is going on at home when we’re not there.