There are many ways to decrease the environmental impact of your home but it can be difficult to know where to begin. Installing a Nest thermostat and signing up for Nest Renew1 are two steps you can take to minimize your impact. But, there are other small actions you can take that in aggregate will make a big difference.
Believe it or not, making small changes that you might not even notice to your daily home routine can help reduce the amount of energy used by your home. Some are obvious, others may surprise you!
Take shorter showers: Take shorter showers to conserve water. Cutting your shower times by just 30 seconds can add up and make a difference.
Check for obstructed vents: Check your air vents and make sure they aren't blocked by furniture or rugs. This can help your HVAC system run more efficiently.
Check TV settings: Check your TV settings and make sure it is energy efficient. Reducing the brightness, turning off the “instant-on” feature, and using a sleep timer or the power save mode can help save energy.
Fewer car trips: Take one less car trip per month. Try walking, biking or mass transit instead. Even one less car ride can help the planet.
Draw blinds to cool off: Try drawing the blinds or crack a window to help stay cool instead of turning on the A/C or the ceiling fan. Window coverings can help keep your home stay cooler.
Air dry some clothes: This reduces wear and tear on clothing and saves energy since dryers can be one of the biggest energy users in your home.
Unplug unused electronics: Home appliances can consume electricity even when they're switched off or powered down. To reduce the amount of energy these products use, make sure to unplug them when they aren't in use.
A few suggestions for what to unplug when you are done using it:
- Computers and their accessories (like monitors)
- Instant-on TVs
- Surround sound systems
- Cable or satellite TV boxes
- Household items with a clock
Many commonly used products now come in more sustainable versions. If you are looking to make a sustainable swap in the items you use, here are some suggestions:
Electric vehicles: Cars, bicycles, and scooters that run on battery power seem to grow more practical and powerful by the day. These vehicles do not rely on fossil fuels, and can be made even cleaner when charged with energy derived from carbon-free sources.
Reusable utensils: Avoid single use items like plastic utensils when eating takeout. Opt for more sustainable versions like the metal utensils you already have at home or compostable versions.
Reusable bottles & bags: Adopt reusable water bottles and shopping bags. This can help reduce the amount of plastic waste produced.
LED lights: Use LED lights instead of traditional light bulbs. LED lights use at least 75% less energy and last up to 25 times longer than incandescent lights.
Low-flow showerheads: Installing one of these helps reduce overall water use, especially hot water which requires energy use to heat.
Don't feel overwhelmed or pressured to make huge sweeping changes all at once. Remember that every change makes a difference and when each of us does a little it can really add up!
- 1 Nest Renew requires 3rd generation Nest Learning Thermostat, Nest Thermostat E, or the newest Nest Thermostat, connected to a Google account. (Sold separately.) Nest Renew available in select locations.