Saving Energy by Getting Outside
Many of us have been cooped up at home for quite some time. If living in quarantine has made your electricity bill jump, here are a few simple measures you can take to lower your energy bill.
Power Down and Play Outside
We are living in the golden age of binge-worthy TV. But don’t fall into the trap of thinking entertainment has to come from a screen. Head outdoors! Bring back some of your childhood favorites like jump roping, Simon Says, hula hooping, kickball, hide and seek, baton twirling, Capture the Flag and fort building. Drag out the badminton, bocce, horseshoes and cornhole. Don’t spend money. Get creative and use whatever you have around the house to make these games your own!
Change Your Scenery
With everyone distance learning and teleworking from home, it can be easy to get stuck in a rut. Change it up and change your perspective! Turn off all the indoor lights and appliances and give your house a break. Find a shady spot and head outside to do your work or school lesson.
Eat, Drink and Be Merry Outdoors!
Take dinner outside and try cooking your entire meal on the grill and pair it with a cold glass of sun tea! Cooking outside prevents your kitchen from heating up, which can lead to your AC having to work harder to cool it down. Don’t have a grill? Pack a picnic basket with foods that don't need to be cooked or reheated. Make a night of it! Lay out a blanket and enjoy an unplugged, energy-saving evening.
How to make sun tea:
Put four to eight tea bags into a clean glass container (four teabags for a 2-quart container, eight tea bags for a gallon container). Fill with water and cap. Place outside where the sunlight can strike the container for about three to five hours. Move the container if necessary, to keep it in the sun.
Ditch Your Dryer – Have the Sun Help With Your Chores
A dryer can be a HUGE energy hog. If you have access to outdoor space and the forecast is sunny and dry, rig up a laundry line outside. Use rope or nylon cord to set up a simple clothesline. Secure your clothes to the line with clothespins or office binder clips. Hang colorful clothes in the shade so they don't fade and put white items in the sun to get naturally bleached. To hang up large items like towels and sheets, fold them in half over the line and pin each end.
Give Your Yard an Energy Makeover
Take some time to upgrade your outdoor space so it’s more energy efficient.
- Install outdoor solar lights. Solar-powered lights convert sunlight into usable energy. Giving you light without the energy use.
- Install timers and sensors on your lighting. Timers keep your lights off during the day and on at night – without you having to remember to flip the switch.
- Water your lawn in the morning. Better yet, install programmable sprinklers. You’ll use less water and it’s one less thing to remember to do!
Have A Backyard Campout!
Backyard camping doesn't require a ton of effort or fancy equipment. You don’t even need a tent! All you need is a place to sleep, some creative games and delicious snacks. Improvise and build your own fort or structure. Grab some marshmallows and flashlights and have a fun family campout in your own backyard. Just don’t forget to turn off all your indoor lights! (And your lawn sprinklers, unless you enjoy a soggy wake-up call.)
With a little creativity and a willingness to head outdoors, you can work off some excess energy and save money on your next energy bill.