With most North American cities are facing a crisis and coupled with international borders being shut down, it’s more important than ever to stay safe and sane at home.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, many companies have opted for Work From Home policies for their staff and employees to practice social distancing and health and safety precautions.
With more people staying at home, Canadians have seen a spike in their energy use and bills. Elected officials and energy companies have already responded to the demand by slashing on-peak electricity rates but there are still some simple strategies we can do at home to help reduce our energy bills and carbon footprint.
Below are some energy-saving tips and tricks that everyone can do at home:
1. Programming and playing with the thermostat: Experiment with your thermostat settings to see how much energy is used every day. In warmer days, turn off your thermostat and open windows to cool off your home. For cooler days, adding layers to your clothes and dressing up in normal office wear can also help offset your heating bill.
2. Use your outdoor space and maximize natural light: If you are lucky enough to have a balcony, backyard or outdoor space at your home, then this one is for you. Some folks have converted their outdoor space as a place to have family meals, hang out with pets, and also by adding a table and chair outside to function as a work or homework space for the kids. By using natural light and being outdoors, this is also a healthy way to get fresh air and minimize electricity use at home.
3. Meal prepping and using energy efficient appliances: One energy-saving tip that folks can use in the kitchen is planning your meals. Instead of cooking every time you eat, meal prepping is a great way to cook everything at once and then storing each meal in the fridge for later use.
Being at home means more cooking and using the dishwasher often. Eating fresh and healthy meals like salads, sandwiches, and fruits do not require much electricity. Also using energy efficient appliances like a toaster oven or microwave over a conventional oven can help drastically cut your energy costs.
4. Using cold water versus hot water: When it comes to washing your hands, hot water isn’t needed to fend off bacteria and COVID-19. Several studies show that washing your hands in cold water is as effective as using hot water. Another tip is if your laundry machine has any eco or green settings, take advantage of this. Additionally, you can also change the water settings of your washer from hot to cold to help save costs and water waste.
5. Airdry clothes or sheets: Instead of using a dryer, hanging clothes to airdry will help cut energy being used and will help maintain your clothes using natural elements than harsh heat.
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