Ways to save energy at home during the holidays
The holidays are awesome. But like quirky relatives, they can also be a bit, well, energy-draining. While we can’t help you knit 57 scarves or deal with your in-laws, we can help you save some energy at home. Here are just a few ways.
The holidays were made for great eats which means you can expect a lot of cooking and baking. If you’re looking to reduce your energy consumption, your kitchen can be a good place to start.
Consider baking in bigger batches. This can actually help you use your oven more efficiently, since you’re only heating it up once. So invite your pals over for a baking party one weekend. Also avoid using foil to line dishes going in the oven. It stops heat from moving freely, which actually makes your food cook less efficiently. Try a non-stick cooking spray instead.
If you want to save even more of your energy, try no-bake recipes. From chocolate truffles to no-bake cheesecake, there are plenty of impressive sweet treats that don’t require any oven time.
Cooking on the stove? Remember to match your pot size to the heating element and lid to cook your food faster and more efficiently.
Your oven is likely full with your turkey and all the trimmings! For any dishes that need to be warmed before serving, use the microwave. Not only is it more energy-efficient, it also ensures you don’t keep opening the oven, letting the heat out!
If you’re still using decorative lights from the ’80s, it’s time for an upgrade. Even if you’re the type to go a little overboard with lights, you can still save by switching to LEDs. Look for LED outdoor lights, which use 75 per cent less energy than non-LEDs (plus, they’re prettier).
You can also use smart lighting to decorate. Smart bulbs let you change their colours with your smartphone and can help create any desired ambience. As a bonus, you’ll save energy by using them all year.
Let a smart thermostat do the work
Visiting everybody and their grandmother over the holidays? It’s time to finally embrace a smart thermostat. It’ll learn your schedule to make adjustments when you’re not around, so you can save more energy while you’re on the road.
Plus, if you’re entertaining your relatives and can feel the temperature rising, your smart thermostat will know it too, so you can make sure the only thing that’s roasting is the turkey.
Look for ENERGY STAR® products
The holidays are about family, of course, but they can also be about shopping for gifts (and prepping for big Boxing Day sales)! If you’re planning to upgrade your appliances or electronics, remember to look for ENERGY STAR®-certified products. An ENERGY STAR® TV, for instance, uses 27 per cent less energy than one that’s not certified.
Remember to unplug
This time of year is about relaxing and spending time with loved ones. Getting everyone together in one room can help you save energy all over the house, if you remember to turn off lights and unplug electronics you’re not using.
After all, the holidays really are about relaxing using as little energy as possible.