We all want to live a greener, more sustainable lifestyle and save on energy all year, but Earth Day is a great reminder to help us make progress in reducing our carbon footprint.
Earth Day began in 1970 as a movement to raise awareness and encourage action against climate change and is now a global effort involving a billion people across 190 countries. Although it might look a little different this year, with many people working and learning remotely and spending more time at home, it’s still possible to participate in this important day.
If you’re looking for small but meaningful ways to take part this year, check out these eco-conscious tips that can help make life a little easier, save energy and money, and contribute to a healthier environment.
1.) Upgrade everyday habits.
There are plenty of things we can do daily to help decrease our carbon footprint over time. Making some simple tweaks to everyday habits can have a major impact on the environment. For example:
- Hang your clothes outside to dry during warmer months.
- Use natural light to your advantage by choosing window treatments that maximize light while reducing heat loss or gain.
- Make sure everyone in the family keeps the refrigerator closed when it’s not in use.
- Manage the power settings on your computer and monitor to save from $10 to $100 in annual electricity costs per computer.
- Wash your clothes in cold water. Since about 80% to 85% of the energy used for washing clothes is for heating the water, washing in cold water can cut energy use in half.
2.) Catch up on home maintenance.
Spring is the perfect time to get caught up on simple, low- or no-cost projects that can make your home more energy efficient throughout the year. Check to see if doors and windows need caulking or weatherstripping, seal leaks in your duct system, fix leaky faucets and clean the area around the outdoor components of your HVAC system.
It’s also a smart idea to change your air filter, which can improve indoor air quality and lower your energy consumption costs by 5 to 15%.* At ecobee, we’ve made it easier than ever to access fresh air filters safely from home with free shipping right to your door. You can also set reminders within the ecobee app to let you know when it’s time to change your furnace filter or schedule HVAC service.
3.) Renovate for energy efficiency.
Many of us are seizing the opportunity to make home improvements during the pandemic, so why not invest in upgrades that also help the planet? You can modernize your home with ENERGY STAR®-certified kitchen and laundry appliances, ceiling fans, toilets and doors. Even just replacing five of your home’s most frequently used light bulbs with certified bulbs could save you $75 a year on energy costs.
The typical household spends about $1,900 a year on utility costs. With ENERGY STAR, you can save 24% or about $450 on those energy bills.
These simple changes can make a big difference to the environment and your wallet. For example, simply replacing old windows with ENERGY STAR-certified windows lowers household energy bills by an average of 12%.
The average household spends about $1,900 per year on energy. Dan Cronin, a consumer energy saving expert at ENERGY STAR, says that outfitting your home with ENERGY STAR-certified products will lower your annual energy bill by 24%. That’s $450 a year back in your pocket, money that can help defray the cost of a renovation.
“Every ENERGY STAR product is independently certified before earning the label, so you know each one will save energy and help protect the environment,” said Cronin.
Did you know that local utilities often provide rebates or incentives to complete energy-efficient upgrades to your home? Be sure to visit your utility’s website to see if there are any rebates available for the upgrades you are completing.
4.) Make planet positive shopping choices.
Whether you’re shopping for food or household items, lean towards eco-friendly products. Try incorporating more plant-based meals into your diet to lower your meat consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. You can also use less plastic by choosing reusable water bottles, metal or paper straws and biodegradable cutlery.
5.) Commit to reducing electricity at home.
Did you know that more than half of all household energy use goes towards heating and cooling? Fortunately, you can rely on an ecobee smart thermostat to help enhance comfort and increase energy efficiency. Advanced smart thermostats also learn and adapt to your routine and temperature preferences to maximize comfort when you’re home and save energy when you’re away.
eco+, our built-in thermostat optimization software, makes saving even easier with intelligent features that take advantage of off-peak electricity periods to cool and heat your home when rates are lowest. A recent study shows that customers who use eco+ save 5% more on their heating and cooling costs.1 That’s in addition to the up to 23% in energy savings that all ecobee thermostat owners enjoy.2 Simply set up the ecobee app with your routine and comfort level to start saving automatically.
How ecobee is participating in Earth Day
As a planet positive company, our team at ecobee is always working to develop smart home solutions that enable eco-friendly actions. So far, ecobee smart thermostats have delivered 17.6 TWh of energy savings. That’s the annual equivalent of taking over 2.7 million cars off the road for a year or charging 1.5 trillion smartphones.
ecobee is also proud to be named a 2021 ENERGY STAR partner of the year and is committed to continuously innovating our products to help families improve everyday life while creating a more sustainable world.
Join ecobee and ENERGY STAR on April 22 to celebrate a commitment to a healthier planet this Earth Day.
Here’s how you can get involved:
- Follow @ENERGYSTAR on Twitter and look for the 2021 Earth Day video. Engage with and share the video along with a post of your climate-protection commitments with the hashtag #EnergyChoicesCount.
- Invite your colleagues to take the ENERGY STAR climate pledge and share your own Earth Day celebratory message.
* Per U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
1 Compared to a hold of 72°F/22°C.
2 Based on a study conducted by a third-party expert during summer 2020 across the US and Canada. Savings vary by season, climate zone and rate structure.