Simple Steps – Turn Off Your Lights

Lamp

It’s a new month (already!) and it’s time for another step in the Simple Steps Series.  So far we’ve tackled reducing our water usage and changing our hand soap.

Winter is fast approaching and we have been resisting the urge to turn on our heat even when we wake up in the morning to a 60 degree house.  We made it all through September and October without turning on our furnace (and I was hoping to make it without turning on our AC either, but we did have to use it a few times in late September where Indian Summer brought us some 80 degree days – not that I’m complaining!)

With the realization that our gas bill will be increasing over the next few months, I’ve been trying  to find ways to reduce our energy use in other areas of the house.

This month’s Simple Step is to Save Energy by Turning Off Your Lights

During the day, when you have a moment to spare (like that happens all that often!) take a second to just walk around the house and make sure the lights are all turned off in rooms that you are not using.

I’ve been trying to do this about every hour or so, or whenever I think of it – just making sure as I’ve moved from room to room, that I remembered to turn the lights off behind myself. I’ve been surprised on more than one occasion to see that I had left lights on, when I really thought that I was pretty good about turning off lights. It’s been eye opening for me to see just how often I leave the lights on without realizing it.

So, take a simple step this week to stop during the day and check to make sure you’re lights are turned off in rooms that you don’t need them.  Pretty soon it will be habit to just turn off the lights in a room that you’re leaving and won’t be needing the lights for a while.  You’ll save energy, and money too, when you make it a point to turn your lights off.

Also, open your curtains and blinds to take advantage of the natural light coming into your house.

In rooms that you are using and need to be able to see what you’re doing (or see your what your littles are doing!), instead of using the energy needed for lights and lamps, why not use the sun to brighten your home? I have to say that this is one of the reasons that I love our current house.  It’s an older home, so it has windows on all four sides, letting in natural light from all directions. So open up your curtains or blinds and let the sunlight light up your home.  Letting the sun shine in can also helps to warm up your house, reducing the need to turn up your heat.

Now in the wintertime, opening your curtains and blinds also has some disadvantages if you have older windows, like us, that seem to blow cold air into your house, even when they’re closed.  So, over the course of the next month or two, we’ll be talking about different ways to winterize our homes and help to conserve energy in that way too.

energy saving lightbulb Photo by liz west

One more step…

If you want to take one more step beyond just turning off your lights – or maybe you’re already a champ at keeping the lights off in rooms that you’re not using – consider making the switch to CFL bulbs.  As light bulbs in our home have burned out over the past year and a half that we have lived here, we’ve been replacing them with CFLs. CFLs use up to 75% percent less energy and can last up to 10 times longer than the traditional incandescent light bulb.  If we all replaced just one bulb with a CFL, we could save enough energy to light 3 million homes for a year, and the equivalent of saving the greenhouse gases of 800,000 cars from being released.[1]

I bought a bunch of CFLs on sale with a coupon before we moved here, and the amazing thing is that we still have a couple of unopened packages.  I think we’ve maybe changed one or two of the CFL bulbs that we put in when first moved in – from rooms that we use, and have the lights on, often.  But, we are definitely changing fewer lightbulbs overall, than we did in our old house where we didn’t use CFLs.

And just a few more things…

The winner of the Adi & Ellie Designs Giveaway is… suzannah {so much shouting, so much laughter}! Congrats! I’ll send you an email shortly!

Also, Lauren from Adi & Ellie Designs has offered a deal on her chain scarves for Live Renewed readers, order 3 scarves and receive them for $39 instead of $45, with the code three4me! Just contact Lauren through her etsy store with the code, and she will set you up a custom listing for your chain scarves! This is a great deal, and a great way to get a scarf for yourself and a couple as gifts for Christmas, or just three for yourself!  And if you weren’t the lucky winner this time, definitely consider ordering your favorite hat for the little cutie in your life – they make great gifts!

Also, don’t forget the great book sale going on over at Keeper of the Home through tonight! Be sure to stop by and pick up a copy of Real Food on a Real Budget for 50% off! I can pretty much guarantee that it will help you save the $10 that you spend on the book, in the first month that you put the ideas and tips into practice!

So, how do you save energy around your home?  Do you consciously turn off lights when you leave a room? Take the Simple Step to walk around your house right now and see how many lights are on in rooms that you’re not using!

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[1] energystar.gov
*Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Keeper of the Home and will receive a small commission for purchases made through my links. Thanks for supporting Live Renewed!

Comments

  1. says

    So yesterday when I read your post I didn’t think too much of it. I thought it was a good reminder, but that leaving lights on wasn’t something I had a problem with. Boy was I wrong! I’m a stay at home mom, so the lights have the potential to be on all the time. I often found myself in the living room with the kitchen lights still on. All day I was turning off those kitchen lights!! Thank you for the simple reminder! Little things can make a big difference!

    • Emily says

      Hi Rebekah,
      This is exactly how I felt too. I would swear that I turned the lights off in our play room/changing room when I left, but I would just go double check to be sure, and the light would be on! And the kitchen light is a bad one for me too. Sometimes it’s bright enough from the sun that I don’t even realize the lights are on! Oops! It’s definitely something I have to stay on top of and purposefully think about every day. Glad it was a good reminder for you too! :)

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