9 Ways To Help the Environment This Winter

For much of the world, fall means colder weather and shorter days!  It also means people will be driving their cars more, using more energy to keep their houses warm, and perhaps even taking advantage of the burst of warmth a hot shower can offer! However, it is important to remember that we still need to be conscious of how we consume resources in the winter, and that by doing so we can benefit both the environment and our wallets too!  A lot of it has to do with preparing ahead of time and investing a little more now to save money and energy later.  But saving energy is actually pretty easy, and you can feel good knowing you’re doing your part to decrease your carbon fingerprint during the harsh winter months.

Turn down your thermostat at night.

You might need some warmer blankets around the house, but by turning down your thermostat at night, you can drastically lower your monthly heating bill.  Wearing layers and wrapping up in a warm, cozy blanket can keep your internal temperature warm, even though the house temperature may be considerably lower. 

Bundle up.

There is nothing quite as comforting as a fluffy, warm sweater that swallows you whole.  Picking up a few just for lounging around the house is an excellent way to stay warm while keeping the thermostat at a lower temperature.  In general, you want to make sure the thermostat is as low as it can be while you are still comfortable.  Granted, you don’t want to sit around freezing, but it’s going to be okay if you do not get to wear t-shirts and shorts in doors all winter long.

Utilize the Sun!

While the sun may seem a bit less warm during the winter, you can still warm your house a bit by making sure your window curtains are opened and facing towards it.  This will contribute to some free warmth to your home.  Conversely, closing curtains at nighttime will help keep your home insulated.

Buy a humidifier

The air can become incredibly dry in the winter, making it uncomfortable, and lowering its ability to entrap heat molecules. Having a humidifier can help balance the moisture concentration in the air and keep the room insulated.   

Consider airflow

Using fans to ensure that air is moving through your apartment or house is another easy way to keep energy costs down.  If warm air from your heater can more easily get to the far side of the house, the house will warm up faster and more efficiently, allowing you to use the heater less often, although most are automated to adjust to the room temperature. 

Cover drafty windows and doors

Especially if your home is old, finding the windows that leak cold air and let in a slight breeze is crucial towards insulating your home for the winter.  The less heat your house leaks, the less energy it will have to spend on keeping it warm.  It may take a quick Google search or two to learn how to fix these drafty areas, but you will definitely benefit from a warmer house and a cheaper energy bill!

Only heat the rooms you use

If possible, close off rooms that are not in use.  The less space your heating system has to worry about, the less energy it's going to need to use.  Close any doors or heating vents to rooms that you use less frequently, and be sure to do a quick check for cracks and leaks in the walls. 

Don’t forget to save water

A warm shower can feel like a miracle in the dead of winter, but don’t forget that you need to continue saving water, even in places where water is seemingly abundant.  The same worries of water shortages that carry over from summer to summer do not disappear come winter.  While we might not need to water our own gardens and keep farms growing, our own personal water consumption is still a big contributing factor. 

Environment friendly vacations!

Vacations are normally a break from our normal lives of savings and a chance to indulge a bit.  But a little bit of indulgence shouldn’t mean sacrificing the quality of the environment during the winter.  For instance, taking trains in order to travel might be an excellent alternative to driving or flying.  If you want to have a cool experience in the winter while trying to stay eco-friendly, consider something out-of-the-box like staying at an ice-hotel that doesn’t require as much heating in the winter months.  You can also check with environmental organizations for a list of eco-friendly resorts.