I think I’ve said it before, but one of my main motivators for being environmentally friendly is that I’m cheap. Yes, I care about the Earth (and more importantly, the future of my children) but really I just don’t like the feeling that I’m wasting money on stuff I don’t need.
I feel like I’m starting with something fairly obvious here, but you really should turn down your thermostat. Turn it down low… No, lower than that. Seriously.
This winter, I’ve kept my house at 62 degrees. This does not feel cold to me. If I didn’t have little kids, I would keep it colder. Trust me on this one. Your body adjusts to the temperature you keep it at. I promise. Now, if you go turn your thermostat from 72 to 62 today, you are going to freeze.
I would take it two degrees at a time. The best time to make the switch is at night, because your body will adjust as you sleep. Just turn the thermostat down two degrees before you go to bed. You won’t feel the difference when you wake up.
The only time I notice my cold house is when I come back from a warm place, like my car or someone’s house. Then it takes me about 10-15 minutes to adjust.
You save 3% on your heating bill for every degree you turn down the thermostat. Just three degrees will save you nearly 10%. Ten percent doesn’t seem like much, but it seems like more and more people are getting electric bills that are costing hundreds of dollars. If we all turned down our heat three degrees, we would make a huge savings in pollution and energy waste. 62 in winter may seem a little extreme to you, but I think you would be pleasantly surprised at how comfortable it can be. (I’m wearing regular clothes as I write this—no scarves or gloves or even socks.) Still, even one degree will save you money and positively impact the environment. So… try it today. Perhaps tomorrow you can lower it another degree. It’s all about baby steps!
If you lower your thermostat at all, I’m interested to hear about it. What temperature do you keep your house at now?