Winter is in full swing. Hopefully you’ve managed to stay comfortable thus far, and ideally without boosting your energy consumption too much. If you’re concerned about your carbon footprint, follow these tips for eco-friendly winter living that won’t force you to choose between freezing and wearing five layers indoors.
1. Nudge down the thermostat
Challenge yourself to keep your thermostat just two degrees cooler than you normally do in the winter. You shouldn’t feel a huge difference, but the environment will notice your efforts. Offset the change in temperature by drinking more hot beverages and using throw blankets more often. If you have a programmable thermostat, set it so your heater is not working hard while you’re at work. Program the heat to kick in 30 or 45 minutes before you return from work so your apartment is comfortable when you arrive.
2. Grow indoor plants
Indoor plants can brighten up the atmosphere of just about any space. By releasing moisture, they can also help your apartment trap heat and combat that dry winter air your skin disagrees with. Consider using them in your kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and living room.
3. Use a humidifier
Another way to keep the air in your apartment from getting uncomfortably dry is to use a humidifier. Essential oil diffusers, which have enjoyed a popularity boost in recent years, often double as humidifiers.
4. Use LEDs and lumen lights
Light is important in the wintertime. The days are shorter, and many people’s moods are affected by the lack of sunlight they absorb in the winter months. Don’t deprive yourself of the light your body craves, but get it through efficient sources like LED light bulbs and lumen lights.
5. Open oven door after baking
Simply using your oven more can help warm up your apartment. To get even more heat from your oven, open the over door for a few minutes after using it to cook or bake. Just be sure it’s turned off first so you don’t burn yourself or create a fire hazard.
6. Buy seasonal produce
In this modern, globalized era, it’s possible to buy fruits and vegetables in Chicago that are in season in Chile. This has its advantages, but produce shipped from countries thousands of miles away must travel somehow. Unfortunately, this means a lot of fuel is burned shipping produce around the world. Make an effort to purchase and prepare meals primarily with local produce that’s in season. It’s likely to taste better and be more nutritious, anyway.
Carpooling is a green living strategy that is great anytime of year. Considering how harsh winter is on motor vehicles, carpooling is especially sensible during the cooler months. To ensure the burden associated with winter-related wear and tear is evenly distribute, rotate driving days with two or three coworkers or friends who work near you.
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