Most of the advice in the YOU magazine article requires some planning and spending. But I included a box with my suggestions for saving energy immediately and at no cost.
1. Plan meals that don’t involve the oven; it uses much more electricity than the stove or microwave. We try to use the oven no more than two times a week.
2. Wash laundry in cold water, and only on sunny days. A clothes drier might be the biggest energy hog in your home.
3. Avoid ironing wrinkles that will never be seen. Underwear, fitted sheets, pyjamas and exercise gear don’t need the watts wasted on them.
4. Ditch the beer-fridge, chest freezer and ice machine. Unless you’re running a bar and living off last winter’s hunt, you can probably get by—like us—on one refrigerator/freezer.
5. Keep a jug of water next to the kettle, and pour in just enough for your next cup of tea.
6. Ignore the conventional wisdom that a pool pump must run 12 hours a day. Eight hours is sufficient in summer for my small pool, and just 1 to 3 hours in winter.