1. Switch off anything that uses electricity when not in use. If you're not using it, turn it off. This goes for lights, televisions, computers, printers, and so on.
2. Unplug devices when possible. Leaving devices plugged in, such as laptop chargers or toasters, can use "phantom" energy. Even when an appliance is turned off, it may still use power. It is best to unplug anything that you do not anticipate using in the next 36 hours (or more).
3. Trade in your dryer for a good old-fashioned clothesline. Air drying leaves your clothes smelling fresh and is environmentally friendly. Tumble dryers are among the biggest energy users in most households, after the refrigerator and air conditioner. If you do use a dryer, make sure to keep the vent clear, for safety as well as efficiency.
4. Run your air conditioner sparingly or not at all. Air conditioners use a great deal of electricity. Use natural ventilation or a fan to keep cool, as much as possible.
5. Close the heating and air conditioning vents in your home. If you are not using certain rooms in your house, close the vents in these rooms, and close the doors. Doing this consistently will reduce the amount of energy squandered by heating or cooling seldom occupied spaces.
6. Don't use electronic exercise machines. Instead of using exercise equipment, use a real bicycle (or a unicycle), or walk to get to nearby destinations or for pleasure. Calisthenics, push-ups, and other bodyweight exercises work, as well.
7. Use a warm blanket or sweater in winter. Bundle yourself up and lower your thermostat by a few degrees. Aim to set your thermostat at 68°F (20 °C) in the winter, perhaps even lower at night. Every degree above this will generate about 6-8% additional energy output.
8. Conserve water. The average family of four in the U.S. uses about 400
gallons (1,514 L) of water every day.
9. Recycle all you can. If you have curbside recycling, use it. Be sure to separate your recycling into glass, metal, paper and so on.
10. Avoid using disposable items. Anything you use only a few times and throw away consumes resources only to spend centuries in a landfill.
11. Use only as much toilet paper as you need. Don't unwind a mile of it for one little wipe. Be reasonable. Go easy on the paper towels, too, and use a washable cloth or sponge for most of your kitchen cleanup.
12. Consider using cloth diapers. Cloth diapers have come a long way from the things with pins and plastic covers. You will save a fortune (especially if you have more than one child), keep potentially dangerous chemicals away from your baby's skin, and do a good thing for the planet while you're at it.
13. Stop your junk mail from coming. If you get several catalogs which you do not need, call and ask them to stop sending them to you.