The holiday season is officially well under way, and with it, the New Year is quickly approaching. If you’re like me, that time of limbo between the holidays and the end of the year can feel like an opportunity for self-reflection, looking back at what you’ve accomplished over the last twelve months, what you’d still like to do, and the habits you’d like to bring with you into the New Year. It’s a chance to feel grateful for all of the great things that the year has brought you and set a few New Year’s resolutions that set the tone for the year to come!
For some of us, we daydream about learning to cook a new meal or taking a trip to some far off corner of the world we’ve yet to visit. For others, it’s a triathlon or finally reading that book that’s been collecting dust on the shelf since 2020. Personally, I’m trying to focus some of my New Year’s resolutions on building a more sustainable lifestyle, with goals that help me, help the planet.
Are you thinking about setting a New Year’s resolution or two for yourself? Here are six of my eco-friendly New Year’s resolutions to help you get brainstorming (feel free to steal them for yourself)!
Making a few simple swaps to your laundry routine is perhaps one of the easiest ways to go a little greener in 2023. For instance, did you know that 90% of the energy your laundry machine uses comes from simply heating the water? That means switching to cold water washes can help you use just a tenth of the energy you would normally use to wash your clothes. Plus, cold water wash cycles run a lower risk of accidental shrinkage and color fading, which helps keep your clothes looking their best for longer!
Want to go a step further? Opt to hang dry your clothes whenever possible! Dryers account for nearly 6% of the average home’s energy usage so taking your clothes outside to dry in the sun (or inside if you have the room) can be a great way to dial back your energy consumption. Plus, as an added bonus, the UV rays from the sun can help lighten clothes, so your whites stay nice and bright! Just make sure to keep darker clothes in more shaded areas when you can.
On average, LED light bulbs use 75% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs *and* they have longer lifespans with the typical LED lasting around 14 years — that’s a huge impact on your energy usage!
They may be a little pricier to purchase upfront but the long term rewards, both for the planet and your wallet, are well worth making the switch if you ask me. Don’t forget though! Just because your LED’s are more efficient doesn’t mean they can’t waste electricity, so make it a habit in 2023 to remember to switch off your lights whenever you’re not using them. And this is where this next resolution might come in handy…
I love a life hack that makes maintaining my New Year’s resolutions as easy as possible and smart devices do exactly that.
Devices like smart plugs are simple additions to your home that can make monitoring your energy usage SO easy. They pair directly with your smartphone letting you turn outlets on and off with the tap of a finger. They’re great if you ever want to double-check whether you remembered to switch off a light (or unplug your straightener if you’re like me) and connecting a smart plug or two to some of the biggest energy hogging appliances in your home (like your refrigerator) can make a huge difference to your overall energy consumption!
These ones from OhmConnect get great reviews. They’re simple to set up (which is a bonus for smart tech newbies) and have easy scheduling features so you can set it and forget it during hours of the day where you know you won’t need certain outlets.
I’m making it a goal in 2023 to cook one meal each week that doesn’t require much or any energy from my home appliances! These no-cook recipes are a great way to experiment more in the kitchen (one of my other New Year’s resolutions) without having to use unnecessary electricity — and, they’re especially useful during the hot summer months when you don’t want to add any extra heat to your home by using your oven!
Right now on my recipe to-do list is this Herbed Tuna and White Bean Salad and the Overnight Maple Oats from Taste of Home.
OhmConnect also shares tons of zero-energy meals on their social media pages that are perfect if you’re in need of some mid-week inspiration. If you’re not already following them, find them on Instagram here!
The pandemic marked a new era for work-from-home culture and for many of us, our homes have become a shared space for our work lives. Sure, there are the perks (answering emails in your pyjamas, tossing that load of laundry in between meetings, etc.), but it also means that the line between our work lives and our personal lives has become quite blurred.
One way that I’m working to set better work-life boundaries in the New Year (and save on energy in the process)? Turning off my work devices at the end of the day!
Computer? Powered down. Printer? Off. Because even in sleep mode these devices can draw unnecessary power during the hours when we’re not using them.
As an added bonus, you could also make it a goal to unplug and go for a walk after work hours. It’s an opportunity to enjoy some sunshine, disconnect from the work day, and the added time spent out of the home means many of your devices (like lights or your television) will remain switched off for a little while longer!
Eco Friendly New Year's Resolution #6: Become an OhmConnect Member
Okay, so the best part about this New Year’s resolution? It’s free, easy to try and you can start today, so there’s no need to even wait for 2023 to start putting your best eco-friendly foot forward.
I’m talking about OhmConnect of course!
OhmConnect is a program that rewards you for using less energy in your home. They’ll alert you to times when electricity is most expensive in your area, giving you the choice to power down and save. Plus, as a free member, OhmConnect will take the energy you save and sell it back to the grid, sharing the profits with you. That means money back in your wallet, simply for living a more eco-friendly lifestyle!
Ready to get started? Click here to sign-up now.
Getting paid to ensure their son has a better environment to grow up in? Count us in!