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10 Easy Hacks That Could Save You Energy and Money At Home

10 Easy Hacks That Could Save You Energy and Money At Home

Electricity is a utility that we take for granted. There are a lot of places around the world that don’t have good electrical infrastructures and the fact that we only lose power during natural disasters is actually pretty awesome. That said, electricity can also be expensive. In 2012, the average U.S. household uses 903 kilowatts of electricity every year. That’s a lot. Here are some easy hacks to help you save money on energy.

1. Insulate your windows

Your windows can be the bane of your existence. During the summer, the heat will come in almost unimpeded and in the winter, the cold will do the same thing. You can fix this! You can create your own plastic window covers or simply use blankets or other items in your house to cover them up. It won’t let as much sunlight in but it will help keep the heat and cold out. These can help save you money on your electricity bill and gas bill because your heating and cooling won’t have to work so hard to keep your house at a comfortable temperature. Another good idea is the draft stopper.

2. Pack your freezer more tightly

easy hacks

    When you open your freezer, all the freezing cold air is going to come out. That means when you close it the freezer has to produce more and that can get expensive over time. A way to prevent this is to pack your freezer full of stuff. You can do things like bags of ice or even newspaper if you have it laying around. When your freezer is packed, it keeps the cold air in. That means your freezer works less and uses less electricity.

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    3. Air dry your cloths

    There really isn’t an efficient way to wash your cloths by hand (nor has there ever been) so telling people to not use a washer is kind of hard to do. Dryers, on the other hand, can be removed from the equation entirely and it’s all good. By air drying your cloths, you’re essentially cutting out all of the electricity that the dryer uses. Dryers use a lot of energy thanks to its heating element and we’re sure the mechanism to spin the drum is using a bunch too. Save money and energy by putting up some cloths lines and hanging up wet cloths to dry.

    4. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs

    easy hacks

      Light bulbs are among the most energy hungry things people use. They don’t use a lot of electricity on their own. However, when you have half a dozen lights on all day and night, things start adding up. According to Energy Star, compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL bulbs) use up to 75 percent less energy. That means every four days a CFL bulb stays on it uses as much energy as a regular light bulb does for one.

      5. Turn off your power strip that your electronics are connected to

      Even if your electronics are turned off, they’re still sapping energy. They’re called “vampire devices” because they keep a little bit of electricity going so they can respond more quickly to things like being turned back on. By turned off the power strip you effectively cut off all electricity to your electronics so they don’t use electricity without you knowing.

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      6. Wear more cloths and turn down the heat (and vice versa)

      easy hacks

        In the winter, put on that hoodie and turn your heat down a few degrees so that your heating doesn’t have to work so hard. Likewise, in the summer, wear less cloths or more flowy cloths so your AC doesn’t have to work so hard. By turning your thermostat up in the summer and down in the winter, you can save literally hundreds of dollars a year in utility expenses. Heating and cooling is easily the most expensive thing in your house if you use them constantly. By turning them down (or off when you can), you’ll save a bunch of money.

        7. Get solar panels

        One of the best ways to save electricity is to produce your own. There are grants available to get solar panels put on your house for cheap or even for free if you qualify. If you get the free panels, they’ll be contributing back to the electric grid and you won’t pay an electric bill at all. If they’re not producing enough, you’ll just use the electric as normal. Harnessing the power of the sun is a great way to save money and go green. If you get them there’s a good chance they’ll also be installed for you so there’s actually very little effort on your part.

        8. Manage your ceiling fans

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        easy hacks

          If you use your ceiling fan right you can save a lot of money. When the air blows down, it helps cool the room and keep you comfortable. Using this and turning your AC down you can save money that way. In the winter you turn the fan the other way. Then it pulls cold air up and away to help keep you warm. Admittedly, it’s more effective in the winter than in the summer but every little bit helps, right?

          9. Plant trees!

          According to sources, planting trees near the south and southeastern parts of your house can save you a ton of money every year. During the summer, the sun will beat down on your house which heats it up. With the trees in place, the sun’s harsh rays can’t make it to your house and that helps keep things cooler. It’s been estimated that you can save up to 25 percent during the summer months. Plus, trees look nice.

          10. Wash your cloths in cold water

          easy hacks

            Our last hack is really easy. Just turn the washer to wash using only cold water. Studies have shown that 90 percent of the energy a washer uses comes from heating up the water to use in the wash. If you wash in cold water you can avoid pretty much all of the energy cost. There aren’t many benefits of using hot water to cold water anyway (unless you have some seriously dirty cloths) so you’re not missing out on much. It’s been estimated that a load of laundry on cold settings cost about $0.03 in energy.

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            None of these hacks are going to save you all that much money on their own. However, if you combined all of them and keep an eye on the obvious stuff (turn off lights when you leave a room), you can save a pretty substantial amount of money. The most important thing is consistency. If you’re gong to try one of these, keep at it! It doesn’t help if you only do these things once or twice.

            Featured photo credit: Reflective ES via reflectivees.com

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            Last Updated on January 17, 2019

            8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

            8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

            In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

            Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

            Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

            Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

            Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

            The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

            There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

            How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

            According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

            Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

            Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

            The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

            Listen carefully:

            We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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            The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

            Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

            8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

            There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

            Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

            1. Pray Daily

            You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

            When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

            Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

            Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

            2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

            A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

            By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

            Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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            If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

            This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

            How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

            3. Smile Often

            Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

            Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

            Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

            The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

            4. Organize Your Working Desk

            A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

            When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

            Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

            Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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            5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

            I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

            Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

            What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

            6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

            God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

            I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

            I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

            7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

            You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

            How do you do that? This is my formula:

            First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

            If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

            If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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            If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

            Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

            8. Go Exercise

            Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

            The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

            You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

            12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

            The Bottom Line

            It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

            It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

            Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

            More Resources About Mindfulness

            Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

            Reference

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