It’s National Cut Your Energy Costs Day. We know, that doesn’t sound like a real thing but it is. The event encourages people to cut their energy costs by being a little more thoughtful and we can all use a little more of that in our lives.

The truth is the price we pay in ignoring how severe our consumption is goes far beyond our energy bill each month. Our consumption as humans is depleting the Earth’s energy sources a million times faster than they are formed. We’re all responsible for stewarding our planet and although it may feel easier to give up or think that your own contribution make a difference, doing our part individually positively impacts our economy, climate and our health. And you might even save a few bucks.

Here are a few ways to cut your energy costs.

Get LED lights already.

The traditional incandescent lights use a ton of energy and they’re not very attractive to look at. LED lights last longer and although they’re generally more expensive than the regular bulbs, they cut your energy consumption by 90 percent, significantly decreasing your energy bill. Win for you, win for the planet.

Do less laundry.

OK, we don’t mean go to work smelling like yesterday’s dinner restaurant but you can wait to do laundry until you have a full load and use cold water to wash. Most of the energy used on laundry day is used to heat the water your clothes are swirling around in. Warmer temperatures are also more likely to wear down your clothes, making them look old or faded so this is actually a tip on how to keep your threads fresh.

Buy a 21st century thermostat.

We’ve shared how much we love NEST thermostats before but we’re mentioning it again in case you missed the memo. They help regulate your temperature by turning on and off based on when you’re home. It’s saved the RELEVANT staff over $200 a month alone. Did we mention you can adjust it from your phone without ever leaving your couch?

Fix that leak this weekend.
The energy used to pump water from the local water utility into your home is an under-acknowledged source of waste, too. Leaky faucets and toilets means that energy is being used and effectively wasted. Fixing random leaks and drips around the house will save both your sanity and your money. Trust us.

Turn off lights when you leave a room.

You’re not living in the plot of Home Alone. Why are the lights in your house on all the time? You know when your mom and dad followed you around the house scolding you for leaving them on? It’s because they wanted to buy things you actually needed instead of giving all their money to the electric utility company. That or they were just having a bad day. We don’t know your story.

Cover drafty windows.

No one likes a draft, especially during the winter. You can use caulk or weatherstrip around windows that need it or use window awnings to help insulate your home. Most awnings today are made of acrylic or polyvinyl material these days making them much more affordable than decades past. You know what they say, “Cozy home, save the planet, more resources saved for future generations to thrive with and enjoy.” OK, they don’t say that but with these tips, they could start.