Energy efficiency, heat pumps, LED lighting!
It is well known that our use of resources is having a negative effect on the environment. I believe each and every person can and should help to lower our energy consumption, and come to a realization that we are privileged to have modern luxuries that we need to use responsibly.
The most important spin-off of this awareness is the money you save! I made the change to LED lighting after I stopped to think about the cost to change the lighting, versus the money I would save. The thing that got me was my veranda lighting. Nine pot lights had 50 watt bulbs; I didn't want to use the lights because the total consumption of the nine lights was 450 watts. Does it make sense to turn on a 450 watt heater outside for three or four hours every night? I think not, but that is basically what I was doing.
I purchased new LED replacement bulbs in a bulk pack. The new bulbs were about double the price of the old bulbs, but will last about 20 years, plus they only consumed 5 watts each. So my nine new bulbs were less wattage than one of my old ones.
Other things that can be done to save are to lower your water heater temperature slightly. If you need to turn the cold water on because it is too hot, as many people do, then why waste money heating it that much in the first place. The same with a refrigerator, lowering the temperature can save slightly.
Install programmable thermostats to lower the temperature in your home when high levels are not needed, such as when at work, or try to at least be conscious and turn the heat down when leaving for the day.
A dryer uses a lot of power. Using a clothes line if possible or whenever possible can make a huge difference. If your only option is to use a dryer, install a heat recovery vent. A heat recovery vent simply filters and circulates the hot air exhaust from your dryer back into your home and in the summer just flip a valve to exhaust outside again. It also adds moisture to your home which can be very beneficial in homes with dry air due to heating sources.
Ever heard of Phantom current? All of our chargers and electronic devices draw a small amount of current even when they are turned off or if no device is plugged into the charger. The only way to stop them is to unplug them.
Turning off your lights will help save you money. I have worked in a great number of houses where people left for work and didn't turn off multiple lights, fans, televisions, radios and so on. You might as well just throw a couple of hundred dollars out the window. It's your money, and I know you're busy, but changing this habit WILL save you money!
The amount of savings for being aware may be very small for some, or quite large for others, but collectively the saving is huge.