Being Thankful AND Energy-Conscious
As we celebrate all that we’re thankful in the coming weeks, let’s keep energy efficiency in mind too - not only as it relates to the bigger issue of climate change, but our individual lifestyles as well. As a culture, we can step it up by adopting a few responsible habits across the board: while entertaining, while cooking, and even when it comes to burning off those extra holiday calories. So as you gear up for a season filled perhaps with some overindulgence, take a moment to bake energy-consciousness into your lifestyle. And your holiday pie.
Being energy efficiency doesn’t have to be hard. There are little things we can do “on the daily” to make a positive impact on the environment, our health and even our budget. With Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and other food-filled holidays around the corner, we’re sharing our gratitude by sharing some healthy energy tips.
Making a healthy holiday meal, or at least an “energy-healthy” one
The holidays are the time of year when we let our hair down, and let our belts out a notch. Whether what you’re cooking up is on the nice or naughty list of holiday foods, what you do in the kitchen and the rest of your home can offset any potential food guilt.
Check out these energy tips from the Edison Electric Institute that we find as tasty as our upcoming holiday feasts:
- Lower your thermostat before guests arrive. All those friends and relatives generate heat, so there’s no sense wasting yours!
- Check refrigerator and freezer door seals. To test, close the door on a dollar bill. If it slips out easily, try adjusting the door or replacing the gasket
- Cook as many dishes as possible in your electric oven at one time. Different foods can often be cooked together at one temperature
- Use the microwave whenever possible
- Don’t flip your lid! Lids on pots and pans keep heat in, so you can lower the temperature and shorten your cook times
- Don’t put hot foods and liquids in the fridge. They just make it work harder and waste energy. Let them cool!
Many of us will hit the gym a bit harder during the holidays to ward off unwanted pounds. But have you ever imagined the impact of greener gyms on the environment? For instance, in 2010, one Oregon gym produced 36% of its own electricity through the use of energy-generating equipment and solar energy. What’s that equate to? About 74,000 pounds of carbon emissions, 81,400 miles not driven, or 15 acres of trees planted. Treadmill time well spent!
Ask your gym owner or manager what they’re doing to promote greener workouts, or consider purchasing an energy-efficient bicycle power-generating kit for your home gym. See how our friends in the UK conceptualize the green gym, or check out this post written for the energy-conscious fitness fan.
In addition to the type of gym we choose, we can be even more energy and time efficient depending on the type of exercise we do. A recent study revealed that seniors who run regularly also tend to walk as efficiently as a person in their 20s! So what does that mean to seniors and people of all ages? It seems running as compared to walking keeps you younger from an energy efficiency standpoint. Don’t ask us to explain the biochemistry of it, all we know is that it has something to do with muscle cells, mitochondria, and the amount of energy generated. Bottom line takeaway: get moving, and get moving quickly!
So enjoy the holiday season and be thankful. Implementing some of these holiday energy tips will enable you to celebrate and “Mangia!” to your heart’s, belly’s, and eco-conscious mind’s content!