It takes a lot of energy to power a home. While an average usage of 914 kWh per month may not mean much to you, imagine if you could reduce that number. The lower you can get that number, the lower the carbon footprint you leave behind. Here are some simple improvements you can make to your home that require less energy usage.

1. Your Yard

What you plant in your yard has the potential to use a lot of energy and water. Since it takes energy to deliver water to your home, reducing water is a double winner for the environment. For your landscaping needs, try xeriscaping with plants. Xeriscaping utilizes plants that are lower maintenance and require less water while still providing lots of lush foliage and color.

Combine your xeriscape with outdoor solar lighting. Your garden will look great during the day and during the evening while requiring very little energy consumption.

2. LED Lighting

LED light bulbs use just a fraction of the energy typical incandescent bulbs use and they are easy to install. Simply remove all your old bulbs and replace them with LED bulbs designed to fit in the same sockets. These bulbs are also safe to dispose of which makes them a sound environmental choice.

3. Solar Power

Not everyone has the funds available that would be necessary to install solar panels on their homes. However, you can make the switch gradually. Starting as small as using solar chargers still saves energy. Solar chargers can be had for under $10 and can be used to charge your cell phone and other small electronic devices during the day. An added bonus is you can take your chargers with you when you travel.

Another small improvement you could make is to install a solar hot water heater. The collector is installed on your roof and converts the sun’s rays to heat. This heat is then passed to your tank below.

4. Ceiling Fans

Running your air conditioning is not only expensive, but it uses a lot of energy. While ceiling fans don’t actually cool the air, they do help promote the flow of air through your home, helping to reduce the time your air unit needs to run. Ceiling fans can also help during the winter months.

Switching to an energy-efficient home can be a gradual process. Not only will you see savings on your electric bill, but you will be helping to achieve a cleaner environment.