celebrate earth dayToday marks the 46th anniversary of Earth Day! Although we should all be pitching in to help save Mother Earth every day of the year, this particular day marks the celebration of the national environmental movement. To help homeowners and renters save energy, we’ve detailed a few things you can do at home to lend a hand to the environment. Following these steps will not only allow you do your part in taking care of our planet, but they also may help you some money on your monthly energy bills.

Air dry dishes and clothes

Even if you use a dishwasher at home, you can turn the drying cycle off to help conserve energy by opting to air dry your dishes. This way may take a little more time, but you’ll be saving energy, as you’ll be running the dishwasher for less time. The same concept applies to your clothes. Investing in a drying rack may help save energy (because you’re not running the dryer) and money that you either spend on your energy bill or quarters for laundry. And if you’re worried about your clothes getting wrinkled, you can always throw them in the dryer with a wet cloth for a few minutes once they’ve fully dried — this method steams the wrinkles out. While air drying your dishes or clothes may not be something you want to do all the time, it may be worth trying every now and then to save some energy.

Turn off appliances when not in use

This is a straightforward tip, but one that’s often hard to remember to do, as it’s easy to leave a room and forget to turn off the light behind you. But if you intentionally begin to make it a habit, it will be easier and easier to commit to memory. Remembering to turn off your TV, computer monitor and other electrical appliances when they aren’t actively in use may help you save some money on your electric bill.

Use power strips

Even when appliances are turned off or not in use, they can still be using power in standby mode, especially the larger appliances like televisions and entertainment systems. One way you can help lower the amount of power being used is to plug your appliances into a power strip or surge protector instead of straight into an electrical wall outlet. Not only will this help you conserve energy by limited the vampire (or standby) power, but it can also help prevent electrical surges, which could render your important electronics (e.g. laptops and computers) completely useless.

Switch to energy efficient lighting

Making the switch to energy efficient light bulbs is one of the quickest ways to cut down on your energy bills. These particular light bulbs, such as halogen incandescents, CFLs and LEDs, may be slightly more expensive than the standard incandescent ones, but they will end up saving you money in the long run, as they last much longer than the traditional ones by using a lot less energy. If you own a house, you may also want to consider getting motion sensors for your outdoor lights so that they aren’t constantly running and using up energy.

Consider home automation

Home security systems have been around for quite some time now, but they continue to get smarter and smarter with features like home automation, which gives homeowners the ability to control appliances and lights in their home even when they’re away. Let’s say you leave for work and forget to turn the heat down or your kitchen light off. With home automation, you can easily turn these things off at the touch of your smartphone, saving you time, money and energy. An added benefit to using home automation is the fire and environmental protection alerts that monitor any potential hazards in your home as well. And since home automation is included with home security systems, you can also know that your home is protected from a potential break in.

Check out our home security reviews to see which services provide home automation features and learn how you can get started today.