Taking care of the planet is a responsibility shared by everyone. Although it might seem like such a daunting task, even the little things people do themselves can help to make the planet a healthier place to live in.

Energy conservation is the simple act of deciding on and practicing the use of less energy. People who practice it adjust their habits and behavior to conserve more energy in their daily life. Not only can this save a bit more on electricity bills, but importantly, it can also help reduce the demand for natural resources.

Those who have yet to begin their energy conservation journey, however, may not know where to begin, with so many energy-conserving practices and tips out there. So, let's look at a few easy tips people can start with. (Courtesy: Eco-Friendly Habits, EnergySage and the U.S. Department of Energy [DOE])

Take note of your daily energy consumption

Many take note of their budgets, but perhaps people can take a closer look at their energy consumption on a daily basis as well. By trying to be more aware of their energy patterns and habits, one can have a clearer idea of how energy is used up and begin to make adjustments to their activities accordingly.

For instance, someone who notices they unknowingly have the habit of leaving electronic devices switched on even when they're not being used could learn to be more mindful and help conserve energy in the long run by switching them off.

Use energy-efficient light bulbs

While there are many types of light bulbs to choose from, some are more energy-efficient than others. Instead of using incandescent bulbs that tend to consume more electricity, for instance, LEDs, compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), or halogen incandescent bulbs are an energy-efficient choice and may even last longer.

Since light bulbs are something people use every day, this simple change could certainly add up to saving more energy, even though it may not be as noticeable.

Adjust your window shades

Taking advantage of natural light is one of the simplest things people can do to conserve energy. During cold winters, for instance, keeping the shades open will help bring in a bit more heat, while keeping them closed during the warmer months can help cool down the house.

Choose your screen when streaming

When streaming content, it would be better to use the smallest device that's appropriate for the number of people who will be watching. However, it's worth noting that using gaming consoles when streaming can use as much as 10 times more electricity than other gadgets such as a laptop or a tablet, so it would be best to avoid streaming content on these devices.

Dress for the weather

This is important for when people are outside, but keeping the practice inside the house could also help conserve a little more energy on heating. For instance, wearing warmer clothes indoors during winter could help conserve a bit more energy in terms of heating.

Do laundry and dishes more efficiently

In both cases, ensuring the washing machine or dishwasher has a full load first before using could save more energy. And instead of using the drying feature of these appliances, one may opt to air dry instead. Although, of course, it is also important to consider the weather before air drying laundry.

Mind your refrigerator

The refrigerator is said to be responsible for about 13.7% of total home energy use. Some important things to keep in mind to conserve energy when it comes to refrigerators would be to keep the doors closed "as much as possible," and to make sure the door seals are tight.

Covering liquids and wrapping foods in the refrigerator are also key tips from DOE, as uncovered items tend to release moisture, potentially making the compressor "work harder."

If the refrigerator is over 10 years old, one might consider buying a new refrigerator, one that is more energy efficient.

Opt for energy-efficient appliances

Those looking to buy a new appliance for their house could take a bit more time to research the most energy-efficient options. One simple way to do this would be to look for the ENERGY STAR label, which marks the appliances that meet the "strict" requirements for energy efficiency. People may even use tools such as Energystar.gov to find or even compare appliances with the label.

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