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This is my 4th year taking part in the Earth Hour, a global event aimed at raising awareness about sustainability issues.  This year, I have decided to write a daily post during the month leading to the event in order to share some thoughts about the environment and give tips the little changes we can make in our daily lives.  There will also be some guest posts by fellow bloggers who will share their own views on a topic related to the environment.  You can read my introductory post here and access the Earth Hour website here.

I encourage you to comment and share your own tips, ideas and experience.  In the last couple of days before the event I will do a few posts about what readers had to say.  I believe we can learn a lot by sharing!

I don’t know you, but I hate being cold!  Unfortunately, I spend a lot of time sitting down when I study and have had to find ways to limit the energy spendings during winter months.

First of all, I think we should be aware of the temperature in our houses; a couple of degrees can make a huge difference in energy spendings.  I believe 18°C to 20°C is an ideal winter temperature, even a bit less at night.

One of the first piece of advice I can offer is to wear an extra jumper.  It seems a bit too obvious, yet I sometimes go to houses that are so over-heated that people are only wearing tee-shirts.  How great is it, being able to wear only a tee-shirt during winter?  However, it also means that energy savings could be made…  Use an extra blanket in bed or when reading or watching television.  You can also use a little carpet or such to put under your feet when sitting down; it’s amazing the difference it makes.  We tend to get cold if our feet are cold and the carpet will prevent that.

Depending on your type of heating, the methods might be a bit different.  However, I think that, if possible, we should only heat the rooms in which we are at that moment.  Cutting the heating during the night is also an easy way of saving and you will sleep even better (if you have a timer, then set it up for about half an hour before you get up).  If you are cooking something, try to stay in this room and use the heat provided instead of the heating (for instance, I always leave the door of the oven open after cooking and it does keep the room warm for quite a while).  Close your doors, so the heat stays in and turn off the heating if you open your windows to refresh a room.  Curtains will also help to keep the heat in.

I think it’s also quite important to control the thermostat on the radiator; there’s no need to have it on the maximum.  As soon as the room is comfortably heated, turn it off.

This advice seems quite obvious; however, it is not always followed and we could save a fair bit of energy and money by doing so.  I’m sorry I don’t have any revolutionary idea to offer, but, please, leave a comment if you can think of anything else.