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7 Eco-Friendly Tips for When You’re Out of Town

You finally have a chance to do something kind for the planet. Before you leave town, be sure you take the time to make your home more eco-friendly. It will save you money on your power bill and it will give you a chance to conserve for the planet. 

Forget About Air 

Be sure to turn off your thermostat before you leave town. You waste electricity by trying to heat or cool a home when nobody is home. Also, turn out your pilot light on those gas furnaces, but be sure you know how to safely relight it when you get home. 

If you are worried a hard freeze will damage your plumbing, simply turn your furnace down as low as it will go and close the vents to the rooms that don’t need heat. 

Unplug, Unplug, Unplug 

Did you know you may have vampires lurking in your home? Actually, the Department of Energy calls them “energy vampires,” and they can suck up four to five percent of your overall energy bill. Energy vampires are those appliances you leave plugged in even though you aren’t using them. So, before you take off on your trip, make sure you go around and unplug all of those small appliances like coffeemakers, can openers, or blenders that will just sit unused while you are gone. 

Check for Running Water 

Make sure to turn off all dripping faucets or toilets that tend to run for long periods of time. Use the shut-off valve on the main line to keep water from flowing through leaky areas around the house. 

Turn Off the Lights 

Before you leave town, turn off all of your lights. Use timers on a few of your lights if you are worried about your home’s security. 

Let the Refrigerator Chill 

Planning to be gone a long time? Go ahead and clean out the refrigerator and freezer so you can unplug it while you are out of town. Turn leftover food into compost rather than dumping it in the trash. Not only will you save electricity, but you can create soil-saving compost at the same time. 

Save the Rain 

Place containers in your yard or under your gutters to collect rainwater while you are away. The water from your gutters will be cleaner if you have gutter guards protecting them. When you return home, you have water ready to relieve your thirsty plants or garden. This water can also be used to refill toilets. Collecting rainwater is a great way to reuse resources and help the environment. 

Disconnect Electronics 

Don’t forget to unplug your television and all those little electronic devices with blinking lights that surround your television while you are away from home. Unplug the computer, too. Not only will you protect your electronic devices from a power surge, but you will also save electricity. 

Remember, just because you go on vacation from work it doesn’t mean you have to take a vacation from being earth-friendly. Always take the time to go green before you go away.


Kim Wade is a freelance writer who writes about blogging, motherhood, and the environment.