• In the summer especially, don't forget to water your plants and garden before you leave. Or set the timer on your irrigation system to lend a hand. If you'll be gone for a while and don't want your veggies or flowers to suffer, enlist the help of a good friend or neighbor.
• Turn the air up, but not off. We like to keep a little air circulating so when we return, we don't have to breathe stale air for a while. It also keeps our house plants a little happier. And of course, if you're leaving any pets at home alone, it's something to be hyper-aware of. We leave ours between 80 and 82 degrees (which is better for the house when outside temps climb above 100!).
• Put lights on a timer, or leave on a couple of lamps outfitted CFL bulbs.
• Don’t pay for any vampire power! Unplug the TV, computer, and anything else with an "off" light.
• For your air quality's sake, be sure to take out the trash and compost before leaving town.
We also like to clean house a little before we leave, so that when we get back we're greeted with a fresh home. What about you?
(Image: Apartment Therapy, 11 Tips for Slowing Down.)