Although there's all sorts of products intended to monitor your energy uses around the home, there are simple things you can do without the help of additional electronics to curb your usage. Although they're nothing new, they could very easily be things you've been forgetting to do!
1. Turn off The Lights: When leaving the room, turn off the light. We know, simple right? It's even better if you can keep the overhead off and use a small low light task lamp by your desk instead. It will ease eye strain without heating up your space which might require fans to help regulate temperature.
2. Power Down: My laptop goes to sleep when I tell it to turn off. It isn't really off unless I get into the start menu and then an additional sub menu to tell it to power down completely. Yes, it will take a few seconds longer to start back up, but really, what in life is so pressing that 20 extra seconds is so important? It will also help you remember to install regular updates and let scans run upon closing or starting.
3. Unplug: Don't need it? Then don't plug it in! Sure there's devices that kill all power to things, but really, why bother with a whole new device when you can just unplug the ones you have. Props to those who have their power bars near the top of the table to make this act easy!
4. Do Long Downloads, Updates, Backups & Housekeeping Overnight: Often when our computers are on for a long while (say a marathon of WoW) things can get a little toasty. Try doing most of your long maintenance work overnight when no one has to be in the room (which means no extra fans or AC). The lights can be off to keep things cool and the screen can even go to sleep, far more earth friendly than finding random chat partners while you do a little disc cleanup!
5. Multi-Task: Doing more in less time is the ultimate way to accomplish the most amount of work in the smallest time possible. Try working on your paper for school while you're burning the latest season of True Blood to DVD. Synch your iPod for the latest update while checking your email… you get the idea. If we could, we'd multi-task our entire day into a few small minutes. Our new found free time would be spent in a hammock with a drink involving an umbrella!
Do you have another simple way to save some energy and a little green in the process? Share your tips in the comments below!