1. Weather strip and caulk around windows and doors.
2. Insulate attics and other areas that may not yet have been insulated. (But note that this might not always be advisable with stone walls—see above.)
3. Get setback, or programmable, thermostats, which automatically reduce heating and cooling in rooms when no one is present. Set the temperature to 14 C in winter or colder areas, and 29 C in summer or hotter climates.
4. Install automatic lights or dimming switches, or post reminders by light switches to turn off lights when they’re not being used.
5. Host a green conversation after worship, or start a green team to brainstorm new projects.
6. Use a portable fan and/or ceiling fan together with your air conditioner.
7. Unplug appliances that aren’t in use, and turn off unused power bars.
8. Open and close window blinds depending on the season. In the summer, turn on fewer lights and rely on natural light. In the winter, keep blinds closed to keep heat from leaking out through windows.
9. Switch to LED light bulbs. Replacing light bulbs in exit signs can be particularly effective in saving energy, because these lights are on 24 hours a day.
10. Get rid of energy-wasting appliances, or replace them with Energy Star appliances or appliances with high EnerGuide ratings.
Adapted from: “Top 10 Green Actions Under $10”; “Reduce Your Ecological Footprint: Faith Community Tips”; and “‘Do-It-Yourself’ Faith Building Energy Audit Guide”, all by Faith & the Common Good.
Cover photo: DK Samko