Daylight savings time starts March 8 at 2:00am, which means that it’s almost time to “spring forward” again by setting your clock forward one hour.
The history of daylight savings time goes back more than a hundred years and was widely implemented during World War I to conserve energy.
Over the past 100 years in the U.S., daylight savings has gone from a federal mandate to being abolished entirely to becoming a state policy that varied widely across the country. The mandate even enjoyed a year-round stint in the mid-seventies when it was enacted as a pilot program by Congress during the energy crisis.
The jury is still out on whether daylight savings time actually reduces the demand for lighting and heating as proponents claim, and on a personal level, my body clock always struggles with the twice-yearly time change. However, we can choose to take advantage of daylight to conserve energy, and setting our clocks forward an hour is a good time to start thinking about earth-friendly tips for spring.
Here are our top 5 eco tips for daylight savings time:
- Let the Light In: Open your blinds or drapes during the day while the weather is still chilly. Letting the sunlight into your home creates a mini-greenhouse effect that will keep your heater from having to work as hard (the reverse is true in the summer, by the way – keep the blinds closed to ease the burden on your air conditioner).
- Make Your Windows Sparkle: Spring cleaning is a good time to think about washing your windows inside & out, which will maximize the sunlight your home gets. Change your air filters to reduce energy waste and help your HVAC run more efficiently.
- Adjust your Ceiling Fans: Did you know ceiling fans can help reduce your energy use in both the summer (drawing the warm air upward) and winter (pushing warm air down)? Adjusting your clock for daylight savings time can be a good reminder to reverse the direction of the fan blades to get you ready for summer.
- Head Outdoors: Take advantage of the longer evenings, when the daily temperatures are typically at their peak, to get outside – perhaps walking to dinner or riding your bicycle to run an errand instead of driving.
- Get Garden-Ready: It might not be time to dig in the dirt just yet, but it isn’t too early to start thinking about what fruits and vegetables to plant this year. To get a jump start, you can start your seeds indoors using in homemade containers (learn more here) before moving them outside later in the season.
Click here for more eco tips.
Do you have any other tips to share? Post your suggestions in the comments section below.