After a long day of work, most people like to come home and relax. Sometimes this means turning on the television, taking a hot shower or bath, browsing the internet or taking a nap in a chilled room. These activities might not always be the most energy efficient, but you can still find ways to relax after work while keeping your carbon footprint in mind. Check out the following ways to save energy in the evening while taking steps to reduce your environmental impact.

• Switch out your old TV for a new one

Televisions, if left on for long periods of time, can consume more power than you may realize – especially if you own an older box TV. Consider an ENERGY STAR television using organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) to light the screen when you’re ready to upgrade your TV. Recycle old technology, or use older technology for shorter periods of time. It also helps to remember to turn off your gaming systems and media players.

• Keep your oven door closed

Being at the office all day can easily work up an appetite, but if you’re peaking in the oven more often than not when cooking dinner, you could be dropping the oven’s internal temperature up to 25 degrees each time you open the door. Keep your oven door closed to preserve the temperature while cooking. No need for additional cooking time if you use your oven’s light to check on your meal instead of opening its door.

• Turn off lights when you leave a room

When the sun goes down, we turn lights on inside so we can see. It’s not necessary, though, to keep those lights on when you leave a room. If you haven’t already, try switching to CFLs or LEDs in every room. That way, if you end up accidentally leaving a light on when you leave a room, you won’t be using as much energy as you would have with older, incandescent light bulbs.

• Turn up the temperature in your refrigerator

Your refrigerator doesn’t necessarily need to be set at the coldest setting to keep your food from going bad. The FDA states that fridges' internal temperature shouldn’t exceed 40 degrees and freezers 0 degrees. As long as you keep your refrigerator at those temperatures, your food will be safe to eat. Save energy and shy away from turning down those temperature settings.

• Open windows to cool your home

If you prefer to sleep in a chilled room, try opening a window instead of adjusting your air conditioning. On cooler nights, take advantage of Mother Nature and save energy by using the chilled air from outside to cool your room. Once you wake up in the morning, remember to close your windows to keep the cool air inside, and the warming temperatures outside.

Get creative and find other ways to save energy in the evenings. After all, it’s a win-win situation. You’ll save money on your monthly energy bill and cut back on carbon emissions that harm the earth.

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