Energy: Eco-Friendly Checklist

When you think of energy savings in a home, you mind might go straight to big, costly projects like solar panel installation. While that is a great step to consider to improve the energy efficiency and carbon impact of your home, that’s not the only option to consider.

There are many smaller projects and adjustments that you can start today to reduce your home’s carbon footprint in regards to energy use.

This is by no means a complete list, but it is a great starting point to get us thinking sustainably!

Want to check out more than just this topic? See our full eco-friendly home checklist!


  • Switch off all lights when you don’t need them
  • Switch off all electrical appliances (at the wall) when not in use
  • On/off power strips for electronics
  • Clean refrigerator coils
  • Install photovoltaic panels on your roof
  • LED lights
  • Replace your old fridge with an energy efficient fridge
  • Air dry your clothes
  • Solar water heater
  • Solar panels
  • Use landscape lighting fixtures that use solar energy for power

Download & Print

You can make a copy of this checklist in Google Sheets, allowing you to customize however you see fit. You can also print a copy from Google Sheets once it’s copied if desired.

View the sheet first and make a copy via File > Make a copy or simply click the “Make a Copy” button below.

Switch off all lights when you don't need them

 Impact: Low
 Effort: Easy
 Cost: Results in savings!

We all know one of those habitual 'leave every light on' people. Don't be that person! Turning off lights when you aren't using them saves energy and money.

Switch off all electrical appliances (at the wall) when not in use

 Impact: Low
 Effort: Easy
 Cost: Results in savings!

Many people let appliances run 24/7. Turning off appliances can save energy and money.

On/off power strips for electronics

 Impact: Low
 Effort: Easy
 Cost: $5 - $10

Using power strips that give easier control of turning power on or off with a switch can make controlling your electricity usage much more convenient.

Use landscape lighting fixtures that use solar energy for power

 Impact: Low
 Effort: Easy
 Cost: Cost will vary depending on the type and amount of outdoor lighting.

Outdoor lighting can really bring a backyard to life, but running electricity can be costly and wasteful. Instead, opt for solar powered outdoor lighting.

Clean refrigerator coils

 Impact: Medium
 Effort: Easy
 Cost: Approximately $10 for a thin flexible coil brush if you don't have one already.

According to the Consumer Energy Center, cleaning refrigerator coils can result in up to a 30% reduction in energy that your fridge uses. (1) Not only that, but you'll save money too - an average of 11% energy cost savings (2).

Air dry your clothes

 Impact: Medium
 Effort: Somewhat Difficult
 Cost: Results in savings!

Depending on the season and your location, this may be easier for some people than others. Air drying your clothes on a line can save all of the energy used by your dryer.

LED lights

 Impact: High
 Effort: Easy
 Cost: Slightly more expensive than any equivalent bulb light fixture or style, however, this is offset by saving money on bulb replacement and energy cost over time.

You can find LED replacements to your standard bulb fixtures for just about any light and they save huge amounts of energy - at least 75% less energy and last up to 25 times longer (3)

Replace your old fridge with an energy efficient fridge

 Impact: High
 Effort: Challenging
 Cost: $500 - $1000+

If your fridge is very old, you could see upwards of 50% or even 70% energy savings in some cases by upgrading to a newer energy efficient refrigerator. This can be more costly up front, but will also save you significantly on energy cost compared to an older, inefficient fridge.

Solar water heater

 Impact: High
 Effort: Challenging
 Cost: The cost can vary significantly, averaging around $3400 for parts and installation, but can save hundreds per year compared to standard water heater costs.

Solar water heaters may cost a few thousand dollars to have installed, but the savings are significant. Estimated utility cost savings from a solar water heater are between 50 - 80%! (4)

Install photovoltaic panels on your roof

 Impact: Massive
 Effort: Challenging
 Cost: Varies significantly based on size, location, and installation.

Photovoltaic panels are slightly different from solar panels in the way that they convert energy. They can be used to compliment each other rather than competing or being redundant.

Solar panels

 Impact: Massive
 Effort: Severe
 Cost: Prior to any available tax incentives, an average residential system will cost between $15,000 and $25,000 (6)

Solar panels on your home may be a large undertaking, but they can save monthly energy costs significantly. A home with solar panels' carbon footprint is approximately 20 times less than that of a home powered by fossil fuels (5).

Article Sources ↓

Natural Replacements references research from industry experts and reputable industry publishers to support claims or data in our content when applicable. Learn more about our publishing standards and practices in our editorial guidelines.

  1. The Huffington Post - Cleaning Your Refrigerator Properly: 4 Tips to Save Energy and Money
    Accessed: August 27, 2022
  2. - How to Cut Utility Costs in Your Commercial Kitchen
    Accessed: August 27, 2022
  3. - LED Lighting
    Accessed: August 27, 2022
  4. Angi - How Much Does a Solar Water Heater Cost?
    Accessed: August 27, 2022
  5. - Carbon Footprint of Solar Panel Manufacturing
    Accessed: August 27, 2022
  6. - How much does a typical residential solar electric system cost?
    Accessed: August 27, 2022

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Citations for This Article


Plonkey, Jim. (October 30, 2022). Energy: Eco-Friendly Checklist. Natural Replacements. Retrieved May 19, 2024, from


Plonkey, Jim. "Energy: Eco-Friendly Checklist." Natural Replacements,


Plonkey, Jim. "Energy: Eco-Friendly Checklist." Natural Replacements, Last modified October 30, 2022.

Jim Plonkey

Jim Plonkey is a Co-founder of Natural Replacements. A digital marketing professional with a passion for sustainability, Jim lives in Southeast Michigan and enjoys traveling to new places, spending time outdoors - kayaking, hiking, and gardening, and yoga.

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