The Energy Edge

Winter Mittens

Be Smitten in Your Mittens All Winter Long

Unless you take a 3 month vacation to a tropical paradise this time of year, you could be facing some winter weather blues. Between the freezing rain, the Polar Vortex, and spring still weeks away, settling in with the heating blanket and hibernating sounds like a great idea.

However, you can still keep your energy up while enjoying some hot cocoa with marshmallows. We’ve put together a few simple ways to keep your spirits high during the remaining winter weeks.

Volunteer

One of the best ways to lift your spirits is to do something you’ll feel good about, such as volunteering your time at your local food bank, animal shelter, or hospital. Gather your friends or make some new ones to help out a great cause. You’ll feel energized by helping those who are less fortunate and gain the support of your fellow volunteers.

Get Moving

While the cold temperatures may encourage you to stay indoors and curl up under a blanket, just 20 minutes of daily activity can elevate your mood and reduce stress. Just in case taking a stroll around your neighborhood in below zero temps isn’t your thing, think about heading to your local gym, taking classes at the YMCA, or developing an in-house exercise routine. You’ll stay active and feel better after burning off some energy.

Plan an Event

With how energetic the holiday season can be, the months following it can seem a bit bland. There’s no significant holiday break for quite a while, so it can help to plan an event for yourself or your family. A holiday cruise, a weekend getaway, or even just a lunch date with friends will keep you optimistic for the future.

If you’re thinking of planning an outdoors event, bring a thermos with hot soup or coffee. After you book a few events on your calendar you can while away the hours looking forward to what’s coming up next weekend instead of what’s coming up in spring.

Eat Healthy

The cold weather, the family gatherings, and the holiday rush tend to encourage unhealthy eating habits so it can be tough to get back on track with eating well in the new year. The good news is that taking the time to prepare a balanced meal is not only good for your body, but also engages your mind.

You won’t be bored and you’ll feel good about eating something healthy. If you really want to go the distance, plan a post-holiday get together with friends to get everyone involved.

Couple by Windows

Guard Against Winter Window Pane

Your home’s windows are great for letting in natural light, brightening up rooms, and providing heat from the sun in the winter. They can also be responsible for 10-25% of your heating bill just by letting heat out!

We’ve put together a quick and easy guide to help you be energy efficient through the cooler periods.

Simple Cold Weather Window Tips

  • Reduce drafts from your windows by taping heavy-duty, clear plastic sheets on your window frames
  • Close your curtains or shades at night to protect against cold drafts and open them during the day to warm up your home
  • Consider installing exterior and interior storm windows to reduce heat loss through your windows by 25-50%

If your windows are single-pane, consider replacing them with double-pane windows with high performance glass. You can also look for windows that have a low-e coating—a special type of coating applied to the glass. Windows with low-e coatings reflect back part of your room’s heat in the winter.

While the upfront costs can be large, the benefits of energy savings, comfort, aesthetics, and functionality will pay off in the long term.

Trees

Coming Soon: Help Us Celebrate Earth Week

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Quick Facts
  • Solar energy could be the world’s largest source of electricity by 2050
  • Nuclear energy produces 64% of all U.S. emission-free electricity
  • ENERGY STAR certified light bulbs use 70-90% less energy than traditional incandescents
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