No-cost Tips

Riverwalk, sidewalk and river

2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. While we may be celebrating it a little differently than we planned, there are actions you can take while maintaining physical distancing to help preserve our natural resources and celebrate Earth Day with the community of Northfield.

We start off with some simple sustainability tips to safely take steps towards sustainability, then dive into some ideas for how to save energy in your everyday activities around the house.

With the increased amount of time that households are spending at home, many are seeing the impact to utility bills. Many of these tips are also designed to help save on your bills while at home.

And remember...

Care for your family.

Care for you community.

Care for the Earth.

Sustainability made simple

ChalkWoman on couch with computerWind Turbine

Support renewable energy from your couch

Supporting clean, local, renewable energy has never been easier. Signing up only takes a few minutes and the average Northfield household can cover 100% of its electricity for less than $10 per month (think: less than the cost of a whole hoagie at Hogan Brothers).

Discover the right renewable program for you

Keep your neighborhood clean

Nature is an important resource that we want to preserve in Northfield – especially right now. Next time you go on a walk consider bringing a bag to collect trash and help keep Northfield beautiful. Don’t forget to wash your hands when you get back home!

Spread messages with sidewalk art

We love our sidewalk poetry! Create your own sidewalk masterpieces with chalk to share the messages of Earth Day and spread cheer and community. If you are caring for little ones, this is a great activity for them.

DIY Energy improvements

Now could be a good time to make some small DIY home changes to help improve your home’s sustainability. Check out Xcel Energy’s online store for free and discounted energy-saving items. Find low-flow showerheads, smart power strips, and smart thermostats among other things.

Xcel Energy Store

Check out Northfield’s energy web page

The City has worked with Xcel Energy to assemble resources to help connect residents to resources to save energy. We’ve also recently updated the web page with resources to engage kids on energy and sustainability. Check them out!

Northfield’s energy web page

The more you know!

Calculate your carbon footprint to learn more about how you use energy – and how you can save!

Carbon footprint calculator

Commit to one thing

Helping the earth doesn’t have to be hard. If you’re not sure where to start, try taking on one thing. Maybe shorten your shower time once per week or pick up one piece of litter on your walk.

Energy tips for you home

Many of us are home more than we normally would be, all in an effort to keep our community safe. This Earth Day, commit to helping preserve our resources while staying safe at home.

Around the kitchen

Spending time in the kitchen is often an important part of being home together. And spending time in the kitchen doesn’t have to be a drain on Earth’s resources. Here are some tips to help you save, whether you are cooking up a storm or heating up leftovers.

Rolling pinDishesCooking

Put a lid on it!

Seriously, covering your pots and pans with lids while you’re cooking speeds up cooking time and keeps the heat where you need it most.

Don’t peek

Opening the door of your oven can lower the cooking temperature by as much as 25 degrees Fahrenheit.

Smart microwave

When possible, use the microwave instead of the oven — it can use as much as 80% less energy. Plus, it’s easier!

Frozen savings

That extra fridge in your garage or basement could be costing you $100 or more annually in electricity costs. You can have it taken away for free – and earn a $50 rebate.

Refrigerator recycling

Air ’em out

Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle.

Less flow more savings

Low-flow water faucets can help reduce your hot water consumption, which can save energy. Get FREE low-flow attachments shipped to your house.

Xcel Energy Store

Keeping comfy

We are all spending a lot of time in our homes now – and here are some ideas of how to stay comfortable while also conserving resources.

Opening windowHouse with treeThermostat

Sleepy setbacks

Your family might be home more – but you can still set your thermostat back while you’re asleep. Try programming your thermostat back a few degrees overnight. A good rule of thumb is 1 degree per hour of setback, up to 8 degrees.

Don’t be blinded

Use blinds to lower your home’s electricity. In colder months, open your blinds to let light in during the day, and close them to prevent heat loss at night. In warmer months, do the opposite: close them during the day to keep your house cool.

Celebrate Arbor Day

Thinking of planting a tree? Plant one on your home’s south side to block the summer sun and save on cooling costs. Plant one on your home’s north side to block that cold winter wind.

DIY energy savings

Now may be a good time to tackle some items around the house to help save energy on this month’s bills and in the future.

Surge protector electric pluginInstalling a light blub in bathroom vanityWater pipe with insulation

Get smart power

It’s important to have reliable electronics to help access education and services. But they don’t have to be a big drain on your bills. Plugin electronics to a power strip to easily turn them off when not using. Even easier? Invest in a smart power strip to automatically turn off unneeded electronics.

Xcel Energy Store

Pipe up

Insulate your pipes – especially those leading from your hot water tank to the rest of your home.

Light up with LEDs

If you still have inefficient incandescent or halogen lights in your house, now is a great time to replace those with LEDs. Order some today from your local hardware store or Xcel Energy.

Xcel Energy Store

  1. Beth Kallestad

    Beth Kallestad

    Program Coordinator
    Phone: 507-645-3074