St. Paddy’s Day is nearly here -- do you have your green outfit picked out? Regardless of whether or not you choose to go green in your mode of dress, St. Patrick’s Day is as good a day as any to go green with your energy consumption.

For most of us, conserving energy comes down to changing personal habits, and that can be difficult. So in the interest of starting small, Mister Sparky challenges you to pick one day to go green and see how easy it can be to make a change for the good of the planet.

To help you along the way, here are several ideas you can implement to reduce your carbon footprint over a 24-hour period:

Turn your thermostat down one extra degree all day, if you’re still using the furnace. If you live in a warmer region and are already using the air conditioning, turn the thermostat up a degree or shut it off altogether and open the windows. It’s an almost imperceptible difference in terms of comfort, but it adds up to real energy and money savings.

Turn off all electronics when they’re not in active use. This includes shutting down your computer fully -- sleep mode still uses energy!

Take public transportation for the day, or if the weather cooperates, ride your bike. If you have to take your car to work, ask around the office to see if anyone will carpool with you.

Be diligent about recycling. Many areas now have curbside recycling, which makes helping the planet easier than ever. But some trash still needs to be sorted or cleaned before it can go into the recycling bin, and unfortunately, not everyone takes the time. For your day of going green, make the effort to recycle every scrap of suitable trash.

Find a new way to go paperless. If you’re still receiving certain bills in the mail, see if you can register for an email alternative. If you’ve never e-filed your taxes before, make this the first year. You can even ditch the Post-It Notes and grocery lists by storing those little reminders on your phone.

Only run your washing machine or dishwasher when you have a full load -- otherwise, save it for another day.

If it is a laundry day, hang your clothes to dry. You don’t need to string up a line outside; just pick up an affordable drying rack that allows you to dry a whole load of clean clothes in a compact space.

Try dialing the temperature gauge back a notch on your hot water heater. We all like hot showers, but if your water heater is storing water at a higher temperature than you can comfortably tolerate, there’s room to cool things down a few degrees.

These are just a few quick and easy ways you can make a change. But if you’re ready to get serious about energy efficiency in your home, contact your local electrical experts to ask about energy audits, eco-friendly upgrades and other opportunities you maybe haven’t even heard about yet.

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