Water, gas and electricity add up a good deal over the years, and while turning the light off when you leave the room is easy, there are a few more inventive ways to keep your meter, and your expenses, down.
You guys know the basics, so let's get them out of the way. Turn the light off when you leave the room. Turn off standby power.
Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth. Fill a sink instead of washing dishes under running water. Replace your gas stove with an electric. Cold water when washing clothes. Line-dry instead of machine. Energy saving bulbs and water saving shower heads.
Now for the habits you haven't thought of.
Turn off your microwave when you're not using it. You'll turn off your TV at the wall to save standby power but that baby is keeping time, and that takes power.
Turn off your alarm clock when you're not using it. Same thing guys. Your little beep beep buddy can stay dormant all day while you're at work. Waking you up in the morning and being set at night, it needs to stay on all night so give it a rest during the day.
During Earth Hour, when you feel guilty for a whole 60 minutes and turn off your electrics, you find ways to entertain yourself; board games, books, long conversations on the porch or candlelit dinners. These are things you can enjoy all the time, so turn off the lights and burn some candles.
While you're waiting for your water to heat up for a bath, shower or to do the dishes, catch all the cold and lukewarm water in a bucket or jug. This water can be used for pet baths, to fill the sink when you are shaving, or to fill vases, clean the house, water plants or even your lawn.
Your lawn can drink 30% of your water bill easily, sometimes up to 70%. So don't run your reticulation during winter, on rainy days or for more than five minutes at a time. Use excess water from your home, or water you've already used. Your garden doesn't need potable water, it just needs liquid.
Soak up the heat from the sun by opening curtains during the day and closing them at night. When it's too hot, keep them closed during the day and open them at night to cool down.
Never use an electric blanket. Aside from the fire risk, it's a huge waste of energy; instead have a hot water bottle, an extra blanket or a wheat bag.
If you have a fireplace, using it for some romantic fires to warm yourself will lower gas or electricity. You can get eco logs at most hardware stores, (burning logs that don't involve hacking down forests) and you get added points for ambience.
If you're not using your fireplace, remember it is still attached to a chimney and letting cold air in, so block it off if you don't plan on getting rustic.
When cleaning, you can use excess water collected from your home if you keep containers in your shower to catch run off water while it warms up, and a bucket for your kitchen sink while that warms up. You can also go back to the days of lemon juice and vinegar to minimise water use, or negate the need for it completely.
When heating or cooling, close off the areas you want attended to. Close doors and windows to other rooms so you're not wasting energy cooling or heating the whole house and maybe outdoors too.
Leave the window and door open when showering, it keeps moisture from forming without using the fan.
Spend more time out of your house! Dinner parties mean that other people's energy is keeping you cool or warm and cooking the food. Their water washes your dishes and your hands.
Replace your gas stove with an electric? Gas is more energy efficient than electric, and easier to control how much you need.
Burning a fire, even an 'ecolog' fire releases much more CO2 than a modern gas heater. Ecologs will also cost much more for the heat gained than either power or gas, so if the purpose is to reduce the power bill this method is counter productive. Invest in good, high rated insulation in both ceilings and walls, effective window coverings and an energy efficient appliance. You'll be stoked at the difference ;)
Candles made from paraffin wax are not better for the environment, paraffin is a fossil fuel, derived from petroleum, with an energy intensive production process. So unless your candles are beeswax, or you have a vege oil lamp, you may as well skip the earth hour candle thing and play your board games by electric lamp.
The most sensible suggestion here is spend more time out of your house - but perhaps not at the expense of friends! Try public places that will have lights/ climate control on whether you are there or not. Like community centres, libraries, shopping malls, pubs, restaurants, night markets. Ride a push bike to your local and feel the benefits to your wallet and weight.