(Wednesday morning on Wake Up, Jen White from Lexington Co-op joined us to discuss plant-based options for sustainable eating. See what she shared in the video above.)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Supporting a more sustainable environment can come down to simple things in your day-to-day life. Ahead of Earth Day, we talked to some experts about ways you can be more environmentally friendly and energy efficient from home.

National Fuel, through their Fueling Tomorrow Today website, has plenty of tips for heating and cooling your home:

  • Reduce air leaks to cut up to 10 percent off your energy bill. These can be found in places like floors, ducts, doors, windows and your fireplace.
  • Change or clean your furnace air filter once a month during the heating season.
  • Use registers to direct warm airflow across the floor.
  • Do full loads of laundry.
  • Replace standard lights with energy-saving fluorescent light bulbs.
  • Turn your computer off at night and unplug battery chargers when they’re not in use.
  • Turn your water heater down to 120 degrees.
  • To automatically turn the temperature down without sacrificing comfort, National Fuel recommends a programmable thermostat.

“By combining proper equipment maintenance and upgrades with appropriate insulation, air sealing, and thermostat settings, you can cut your energy use for heating and cooling, and reduce environmental emissions, from 20 percent to 50 percent,” NYSEG says.

When it comes to thermostat shifts, the United States Department of Energy says “the percentage of savings from setback is greater for buildings in milder climates than for those in more severe climates.”

“A common misconception associated with thermostats is that a furnace works harder than normal to warm the space back to a comfortable temperature after the thermostat has been set back, resulting in little or no savings,” the Department of Energy says. “In fact, as soon as your house drops below its normal temperature, it will lose energy to the surrounding environment more slowly.”

Speaking of indoor temperature changes, those exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen can have a big impact on your energy use, too. NYSEG says that in just an hour, those fans “can remove a houseful of warmed or cooled air.”

Something else to consider in the bathroom — NYSEG says “a typical shower requires only half as much hot water as an average bath.”

But let’s get back to the kitchen. Did you know that what’s inside your fridge might impact your energy use, too? NYSEG recommends not putting hot food inside it, and not tightly packing your food in, either.

When it comes to your freezer, NYSEG recommends not allowing a buildup of more than a quarter inch of ice.

On the topic of the place we cook most meals, here’s some of what NYSEG has to say about prepping food:

  • Only use small electric appliances for cooking small meals
  • Pre-heat your oven for no more than 10 minutes
  • Resist peeking into the oven

One more tip — it’s not something for inside your home, but National Fuel says planting trees near your home can help shade it. NYSEG says trained nursery personnel can assist in the planning of a landscape design that’s energy efficient.

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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award, JANY Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.