In terms of energy efficiency, one major difference I made was buying curtains. Most apartments are cheaply made and come with a set of white blinds. With a few screw and nail holes, I installed additional curtains, most of which I got at my local secondhand shop. For $50, I covered 3 large windows, controlling light and screen glare, and more importantly, temperature. I did this last year and have since had less issues with the sun heating up the place, and the cold freezing the place. While you wait to get curtains, you can at least make sure to open your blinds for heat and close them at sunset to get the most of natural energy. This might be obvious info, but lazy me always left them closed and ended up needing to crank that baseboard heater a little more.
We're also in hot drink season, folks. My workplace is connected to a Starbucks, which rakes in all the extra business of lazies who don't take the 2 minutes to make their own cup of their favorite hot beverage. Taking time to make your own drinks lets you step away from your workspace for a moment yet continue to be productive. You may even surprise yourself by making something you like more than what you'd buy.
|Bad choice to have to make at 7am...|
And finally, Christmas. It's a barrage of should-I, shouldn't-I emotions and the guilt of giving cheaper gifts or no gifts just might not be worth it for some of you. I would say that in the very least, make sure your Thank Yous are genuine or practiced. If you're in a situation where you receive but not give, the givers probably want your positive reaction more than to simply exchange stuff. As a side note, I personally think the majority of gift giving should happen on birthdays, rather than this predictable season.
If you are going for purchases, remember that you can switch over to https://smile.amazon.com and donate a portion of your purchase to a charity of your choice. I chose one of the Internet rights advocate groups, since the bored FCC decided to stop doing their jobs and sold us out. You can just as well choose animal shelters or help sick kids. Anyhoo, switching URLS (to smile.amazon) will preserve your cart, too, so you can do it just before checkout. Amazon didn't pay me to say this, I just figure you can support a good cause with literally 24 keystrokes or a mouse click.