Every October is Energy Awareness Month.

Take these steps to help reduce your energy consumption.

1. Shutdown your computer

Computers are some of the biggest energy users in office buildings. Turn your monitor off at night and ditch the screensaver. Today's computers can be turned on and off over 40,000 times. Opting to shut down over using a screensaver does not affect your computer's lifespan. (EnergyStar). So power down!

2. Choose the right light

LED bulbs are the most energy efficient lighting option. LED bulbs use 75% less electricity than incandescent bulbs (Energy Star). The also have no mercury, and last about 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs (DoE).

3. Eliminate vampire power: unplug idle electronics.

Devices like televisions, microwaves, scanners, and printers use standby power, even when off. Some chargers continue to pull small amounts of energy, even when plugged in (a good judge of this is if a charger feels warm to the touch). In the US, the total electricity consumed by idle electronics equals the annual output of 12 power plants (EPA).

4. Use a power strip to reduce your plug load.

To avoid paying for this "vampire power," use a power strip to turn all devices off at once. Flipping the switch on your power strip has the same effect as unplugging each socket from the wall, preventing phantom energy loss.

5. Turn off the lights

Just one switch and you're done!