Start off the new year by saving some money.

You have a computer in the office and most likely one or more at home. A typical desktop that’s switched on 24/7 for a whole year releases carbon dioxide as the average car releases in an 820-mile drive. To save energy, you don’t need to make drastic changes; you can start by making small adjustments that will ultimately lead to significant savings.

1. Disconnect your external devices

Printers, headphones, and webcams consume power, too. That’s why you should disconnect or remove these devices from your PC when you are not using them. Or…

2. Use a smart strip,

A smart strip is a power strip that is programmable, with circuits to monitor and maximize your gadgets’ power consumption. You can automate or unplug any device through an app so that they stop drawing current, and you save energy. By connecting your PC and peripherals like printers and scanners to the smart strip, you don’t need to unplug your equipment when you’re not using them.

3. Adjust your computer’s energy settings

You can also consume less energy by adjusting your PC’s power settings. For example, you can make sure your hard drive and monitor go into sleep mode when they’re left idle for a few minutes. You can further save electricity by lowering the brightness of your screen. If you are using Windows 10, you can get started here.

4. Shut down and unplug your computer when not in use

If you are not yet using a smart strip, then it’s best to shut down your computer when you’re not using it for an extended period of time.  Make sure to unplug your machine and its peripherals as well, because leaving them plugged in consumes standby power. It is important to note that your computer can be scheduled to install updates during off-hours, these are extremely important. If you are disconnecting your computer, make sure you are routinely checking for updates.

5. Use a charger only when charging your laptop

When we charge our laptops, it’s easy to just leave them there and forget about them. (I am guilty of this myself.)  This overcharging eventually degrades the battery. Meanwhile, leaving the charger plugged in — even if it’s not connected to your computer — also consumes standby power. To save energy, either use a wall outlet with a timer or plug your charger on a smart strip.

Little things add up. Hopefully, I’ve offered up an idea of how you can lower your electricity bill even a little bit.