warm candles

Maybe you’re trying to cut back on your energy usage to save the planet, or maybe you’re just trying to chip away at your absurd PG&E bill. Either way, you don’t have to sit around home wrapped in blankets and mittens to save money and be eco. There are some pretty cheap (and green) ways to heat your house that you may not have thought of, and they’re a bit more comfortable than walking around like a mummified snowman all day.

Put plastic over the windows. Yup, it’s an old trick my dad always did in our house growing up, and you know what, it works. Cover all windows with plastic wrap (you can buy large rolls at the hardware store), and seal it over the window edges with a blow dryer. Keeps the cold air out of those leaky window cracks.

Close the doors of any rooms you’re not using. Smaller spaces lose less heat, and shutting off unused rooms reduces chilly drafts from circulating around. Even keeping your bathroom door closed can help when you’re not using it.

Switch in heavy curtains. Sub out your cutesy pink lace curtains for practical heavy winter curtains — they keep warm air in and cold air out. Get dark curtains for extra heating — they’ll absorb the heat from the sun and hold it inside the house.

Buy door draft stoppers. You’d be surprised how much cold air comes in from under the front door or garage door. Etsy and other online crafters sell some amazingly adorable draft stoppers for under 20 bucks, so now you have a decorating tool that’s also practical.

Light some candles. You may not have a fireplace in your studio apartment, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fire. Light up a few large candles and place them around each room for a few degrees of cozy heat au natural.

Image: Finding Josephine