It’s finally Saturday! You’ve caught up on your beauty sleep, made a family brekkie, maybe dropped the kids at a birthday party, and now there’s time to kill before the kiddos return to home base. What to do now? The couch is staring at you with its voluptuous curves and suddenly a glimpse of Altered Carbon catches your eye on the screen. One thing leads to another and before you know it, you’re on top of the sofa and glued to the telly.


3 hours later…

The kids return home and you feel guilty. Not about eating an entire sleeve of Oreos by yourself, but about binge-watching a series instead of grabbing a coffee or a beer and catching up with the gang. Stop feeling guilty! It’s okay to be a couch panini sometimes…


What’s green about watching series at home?

Studies recorded in Joule, an online American journal of research and analysis on energy and sustainability, show that spending time on your couch uses far less energy than leaving home in search of entertainment.

We must give digital technology the cred here. Thanks to its advances, we can shop online and watch Netflix on demand without leaving the house. We don’t have to drive to the mall and have our 4-wheel baby’s gasses dirty the atmosphere. Spending more time at home gives us a chance to change our homes into eco-havens. This is great for our pockets and the planet.


5 Ways to make your home cinema more energy efficient


  1. Buy ENERGY STAR products

ENERGY STAR products save energy without sacrificing features or functionality. Look out for the ENERGY STAR label on electronic devices like TVs and computers. These appliances use less electricity than products without the label do, which means that you save money on your monthly bills.

Buy an ENERGY STAR TV for your home cinema for a guilt-free and greener lifestyle. You’ll save up to 27% more energy without compromising on quality. TVs are available in ultra-high-definition (UHD) with internet connectivity.

How much moola do you save?

A home with ENERGY STAR TVs, set-top boxes, Blu-Ray players, and soundbars, can save nearly R2000 every 2 years.


  1. Pull the plug

Want to take a nap while New Girl is on? Switch all your devices off and unplug them before you go into snooze-mode. TVs and stereos still use 10 – 60% of power on standby. Smart Boxes cost nearly as much to run in standby mode as when they are switched on!

Use a power strip for your home cinema to easily turn multiple devices on and off in one go and unplug all your devices when you’re not using them or are away from home.

  1. Switch devices

Laptops generally use less power than television screens do. If you’re just chilling alone at home, consider series binging on a fully-charged laptop. Not a huge laptop fan? Consider a 42-inch LED TV instead of a 50-inch UHD TV. Remember: The bigger the TV, the bigger the electricity bill.

In general LED screens use less energy than UHD TVs. If bigger is better and you want to feel like you’re sitting in a VIP movie theatre, you need to change a few settings for a greener lifestyle.


5 Green TV Settings

  • Lower your screen’s brightness.
  • Set your theme to a darker colour.
  • Select an energy-saving mode.
  • Turn off your telly if there’s no audience.
  • Unplug your devices when you’re away.


  1. Dim the lights

Bright lights are for board-games and other night-time activities. You don’t need (and mostly don’t want) to feel like you’re in the spotlight when an episode of Grey’s Anatomy gives you red cheeks and swollen eyes.

Install a dimming light controller and change the brightness of your living room with just the touch of a button. You’ll save 20% more power while your emotions run wild. Together with the dimming action, LED and fluorescent bulbs don’t need to be changed as often as halogen bulbs.


Did you know?

Lighting counts for about 20% of an electricity bill in the average home. Dimming lights just 25% saves 20% in energy usage. Replacing a standard light switch with a dimmer can save up to R400 a year.


  1. Switch sound

Add a sound damper to your sound system. It will reduce echo, vibrations, and enhance listening quality. This device makes the sound of your favourite movies clearer at a lower volume and uses less energy. It’s literally music to your ears.


Tip: Download Decibel X on your Android or iOS device to find out if your volume is too loud.  The highly-rated app is free and can calculate sound levels. It has a standard measurement range from 30 to 130db.


Go ahead, jump into that bamboo-fibre panda onesie and enjoy your green movie marathon!

Happy earth, happy life.

Pssst! Check out the top shows on Netflix here