Okay, so maybe there’s a few of you out there who don’t watch Game of Thrones–nobody’s perfect. But for the rest of you, you know you don’t miss an episode. After being shocked by the latest unexpected tragedy (actually, they’re pretty expectable by this point), you hop on Facebook so you can gossip about it with your friends, or fire off a text message to seventeen people saying, “I CAN’T BELIEVE [insert newly deceased character here] DIED!”
But before the weekend hits and the countdown to the next episode begins, take a moment to think about your habits. Do any of your fellow fans live nearby? If so, instead of watching the same show on seven different TVs in seven different houses, with seven different sets of living room lights on, with seven different furnaces keeping your seven different friends toasty… how about getting all your friends together at one house? Make it a weekly event; have it at a different friend’s house every week… or just at that one guy’s place with the awesome surround sound and expensive projector setup. Socialize, make dinner, share a bottle of wine while you hope and pray that your favorite character doesn’t get the literal axe.
You’ll have a great time together, and in the process, you’ll all save loads of money on your electric and gas bills. One houseful of people glued to the TV requires a lot less power than many different, nearly empty households doing the same. And once GoT ends for the year, if you and your friends find a new Netflix show to binge watch, why not watch that as a group as well? Not only will you save on gas and electricity, you’ll use a lot less pricey bandwidth as well.
While you’re at it, here are a few other ways to save money while watching your favorite shows:
- Turn off the lights when watching TV. That way, you can set your TV at a dimmer light level that uses less electricity, and still have a crystal clear view of the action.
- Lower the volume a bit, if it isn’t necessary to have the bass cranked up. The quieter the speakers, the less energy they use.
- If you’re streaming a show or movie by yourself, consider using your laptop instead of the TV. A laptop uses much less power than your average HDTV, especially if you’re using headphones with your laptop.
- If you’re taking a break to grab something to eat or to have a conversation, turn the TV off instead of leaving it paused for an hour. Besides, if you’re using Netflix, when you’re ready to watch again, the service will resume your show right where you left off.
- If your TV is an older LCD or plasma HDTV, consider upgrading. Try holding your hand over the top of your TV after it’s been on for a while: if you can feel a lot of heat coming off of it, then your TV is wasting a lot of power. Newer LCD TVs are much more energy efficient than older models. Besides, you know you’ve been eyeing that newer, bigger TV for a while now… you can finally give in and buy it, AND pat yourself on the back for being conscientious about energy consumption.