Conserving water and energy (click here to read more about water) are probably some of the best ways to begin living sustainably. They are easy ways you can incorporate into your daily routine without much though and effort. These tips will also help you save a lot of money in the long run and a lot of them can be done even while being lazy!
But, why should we bother saving energy?
Though our energy consumption as a society has not increased that much in the last thirty years (due to energy efficient gadgets), it is still important to reduce our energy consumption. It is good for the environment and good for your wallet.
Unfortunately though, even today, most of our energy comes from burning coal or burning fossil fuels, some of the world's leading carbon emissions. Saving energy means burning less fuel and therefore putting less emissions into the air.
We only have about a decade left to stop the average Earth temperate from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. While that isn't much, it is am average temperature and this small change can be drastic. This is when eco-systems will begin to fail. This is when our precious water will begin to dry up. While the end of the human race won't be in ten years, that is about all we have left before our damage done to our home can no longer be resolved. You can read more about it here.
Let's put energy conservation into perspective:
According to Energy Saver, if widespread use of LED lights occurs, we as a society could have 348 Terawatt-hours of electricity, just from switching our light bulbs! This is equal to roughly the annual electrical output of 44 large electric power plants. This is a lot of energy that can be saved and it can also save about $30 billion.
Imagine if we made more than just one simple switch how much electricity and money we could save.
So, here are some super easy energy saving tips you can start to implement to make the world greener and even save yourself some money.
Here are 21 easy ways you can start conserving energy today!
1. Turn off the lights when you aren’t using them: This is simple. If you walk out of a room, turn the lights off. When you leave for work for the day, make sure all the lights are off. When you go to bed, turn off the outdoors lights since you won't need them any more. Easy!
2. Use sunlight during the day: This means you will rarely have to turn on your lights while there is still daylight. Open your blinds and curtains and let the natural light flood your home and avoid using lights for most of the day.
3. Or, keep the curtains closed: If you want to keep your home cooler, make sure to keep your curtains and doors closed. Allowing excess light into your home will warm it up slightly, especially since sunlight is so warm. If you are worried about your home temperature, keep the blinds shut but still be conscious of how much light you are using.
4. Conscious sockets: Use plug sockets that can be turned off when they are not being used or unplug your appliances while they are not in use. Things like phone chargers, toasters, sewing machines, and more are things that you are not using 24/7 and can be unplugged when you are not using them.
5. Change your temperature: Turn your thermostat slightly up in the summer and slightly down in the winter. This small change will be barely detectable by you, but it can save you a lot of money and a lot of energy. If you can bear it and still find it comfortable, consider changing it by a few more degrees to have even more of an impact.
6. Turn the thermostat off: Not all the time, of course, you should still live comfortably. But, by turning the thermostat off while your family is at work or school is a good place to start when it comes to saving energy. Another idea is to turn it off when the weather outside is at perfect temperature. When it feels nice and comfortable outside in the spring or fall, consider shutting your thermostat off and opening your windows for the day.
7. Energy efficient appliances: If you need to replace an appliance (don’t forget to shop second hand first!), try finding one that is the most energy efficient. Things like LED lights, energy conscious washing machines, dishwashers, and dryers are great places to start. Especially if you are in the market for new appliances, keep this in mind.
8. Keep it insulated: Make sure your home is insulated well to keep your home cool in summer and warm in winter. Poor insulation will lead to excess heat or AC use which means more energy being burned and more money being spent.
9. Clean the lint out of your drying machine lint trap: This might seem too easy, but it's true! If your lint trap is full (or over full), your dryer has to work harder to do it's job. So, to maximize it's efficiency, clean the lint trap after every cycle.
10. Clean the coils on your fridge: The same rules about the dryer apply here. In order for your refrigerator to run most efficiently, it needs to be properly cleaned and well maintained! All you have to do is find the panel (usually on the back or bottom) and vacuum all the dust and lint out of it.
11. Avoid your oven: When possible of course. Instead, use the stove, microwave, toaster oven, or crockpot. This is because these smaller appliances use a lot less energy than your oven does. When you do have to use it, try to plan your preheat time accordingly so it is not on longer than it needs to be.
12. Air dry your laundry: If possible. This will help reduce energy consumption from your dryer all together. Energy being used in your laundry routine can be cut in half. You can string up a clothesline outside or get a drying rack to use inside. There are actually quite a few options for air drying your laundry. Just find the one that works best for you! You can even just air dry some of your clothes. I usually air dry towels and things like that to reduce drying time but still allowing myself the convenience of using a drying machine for our clothes.
13. Use energy efficient light bulbs: I already mentioned this briefing above, but I wanted to go more in depth here. These light bulbs use about 75% less energy than normal light bulbs and last significantly longer as well. So, not only do they themselves reduce energy, but less energy is used to make more bulbs. More resources are saved and your will save money as well.
14. Turn off external lights on your house when not in use: porch or patio lights and even Christmas lights. Make sure lights are turned off during the day when their use is irrelevant and turn them off at night before going to bed when no one will have a use for them then.
15. Maintain your car: Energy consumption isn't just in the household, it's all over. I'm sure you know by now that transportation is one of the leading causes of greenhouse gases. Maintaining your car is one of the simplest ways you can reduce emissions. This is just like maintaining your dryer or fridge; the better the upkeep, the more efficient your car will run. Not to mention, you won't have to replace your car as often which will save a lot of resources and energy from producing more cars.
16. When choosing a new car, chose a hybrid: Of course, don't buy a new car just because your current one is not a hybrid. That is actually very wasteful when your current car is in good condition. But, when you do need a new car, think about getting a hybrid instead and of course shop second hand when possible. Hybrids are partially electric or just more fuel conscious than normal gas cars and can save a lot of fuel.
17. When choosing a new house, pick one with green electric: Moving soon? Keep the electricity in mind when choosing a home. Chose a house with geothermal, wind, water, or solar energy if possible. Try to avoid a coal burning home to reduce a lot of emissions.
18. Or, just change your electric company: If you don't plan on moving any time soon, see if you can change your electricity and water providers. Most of the time you will have choices in which company to supply your home with energy and water. If you can, try to use a company that uses green energy.
19. Take public transport, carpool, walk, or ride a bike: This might seem pretty self-explanatory, but choosing an alternate mode of transportation can save a lot of energy. Not only does burning oil itself waste energy, but it takes energy to extract the oil, refine it, and then transport it to your gas station. Getting more cars off the roads means less energy wasted in general. If you are fortunate enough to have a great public transportation system, consider using that for your daily commute. Or, if you're more into fitness and live in an area with good weather, maybe even walk or ride a bike. And of course, the easiest of all, ask some coworkers or classmates if they'd like to carpool with you! All of these things can help get more cars off the roads. If you want to learn more about public transportation, you can watch this video.
20. Fly as little as possible: I am going to preface this statement with I am still a flyer. I live on a tiny island, I can't really help it. And even when I don't live here anymore, I am not sure I will give up flying entirely. But, what I do want to say is this: avoid flying when you can. If you are just traveling to the next state or city, see if driving or taking a train or a bus is possible. If you do have to fly, look into some carbon offset programs. These programs usually plant trees to help get more carbon dioxide out of the air. Not a perfect solution, but it's a step.
21. Reduce, reuse, recycle: This seems to be an environmentalist's mantra, but it truly does have benefits. Reducing what you consume means that there is less of a demand for those items. Less demand means less raw materials having to be extracted, transported, manufactured, transported again, and then finally sold, only to be thrown away in our consumeristic society. I hope you can see how this will reduce energy consumption. The same goes for reuse; reuse what you have before buying new to reduce the demand. And for recycling, it is much better to recycle what we already have extracted and manufactured and turn it into something new instead of wasting energy extracting new resources.
Those are all the tips I have for now, but stay tuned for more as there are always more ways you can save the Earth, even if only a little bit. If you have any more tips, please let us know below!
I hope you enjoyed this post and even found some more easy energy conservation tips to implement in your life. If you were inspired by this or think someone else can benefit from the information, I would really appreciate if you shared for more to read!
Thanks for reading :)