Why We Should Conserve Energy | Easy Ways to Save and How to Conserve Energy
It’s now apparent that we are depleting the natural resources of the world we live in and at an alarming rate to boot. And so, we can’t just dilly-dally and keep on doing what we are used to and start the change in ourselves NOW.
We are talking about energy resources. There are multiple reasons why we should conserve energy and how to conserve energy. In this article, we are going to further reinforce that notion.
Bear in mind that not everything infinite and someday future generations will suffer the consequences if we are not careful. Let’s talk about energy conservation and why you should be a part of the movement.
What is energy conservation?
Energy conservation basically means the efforts and measures done in hopes of cutting down energy usage and preserving resources. It’s a global movement but it’s more like an individual’s conscious effort to use lesser energy whenever possible. And, it is possible to accomplish almost everything that we do daily.
It’s an effort to specifically aid fossil duel depletion and also looking for different sources of energy that are preferably more sustainable and efficient. In the process, the practices involved are eco-friendlier and will benefit the environment in the long run and even reverse any damages already done.
Energy Conservation vs. Energy Efficiency: What Is The Difference?
Sometimes people use these two words interchangeably. But energy conservation and energy efficiency aren’t the same things. There is a slight difference between these two terms.
Energy conservation is the changes in a person’s behavior that results in using less amount of energy. It means using energy when it’s needed but not wasting it. When you advise someone to turn off the light or fan while leaving the rooms or to use the stairs instead of the lift/elevator, you’re indirectly telling him/her to conserve energy.
Energy efficiency means using a technology that’ll cost less energy to offer you the same convenience. Energy efficiency doesn’t make you cut down on your usage. Using LED or CFL light bulbs will save more energy than the incandescent light bulb without compromising the amount or quality of the light.
Why is Energy Conservation important?
Its importance is apparent and simple. Save energy, save the world that we live in, and save lives. Sounds hard or overwhelming? Really, it’s not. Start with the little things. You can do it yourself with less effort applied to your daily lives.
Some would think it’s trivial, some would even question the cause, but these are people or organizations that are threatened by the movement or just want an easy way out and make money. So, don’t be discouraged, take the first step today, and take part in the efforts.
Here are a few more reasons why you should conserve energy!
1. A healthier planet
The top source for energy is coal and fossil fuel. The process involves burning these sources to produce energy that’s up for consumption. For one, that creates a lot of wastes, and second, it produces a lot of harmful gases as well as residual particles that are then released into our environment.
These toxins seep into nature and then get to us affecting our health in return. You see, there’s a domino effect here and it all starts with the production of energy. It affects our world and so it affects us.
When we conserve energy, we minimize our carbon footprint and so we help the environment stay healthy if not let it recuperate although that would be pretty ambitious.
2. It’s a money saver!
You’d think that if you start conserving energy only our planet will benefit from it? A BIG no. Being energy efficient in everything that we do or own is actually pretty cost-efficient. You might be asking, what do you mean? Energy efficient appliances and devices and living a green lifestyle is costly, right?
While it’s true that investing in energy efficient devices and appliances at first or even choosing to go green is a bit expensive but you’ll reap the benefits in the long run financially.
Take an Energy Star rated refrigerator for example, yes it’s more expensive but if you’ll save say 20% on electricity on it daily then think about what you’ll save on utility bills. When it comes to being energy efficient, think long-term.
3. Preserves ecosystems and combats climate change
Do you know what else is associated with the industries that provide energy to the world? Destruction of habitats and ecosystems. Let’s face it, these industries are thriving and are raking in tons of cash unimaginable. So, between the lines, one way or another, there are some not so ethical choices along the way that then leads to the destruction of nature.
Animals are displaced, forests are forever gone, and this leads to a series of unfortunate yet preventable events. If we choose to conserve energy, we may just lessen the demand for it and so we help protect nature and some of our co-habitants in this world.
And needless to say, the energy industry emits the most greenhouse gas, and the damages it’s done to our atmosphere is irreparable. Climate change is here and it’s real. A simple way to combat climate change is by using lesser energy than you could have today.
Lesser demands of traditional sources of energy would lead to lesser needs for building new power plants and so that’s already a huge win for this campaign. Help combat global warming!
4. Quality of life improved
Conserving energy means having to make conscious decisions to go green and that involves a lot of things that cleaning your household, doing things manually rather than mechanically, and overall just decisions that benefit the world we live in.
This, in turn, would lead to a healthier you not only in terms of physical health but also mentally. A green environment calms the mind and that puts you in the position to do better decisions, be more productive, and just be healthier overall.
So start being mindful about using less energy yourself the spread the word!
5. Water for future generations
Yes, the very water that we drink may not be as infinite as we think it is today. And if we are not careful then we’ll definitely run out of it sooner and so it’s the future generations that will have to suffer. Imagine a world without water, you’d think that that only happens in the movies but if we don’t join the efforts on conserving energy then that may be our grim future.
Clean water, pollution-free water should be and always be a necessity and so we need to make sure that energy production won’t disrupt it. You conserve energy, you conserve water too.
6. Impacts our society
Overall, if everyone helps in energy saving then we’ll have a better society. Everyone will make conscious choices and will just help our economy. It all starts with the individual and soon we will cultivate a safer world for centuries to come.
How to conserve energy | 11 Easy ways to Start TODAY
Energy may seem like this infinite source of power and something that we can just take for granted. But in reality, it isn’t infinite and the world has harnessed multiple sources just so our daily needs can be fulfilled. So, we must know how to conserve energy for all of our sakes.
Actually, we’re on the brink of exhausting a lot of our resources and so it should be and would be prudent and important that we start saving energy as early as now. You may be aware of the various energy-saving measures that the government has imposed in our society and even private companies have various campaigns imposing why we should conserve energy.
But really, it’s in our own little ways that we can contribute a lot when it comes to energy conservation. Here are our suggestions on how to conserve energy
1. Buy energy-efficient appliances
This is probably one of the most prevalent ways that people nowadays are already trying to conserve energy. For one, energy-saving appliances have been around for some time now, and two, it’s fairly accessible if not feasible for anyone to do.
Purchasing an energy-saving device is not only good for the environment but also good for your pocket. How so? Aren’t these devices and appliances cost way more than their counterparts?
Well, yes, but they are the more cost-efficient ones. That means that while you will most likely pay more upfront, you will soon reap the benefits or savings money-wise from using these devices.
As they are energy savers, you get to pay less on your electricity bills, they are most of the time, low maintenance, and are built to last more than the usual non-energy saving appliances.
BONUS TIP: What are common energy saving appliances that you may take advantage of?
Clothes dryers, washers, dishwashers, and refrigerators are just some common household appliances that you can buy that are energy savers. How to spot an energy saving appliance? Well, all you got to do is to look for an Energy Star appliance.
It’s like the official certification that an appliance has gone through the necessary process and is reliably energy-efficient. And if you don’t already know, most energy saving appliances will use about 10% to a whopping 50% less energy than their non-energy saving counterparts.
That’s a whole lot of saving for you! And, why don’t we throw in the mix common energy saving devices, shall we?
Some examples of devices that you can get that are energy-efficient are eco-chargers, smart sockets, programmable thermostats, energy monitors, LED light bulbs, and solar panels.
These are some things that we use on a daily basis and that’s the entire reason why we need to starts saving energy with them.
2. Be mindful of your windows
Yes, windows! And, we’re not talking about the operating system here. Installing windows that are energy efficient is a trend nowadays and for a lot of good reasons.
Windows are a major source of energy waste and that’s why we wanted to emphasize it on our list early. It doesn’t matter whether you live in a hot or cold region, either way, you’ll lose a lot of energy through your windows.
You’ll lose a lot of heat during winter or if you’re living in colder regions and otherwise, you’re air-conditioning may be working overtime if you live in hotter climates. So, installing energy-efficient remedies a lot of issues when it comes to wastage of energy.
Based on our math, inefficient windows account for 10% to 25% of your extra heating bill. And how much do energy efficient windows reduce your utility bills? About 10% to 20%. So, more or less that’s about a 20% to 40% energy conserved easy. Great turnaround, huh?
So, what are energy-efficient windows? The simple solution is to replace single-pane windows with double-pane windows as this is a sure-fire way to prevent heat loss.
If you’re living in colder regions then you might want to invest in gas-filled windows paired with Low-E coatings. And there’s a trend here if you’ve noticed. You’re going to have to invest on these improvements at first so it’s going to naturally cost more, but, these newly installed systems will save you money for years to come.
So, it’s a win-win situation for sure.
3. Efficient HVAC system
We spoke about insulation in our previous point and now, let’s talk about the very element that keeps the temperature in check at all times, your HVAC system. Since every household in North America might have an HVAC system then we made sure to dedicate a separate point for it from all other appliances.
Your HVAC system is responsible for the ventilation, heating, and air-conditioning of your household. Did you know that your heating alone accounts for 40% of energy use in homes? Air-conditioning is a lot modest at 6% of energy consumption in households.
You get an HVAC system that covers all 3, ventilation, heating, and air-conditioning is the best way to go when it comes to saving energy. The first thing you need to know is that the Energy Star rating for Northern Regions and Southern Regions are different. Switching to the appropriate Energy Star rating to your location would surely allow for bigger savings.
With an energy efficient HVAC system, you’ll save 12% to 16% on your heating bill pair that up with proper insulation for your homes then you will increase that significantly, up to 20% at least.
Just be sure that your HVAC system and all of its components are properly installed and if you can’t DIY them which we don’t recommended then go get the help of a professional.
4. Weatherize and properly insulate your home
We started with windows earlier because we know that that option was doable for a lot of us and to be honest, more affordable. Not everyone can afford to fully insulate their homes or weatherize it all the time, but there are hacks to it and it’s not impossible to do so.
Plus, if we realize the tons of savings that we can get from it financially and the energy we can conserve then maybe we’ll be inspired to do some necessary measures.
What does it mean to weatherize your home? Well, you start by sealing air leaks to reduce either your heating or cooling expenses. Take a look at your vents, windows, or even doors and start from there.
Cracks and openings on walls, vents, doors, and as mentioned, windows, are top reasons why air leaks out or comes in disrupting our whole energy saving system. You can also go ahead and check on your attic or plumbing as leaks may also happen in these places.
There’s a trend here, right? Leaks happen most in places we don’t check. So, get help if you can and seal everything systematically as much as possible.
The next step is to insulate. Are you familiar with what we call the R-value? Well, the R-value is the level of heat resistance your home has got against heat. This is how you measure the level of insulation your house should have.
Warmer climates, of course, have lower R-value needed while colder climates would have higher R-value necessary. There are tons of house insulating tips online that would best fit your home it’s even exciting.
5. Keep in mind the little things
Try to be aware of the little things in your home and in your life in general that can help save energy. These are simple things that we do every day or things around the house that we take for granted.
It’s easy to say that, well, this is just one light bulb or just one power strip, it won’t make a difference so I’ll just go buy cheaper or standard ones anyway rather than energy-efficient ones. Let’s be honest, quite true, right?
Well, let’s change that habit. As mentioned, go start with your light bulbs. We keep them on almost 24/7 and your savings will definitely pile up sooner rather than later. What not to use? Incandescent light bulbs just consume relatively enormous amounts of energy.
What are the better alternatives? Well, go get CFLs or compact fluorescent lights instead. Or, go get halogen incandescent light bulbs or better yet, LEDs or light emitting diode bulbs. These light bulbs consume about 25% to a whopping 80% less electricity and they tend to last 3-25 times longer!
You can also go ahead and use smart power strips. Did you know, that about 75% of electricity consumption in the house is due to turn off devices or appliances? Well, that’s because of standard power strips and you can change that.
Smart power strips shut off if the appliance or device plugged into it is shut off as well. This saves you a ton of energy. About $200 a year on a standard American household. Also, you may install a programmable thermostat and find ways to reduce your heating expenses to deflate your energy consumption regularly.
6. Be mindful of your habits
Once again, it’s the little things that you do daily that will be key on how to conserve energy simply because that these are the habits that you can control and won’t cost a penny.
Start with turning off lights, devices, or appliances that are not in use. Perform a few household tasks manually if you can like washing the dishes manually if you have the time. Washing the dishes can be a good way to relax, you know.
Also, try to make sure to replace old inefficient appliances as soon as possible or repair any electrical issues you have outright. This ain’t only energy saving but also safety practices.
Do laundry efficiently, set your refrigerator to the appropriate setting only, air dry dishes or clothes, cook using the appropriately sized burner, use showerheads & low-flow faucets, use microwaves or toasters instead when heating food, take shorter showers, and be sure to unplug battery chargers whenever you’re done.
As you’ve read, these are just daily habits we do, and practicing these energy saving tips will go a long way for you and our environment.
Cleaning goes a long way too. And we’re really talking about cleaning, in general. You can also focus on cleaning vents and filters of the varying appliances and systems that you have in your household.
Air-conditioners, ventilation, heater, and HVAC systems are just some of the appliances that you need to take a look at. Anything that’s got a filter, make sure to regularly clean them as they consume more energy if they are clogged.
Pay special consideration to the condition of your refrigerator too.
8. Alternative energy sources
Solar energy is definitely one of the top choices for diverting your energy needs at home. You may at least use solar panels for light consumption like light bulbs. Large commercial establishments can benefit from using solar energy too.
Wind energy and hydroelectric systems are also alternative sources of energy but it may be up to the government to implement and regulate such sources.
For households, if you have access and can afford solar panels then please do so.
9. Tips for the kids
It’s not only adults that need to do all the energy saving. Our kids can take part and observe proper practices too. Actually, it’s best that we start them young!
As a parent, we can limit their usage of electronics and let them play the conventional way instead. Let them do other worthwhile activities especially the ones that they can learn a lot of things from. Let them bond with other kids too.
They can either ride a bike or take a stroll if school is nearby. They get to exercise in the process. Don’t let them waste resources too like school materials especially on paper.
Let them use reusable water bottles and plastic bottles are the top sources of trash and are not good for the environment. And lastly, teach them how to recycle early on. Once they are aware of these habits, they’ll grow up to be responsible adults.
10. Following some energy-efficient techniques
You can follow these techniques in your day-to-day life to conserve energy.
- If you’re using an old model water heater, you can insulate it with a blanket to reduce 25% – 45% standby heat loss. This small energy conservation trick will allow you to minimize 4% – 9% water heating costs.
- Avoiding the rinse hold setting on your dishwasher can reduce water and electricity usage. The rinse hold setting needs additional 10-15 liters of hot water in a single cycle.
- Using the lids of your wok/pot while cooking can save a lot of gas or electricity.
- Every time you open the refrigerator door, make sure the door is sealed completely otherwise the warm air of your room increases the temperature of your refrigerator and wastes energy.
11. Depending on the Natural Light and air
One of the best ways of how to conserve energy is to maximize the use of natural light and air as much as possible. It’ll not only save your energy cost but also refresh your mind and keep you relaxed.
Lifting the curtains and allowing sunlight in the room will reduce the heating cost in the winter.
By closing the drapes or dropping the window shades during the day will prevent your room from getting hotter in the summer days.
To increase the entrance of natural light into your room, you can consider re-arranging your furniture. Lightweight curtains or window blinds offer you privacy while still allowing natural light to come in.
Observe these practices and you’ll help our world recuperate. Save energy, SAVE OUR PLANET!
Why Does Energy Conservation Matter To Consumers?
Energy conservation does not end up only with saving the natural resources and environment, it also matters to the consumers.
- It’s the consumers who’ll be benefitted from the positive change in the environment due to conserve energy and natural resources. We’ll get enough usable resources for leading a better life.
- What matters more to the consumers is that energy conservation will restore this world into a healthier place for living by making the air and water cleaner, recycling decomposable waste, and saving the lands and oceans.
- Last but not the least, consumers can directly save their electricity, water, gas, and other bills. It may seem insignificant if you calculate on daily basis, but if you consider the yearly cost, it’ll be a huge difference.
Why Conserve Energy In The First Place?
The hype of going green and conserving energy has some thoughtful reasons behind it.
Firstly, when you’re conserving energy, you’re contributing to limit carbon emission in the environment. Carbon emission is regarded as one of the main causes of noticeable climate change and fatal natural disasters in recent years. Limited carbon emission ensures healthier and more liveable earth with cleaner air, slower climate change, and economic development.
Secondly, energy conversation is important for sustaining the existent resources in this world. You’re conserving energy which means, you’re leaving a liveable world with required natural resources for your future generations.
So, isn’t there anything that’ll benefit you directly? You’re saving money when you’re conserving energy. You can save hundreds of dollars from energy bills just with some simple changes in your life.
Is It Important To Conserve Energy?
Conserving energy is not just the hype of this present era. It’s a practical motto in this 21st century. Conserving energy is important to restore this world into a healthier living place and save the existence of mankind.
Whether to withstand climate change and stop deforestation or to make our life better by saving natural resources and money, there is no other option than knowing how to conserve energy and bringing eco-friendly changes.
How Does Energy Conservation Help The Environment?
- Fossil fuel conservation will limit affecting the underground water supplies. There will be purer water resources for human and animal consumption.
From extracting fossil fuels to producing usable energy needs industrial buildings, equipment, and machinery, transportation facilities that cause damage to the wildlife and forest lands. Conserving fossil fuels reduces the number of oil spills while being transported around the world.
- Water conservation reduces carbon emissions. A lot of energy is required to supply, heat, and treat water.
Therefore, your small initiatives like switching to conserve water can contribute to saving millions of kilowatt-hour electricity every year that’ll result in reduced global warming pollution, and climate change.
- When you conserve power, you contribute to reduce the number of toxic releases like mercury or non-mercury metallic contaminants, acid gases, dioxin, etc by the power plants and save the air. Besides, you’ll also help to conserve our limited natural resources and fossil fuels that would otherwise be used to produce more power.
- Using reusable products, recycling your household waste, depending on natural air and light, you can conserve natural resources and fossil fuels and protect the ecosystem.
What Are Smart Appliances?
Smart appliances are those appliances that are connected to a central system, can be programmed to work autonomously and regulated via other smart devices.
You can connect these appliances to your smartphone or tablet for controlling and getting information when you’re not around. Besides their convenient application, these appliances are great for better energy management.
Some smart appliances are smart refrigerators, ovens, vacuums, dishwashers, washers, dryers, heaters, air conditioners, thermostats, ceiling fans, light bulbs, locks, security systems, cameras, smoke or carbon monoxide detectors, smart bed, and mattress, infant monitors, etc.
For example, by connecting your smart oven to your phone, you can start cooking when you’re on the way from the office to your home. Smart vacuums will clean your floor by themselves.
What Are Smart Thermostats?
A smart thermostat is a temperature control device that allows you to regulate heating and cooling your space remotely from your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or other internet-connected devices.
Smart thermostats can increase or lower the heating in your space depending on the time of day and the outer weather. If you get a smart thermostat that has geofencing, it’ll recognize your entrance or presence and change the temperature accordingly.
When you’re on the go from office to home, you’ve to just log in to the smart thermostat app and command to cool or warm up your home. In the case of regular programmable thermostats, you may have to bear some extra power costs.
Understanding Energy Conservation Is A Critical Step Towards A Better Quality Of Life
If we truly understand how to conserve energy and why we should conserve energy, we’ll go an important step ahead towards a better life.
You don’t have to gain the support of the whole society to conserve energy and save the environment. You can contribute to conserving energy all by yourself by taking small initiatives and changing some habits. Once you understand how to conserve energy, implementing that will be just a matter of time.
For getting a better life in this world or for leaving a better world for future generations, we’re left with no other way than to realize how to conserve energy and taking initiatives accordingly.
Now, as you know why we should conserve energy, you’ll not want to wait for the crowd to make the change. Changing your small habits will change and restore the environment gradually.