Saving energy is not obscure science—it is a wonderful and indispensable habit. As researchers and companies large and small seek to discover renewable and alternative energy sources that could work on a prodigious scale, all of us should do our part to practice everyday conservation.
Similar to the theory that “it takes a village to raise a child,” there is no one entity that can solve the rapidly disappearing sources of fuel and other energy. However, orchestrating the components of individuals, businesses, governments, and researchers, everyday conservation achieves not one, but two critical goals.
First, energy conservation is environmentally-friendly. As Earth’s environment and eco-systems face more and more difficult challenges, reducing greenhouse gas emissions that can foul our atmosphere and damage wildlife is critical.
Second, most energy sources are fossil fuels, residing in the soil or in the oceans. They are non-renewable—when they are gone, they’re gone. This disturbing reality is “enhanced” by the cost to capture these fuels (oil, gas, and coal) from the ground or sea bed to your home. While new technology induces more accuracy to finding these fuels, the cost to refine, transport, and deliver them continues to escalate.
Energy Conservation Tips
You’ve probably read or heard hundreds of saving energy tips, many of which you fruitfully adopted. Here are some of the less publicized, yet equally simple and effective tips to conserve energy.
- Use switchable power strips to control and shut down the mini-voltage thieves in your house. Even those little transformers (those black boxes that look like plugs needing diets) used with most electronic devices employ constant streams of electricity.
- When your old top-loading washing machine is ready to be retired, buy a front loader that uses less water and energy to fulfill its mission.
- Install a “smart” thermostat to lower heat or air conditioning when you’re away or sleeping peacefully. You can find full-feature units for under $100 and they’re easy to install (usually just connecting two wires from your current thermostat).
- Lower your water heater temperature to 120 degrees maximum. Safer for you, this action saves big dollars on electric or gas bills.
- Avoid constantly peeping into your oven because the temperature inside it can drop up to 50 degrees with just a quick look.
- Keep your refrigerator’s cooling coils (in the back) clean and dusted.
- Install ceiling fans to cool your home by four degrees or more—they look wonderful, too.
Until renewable and alternative energy solutions are in widespread use, these and other everyday conservation tips will save energy and money. Energy efficiency is everyone’s business just as keeping our planet livable is critical to our enjoyment of life.