9 ways to conserve energy at home

9 ways to conserve energy at home
Photo: Star

You should always be conserving energy, energy crisis or not. We are complaining of heat all the time, unbearable summer heat is scorching cities and towns. However, have you ever wondered what factors contribute to rising global temperatures and what part you can play to reduce global warming?

When you reduce or limit your energy use, you limit your impact on the environment. Remember, most of the electricity we consume comes from burning fossil fuels like natural gas, petroleum (oil), and coal, all of which are non-renewable resources.

The world is in an energy crisis. However, every cloud has a silver lining; perhaps, this is a good time for us to start changing our lifestyles, habits, and energy use for a better, cleaner, and greener future.

Turn off unnecessary fans and lights

Make it a point to turn the fan and light off before leaving a room. If they are not in use, just switch them off. Tell your family members to do the same.

Turn the tap off while brushing and shaving

Most of us are guilty of leaving the tap running while brushing and/or shaving. Remember, in order for the water to reach your home, energy is used. Please turn a tap off if you are not using its water, you will save both water and energy.

Fix a leaky tap

Spare a few minutes to find out if you have a leaky tap or showerhead in the house. If yes, fix it! Make sure you properly turn taps off after each use.

Use natural light and task lighting

Do not turn lights on during the day unless it is necessary. Make use of the natural light during daytime. Draw the curtains open to let in natural light around the house.

In the evening, use task lighting instead of lighting an entire room. For instance, if you will be reading, using a laptop, or practicing a hobby, simply use a desk light or a table lamp. Ceiling lights also increase a room's temperature, which is something you do not want in this already sweltering heat.

Take shorter showers

Long showers are bad for the environment, because they lead to excessive use of both water and energy. Your shower time should not be more than 5 to 10 minutes. Also, do not use warm or hot water unless it is cold outside. Generation of hot water requires huge consumption of energy. Remember, every time you use some form of energy, it has an environmental impact, because energy comes from burning non-renewable fossil fuels.  

Use air conditioner sparingly

Here in the US, a lot of us live in centrally air-conditioned houses, but environmentally conscious people do not turn their air conditioners on unless the outside temperatures are dangerously high. For instance, I myself keep windows around the house open in the summer months to let in natural air in the morning and night. In our house, if the air conditioner is switched on, it is only switched on the during the hottest time of the day that is, afternoon.

Air conditioners only cool your own house and give you relief from heat, but your relief from heat comes at the expense of the environment. Air conditioning is a major contributing factor to global warming as it uses massive amount of electricity.

Energy-efficient electronics

Next time you go shopping for electronics, invest in energy-efficient appliances. This not only will lower your electricity bill but also cause less impact on the environment. Additionally, replace traditional light bulbs in the house with LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulbs.

Have houseplants

Houseplants keep your indoor air clean and reduce heat and humidity. Some plants that can naturally keep your house cool are peace lily, Devil's ivy, spider plant, sword ferns, snake plant, aloe vera, and palm.

Dress appropriately for weather

You may raise an eyebrow after reading this last pointer, but dressing appropriately does save energy. When your body can breathe, you can tolerate heat and humidity better. Your need for a fan or air conditioner is automatically reduced when dress wisely in hot weather.  Choose natural-breathable fabrics like cotton, silk, and linen; say yes to light-coloured and loose-fitting clothing when outside temperatures are high; and steer away from tight clothes that hug your body.

Energy crisis is real. Therefore, save energy at every opportunity. A lifestyle change today can warrant a greener-cleaner tomorrow.

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