Why is it important to save energy?
If people use less energy, there is less pressure to increase the available supply of energy, for example by constructing new power plants, or by importing energy from a different country.
(SOURCE: Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_conservation)
What does “life-cycle” mean? What does it have to do with energy use?
Nearly all everyday products have an impact in terms of energy, especially when you consider their energy requirements across the whole life-cycle: production, use and end-of-life. In many cases the use phase is dominating. Plastics, for example, are one of the most resource-efficient materials available. In their use phase, plastics products help to save more energy than is needed to produce them: For example, when you choose a bottle of water packaged in a light weight material such as plastic, remember that lighter packaging requires less energy for transport. Thus, less fuel was used to power the truck that delivered those plastic bottles.
What can I do to save energy?
There are many sources on the web that give you ideas of what you can do to save energy. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Change your travel behaviour, think more in terms of public transportation, if possible, walk or ride your bicycle instead of taking the car
- Reduce your house heat by 1C, keep the windows closed while heating, dress warmly
- Choose products that come with lightweight packaging
- Turn off lights and appliances when you are not using them, use energy-saving light bulbs
- Reuse plastic bags for shopping and storage
- Use a microwave instead of a stove to reheat food
- Use rechargeable batteries instead of disposable batteries
What effect do materials have on the environment?
In our daily life, we rely on many materials. Wood, metal, glass and plastics all have environmental consequences. Think about the impact of every product you use. For example, the lighter an object, the less fuel is required to transport it. A heavy suitcase in the boot of a car will require the car to consume more fuel during its journey. The same goes for all product packaging. Therefore, buying food wrapped in lightweight materials thus helps the environment.
When we save energy, we also save money. For it reduces the demand for fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas. Such fuels form nonrenewable energy sources.
So the more we use them the less there is to go around. If we depend solely on them we will reach a point where we will go energy- bankrupt. This is why a lot of research is being done on alternative sources of energy which are also renewable. For instance, wind and solar power are renewable.
The sun and the winds are always part of our life. And they are abundantly available in many countries. Also, such energy is clean energy which does not emit carbon dioxide, the main culprit in global warming. Today there are many energy- efficient alternatives for all kinds of appliances. So we have the power to make better choices for reducing our consumption of energy.
Image Source : i.ytimg.com
There are many ways to conserve energy. Instead of using incandescent bulbs, we can use CFLs (compact fluorescent bulbs). They use only one-fourth the energy of the former and last 8-12 times longer. Instead of taking the car for every occasion, we can walk, take the bus or train, or join carpools. Every gallon saved reduces 22 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.
We could also buy smaller, fuel-efficient cars instead of big gas guzzlers. We should try to avoid the use of plastic by buying reusable products instead of disposable ones. We should recycle as much as possible. For each pound of waste reduced or recycled, we can save energy and reduce C02 emissions by 1 pound. We must also try to reduce the garbage we generate daily.
We must plant trees which give shade. Green buildings which use natural light and energy- efficient materials save a lot of energy by reducing the need for more lights and air-conditioners, central heating, etc. On March 28, India observed Earth Hour day, when people all over India switched off lights for one hour from 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm. In other countries too, people did the same. It was part of a campaign for action on climate change. The concept of Earth Hour was born in Sydney, Australia, in 2007. Today it spans 65 countries.