Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Tips on How to Save The Environment - (part 4) CONSERVE ENERGY
Part (4) on how to mitigate climate change is geared towards learning how to manage and utilise energy and fuel in the home,office and mode of transport. Get into the habit of turning and plugging off when appliances are not in use. Not only will it help lessen GHG but also will save you $$$ at the end of the day. Actively supporting energy saving ideas will help towards sustainable daily living. (GREENSLEEVES)
Please do not wait to start conserving as much energy as you can to reduce your climate change emissions! And please ask your elected representatives to push for strong legislation to move toward overall reduced energy usage and increased alternative energy production.
•Quick & Easy Energy Tip: Take the Zero-Volt Challenge and reduce your energy bill today!
•Set Goals: To reduce your energy consumption:
◦Set specific energy reduction goals (for electricity, gas, and gallons of fuel consumed in your car(s)) -- for example, commit to using 20% less per month
◦Determine a baseline to start reducing from. Print the energy and water consumption chart and post in a visible spot in your home. Updates:
■for your car(s): chart the number of miles you drive each month
■for your home/office: chart the gas "therms" and/or electric kilowatts per hour (kWh) used in the last 12 months (for comparison to each month this year)
◦Make specific changes in products used and family member habits:
■buy energy saving products where needed
■read the Sustainable Solutions for Getting Around Town page for ideas on reducing mileage/increasing mileage efficiency
■get your family involved by asking for specific changes in everyone's habits (e.g., tape signs to light switches reminding family members to turn out lights when they leave a room, tape a sign to your car dashboard reminding the driver to check tire pressure during the first week of each month, assign someone to turn out all lights and cut power to unused appliances (to reduce standby power usage) each night)
■look for additional ideas below : -
◦Once a month, add the new usage information to the charts and make adjustments as needed to reach your goals
◦Use the money saved to do something fun with your family (if you have children, increase their allowances by the amount saved to encourage them to get involved in finding new ways to conserve)
◦Join the Carbon Conscious Consumer program by New American Dream to receive new ideas monthly.
Buy Green Energy: If possible, choose a utility company focused on renewable energy. If you live in a deregulated state in the U.S., Green-e provides information about certified "clean electricity" providers for your state. In the U.K., visit Green Helpline.
•Resources: The following pages provide tips on how to save energy:
◦Tips from StopGlobalWarming.org
◦EPA Climate Change Site: Actions for Individuals
◦Personal Emissions Calculator, Calculate Your Impact, and Carbon Calculator
◦Best Going Green Tips Library
◦Home Energy Saver
◦Energy Star Energy Efficient Appliances
◦Choosing Energy Efficient Products
◦Energy Efficient Windows
◦Consumer Energy Information
◦Home Improvement Toolbox
◦Energy Efficiency: First Things First
◦Energy Efficient Home Articles
•Kitchen: Kitchen Unplugged -- ways to conserve energy in the kitchen
•Carbon Footprint: The Carbon Footprint Calculator helps you to determine your carbon dioxide emissions from major sources: home energy consumption and transportation by car and plane. This information can be tracked over time, allowing you to gauge the impact of actions you take to reduce your carbon footprint.
•Carbon Offsets: If you are taking a trip, consider buying carbon emission offsets. Two popular organizations: Terrapass and Carbonfund.
•Home Shade: In hot areas, if you have west-facing windows use window tints, blinds, deciduous trees or trellises to help keep out heat from the summer sun. In general, you will lower your summer air-conditioning bill by planting trees and bushes along the west side of your home.
•Paint Colors: Paint your home a light color if you live in a warm climate and a dark color if you live in a cold climate.
•Insulation: Insulate your hot water heater (a tank that is warm to the touch needs added insulation), as well as hot water pipes and ducts located in unheated areas.
•Standby Power: Reduce "standby power" (the energy used while an appliance is switched off or not performing) at home and at work. The easiest way is to unplug appliances that are not being used. You can also plug your appliances into power surge protector strips (with multiple electrical outlets) and turn the power off at the strip.
•Lights Off: Whenever possible, keep lights off during the day. Consider installing a well insulated skylight if more light is needed. Encourage family members to get in the habit of turning off lights when they leave a room (taping small reminder notes to light switches can help).
•Location of Home: Choose a place to live that reduces the need to drive (easy access to public transit, easy biking routes, close to work and stores, walk able community, etc.).
•Solar Cooker: Consider using a solar cooker to cook some of your meals.
•Cool Water: When turning on a water faucet, unless you need warm water choose the coolest water setting.
•Energy Efficient Mortgages (U.S.): EEM's let you borrow extra money to pay for energy efficient upgrades to your current home or a new or old home that you plan to buy.
•Renewable Energy Certificates (REC): If you don't have the ability to switch to renewable energy, consider buying an REC which let's you essentially purchase renewable energy without switching electricity suppliers.
•Invest in Energy: Investing in renewable energy production is the same as investing in a home or office building. Buying energy from a utility, on the other hand, is like renting - at the end of fifteen years you don't have anything to show for it - and you are left vulnerable to the fluctuating costs of energy. One investment option is solar panels which can produce energy for 40 years or more - far longer than it takes to pay off the installation costs (currently around 15 years for homeowners and only 7 years for businesses). Wind power, where available, has a far quicker payback period.
For more information on renewable energy, check out: ◦
*Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Network site
◦Hydrogen, Fuel Cell, and Renewable Energy Links
◦The American Solar Energy Society - Factbase (click on "Solar Guide")
◦Geoexchange (geothermal energy)
◦American Wind Energy Association
◦Renewable Energy Policy Project
◦National Renewable Energy Laboratory site
◦Home Power -- The Hands-On Journal of Home-Made Power
◦Wavegen (wave generated energy)
•Dark-Sky: Change outside light fixtures so that light does not shine up into the sky. The International Dark-Sky Association works to educate individuals and communities about the use of energy-efficient, properly designed lighting that allows for good night sky viewing. The Fatal Light Awareness Program educates individuals about how urban lights harm migratory birds.
BLOGGER'S NOTE : The above list contains items that may not be applicable or available in your area. You are encouraged to initiate them and get like-minded people to join in for group effort and support.