The consumption of fossil fuels over the decades has led to climate change, global warming, extinction of several species and increase in air pollution and other planetary damage. Green energy sources like solar, wind and geothermal energy are all growing industries, but it will be a while before fossil fuels become obsolete.
The broad ways to save energy are to replace any equipment with the most energy-efficient model you can afford in the size that matches your needs. Also make sure your house is as well insulated.
Here we list some other ways to conserve energy so that future generations can live in a safe and sustainable environment.
Turn down your thermostat at night or when you are away for more than four hours during the day.
Keep drapes and shades open during the day to let the sunshine in and close them at night to retain the heat.
Dress for the temperature. Retain body heat by wearing closely woven fabrics. Wearing layers of clothing retains more heat than a single thick piece of clothing.
Match the size of the pan to the heating element on your stove. Turn off the stove or oven five to 10 minutes before cooking time is up and let trapped heat finish the cooking. Do not open the oven door repeatedly to check the food, use a timer to let you know when food is ready.
Using crock pots and slow cookers can save be as much as 75 percent more energy efficient than stoves and ovens. If you do use an oven, and have no children or pets, when you’ve finished cooking leave it open a little to let warm air escape into the kitchen.
An instantaneous water heater uses energy only when hot water is needed, so you don’t need to heat a full boiler.
A natural gas water heater is cheaper than electric. It also heats more water faster during heavy use. Consider a sealed combustion or an on-demand water heater. Both types use less energy.
Insulate your water heater and all exposed water pipes. Set the water temperature to 120 Fahrenheit (49 Celsius) and repair all dripping faucets.
Use LED lighting indoors and outdoors or compact fluorescent light bulbs indoors are ways to save 75 percent of energy use. Turn off lights in any room or space not being used. Install lighting dimmer switches, use timers, motion detectors or other controls for light fixtures.
Refrigerators and freezers
Clean the coils on your refrigerator at least every three months. Set the refrigerator thermostat at 38 degrees Fahrenheit (3 Celsius) for fresh food compartments and 5 degrees Fahrenheit (-15 Celsius) for the freezer compartment. Regularly defrost your freezer and check that the seals are tight.
Wash clothes in warm or cold water instead of hot water. Rinse in cold water. Dry clothes on a line or clothes stand whenever possible. If using a dryer, put a dry towel in with each load of wet clothes. The towel will absorb dampness and reduce drying time.
There are many ways to save energy with your vehicle. Reducing your speed when driving can save you fuel. An L/100km indicator runs at highest efficiency at 90 km/h on motorways. Always keep your tyres properly inflated as under-inflated tires will reduce your mileage. You can also save fuel by removing items that weigh down your vehicle, so only keep your golf bag in the car when you’re off to the green. Consider a hybrid when purchasing a new car. Try using public transport wherever possible.
Laptops, cell phones and digital camera chargers always draw power if they’re plugged in, so remove from the socket.
If your home has no wall insulation, place heavy furniture like bookshelves and sofas along exterior walls, and use decorative quilts as wall hangings. This will help block cold air.
Use reusable containers for food storage instead of wrapping food in foil or plastic wrap. Also have a reusable bottle for your drinking water instead of buying bottled water each day.
Use air conditioning only when it is necessary. Where possible open or close windows to adjust the heat instead.