Going green is not a single activity. It entails an entire lifestyle change. From getting acquainted with the concept to acquiring knowledge and eventually applying necessary skills, going green is a choice one has to make and maintain. The end goal of going green is to do one’s part in protecting the environment and saving its natural resources for the succeeding generations. While going green may sound far-fetched to an individual right now, there are simple ways and changes in habits that one can start doing today to start encouraging energy efficiency at home.
Most people associate going green as simply maintaining a low electricity bill. Another common misconception is that to achieve a lower electricity bill, one must avoid using this type of energy. But the good news is, various industries have caught up with the modern times and not to mention, the stricter energy efficiency laws. Most manufactured engines, devices, and appliances produce less damaging emissions that are released into the atmosphere. This is why no one should feel that changing their own ways will not create an impact.
In the broader sense of going green, here are some ways to cut down one’s electricity bill by optimizing energy use:
- Assess home energy consumption. One may either conduct a simple home energy assessment on their own (do it yourself or DIY) or getting a professional home energy audit done by a certified energy auditor. The most basic type of such audit involves checking the insulation of the exterior walls, ceilings, and floors. Check for air leaks around the home windows, doors, light, plumbing fixtures, and electric outlets. Make sure appliances are properly maintained and functioning properly. Seek help from people who know about energy audit or those who have already tried it.
- Choose efficient transportation option. People buy cars because they want to avoid the hassle of commuting but sometimes people have to think of the bigger picture. More cars on the road means more carbon dioxide emissions. Public transportation can be one of the options. If one can combine errands, do so. If the errand is just a short distance away, choose to ride a bike or just walk. If you really can’t avoid using your car, drive gently, accelerate slowly, and break mildly so one does not necessarily have to use more fuel. Doing so can also help the car last longer.
- Invest in green roofs. This type of roof can manage storm water and enjoy rooftop open space. It also provides insulation that lowers the need for artificial heating and cooling.
- Plant more trees. This is one of the basic environmental acts. Trees clean the air, provide oxygen, fight greenhouse effects, and conserve energy. Strategically planted trees can help decrease a home’s heating and cooling expenses.
- Use the doors and windows wisely. Stop wasting energy by opening the windows during daytime to let in warming sunlight and close your curtains and shades at night. These little efforts will help conserve energy by preventing heat loss.
It should not be burdensome for the adults and children alike to ensure energy efficiency at home. To start, here are some lifestyle choices one has to make to create a most definitely welcome impact on this planet:
- Review the household’s cooking habits. Using ceramic or glass baking dishes when cooking equates to 25 degrees energy savings for the stove. If a recipe calls for 350, turn it down to 325 when cooking in a glass or ceramic baking dish and one can still expect the same results.
- Use cold water for the laundry. Utilize cold water instead of hot when washing soiled and dirty clothes and significantly save on electricity bill. As the water and air heating systems in the home heavily contribute to the electricity bill, one can expect to see a lot of power saving tips focusing on this area.
- Try taking a shower instead. Taking a shower instead of a bath saves about 50% of energy! Try staying in the shower for no longer than 10 minutes.
- Let the sunshine in. Using natural sunlight saves energy and one can expect a change in the electricity bill as well. This tip is highly important as instead of going for power saving devices as the first option, next time it’s bright and sunny outside, prioritize maximizing the use of sunlight.
- Use power saver appliances geared for energy efficiency. Nowadays, appliances no longer just bear a price tag and technical specifications but also their energy efficiency ratings, as manufacturers know that modern customers are more likely to check whether the appliances they are eyeing can provide more value for them.
- Know the type of light bulbs that promote conservation of electricity. Specifically, go for light emitting diodes (LED) or compact fluorescent lamp (CFLs) instead of incandescent light bulbs as one of the ways to save electricity at home.
- Check transportation habits. Consider using other modes of transportation, particularly public vehicles to save on fuel. If the use of private car cannot be avoided, at least keep it constantly and properly tuned up. Keeping the tires at the right pressure, the engine in top condition, and routinely changing spark plugs can also save the environment by releasing fewer emissions into the atmosphere.
- Make sure to buy products packaged in ways that it can be reused, such as glass jars or plastic bottles. These items can be washed and reused several times.
- Bundle and wrap newspapers instead of throwing them into the garbage. Place the papers as mulch in the garden or make planting pots out of them for herb seeds. Another option would be to bind them and bring them to a recycling center.
- Save water to go green and help our environment. Take shorter showers. Use a glass when brushing teeth. Hand wash small pieces of clothing. These tips may sound repetitive and overly used, but only because these actions matter a lot.
- Try receiving bills, such as the electricity bill, through e-mail and paying them online to cut down on the amount of paper used. Offering to receive and pay bills electronically will save trees and the environment. Doing most things online will save on receiving paper items each month in the mail.
Energy conservation is not the sole responsibility of adults. Even kids can do their share in this aspect. While they are still young, teach kids that they can make a difference through simple save electricity tips. Getting them involved in saving energy and money by making specific changes in habits at home will surely make them responsible persons when they grow up. Consequently, they will pass this on to their future children. Here are some tips for kids to help in energy conservation:
- Encourage kids to turn off lights when they leave their rooms or the bathroom. Tape signs to light switches as a reminder to turn them off. Remind them also to turn off and unplug radios, electric fans, computers, and televisions when not in use. This will also prevent fires stemming from overheating of appliances.
- Teach children that items on standby power usage draw electricity continuously and that standby power is designed so that appliances can be powered up instantly. Cut standby power by unplugging electronics and appliances when not in use.
- Conserving energy means making specific changes in habits and in the devices used. Lead the children by example. Reduce consumption, reuse things that have a purpose, and recycle as many items as possible. Set up stations inside the home where the kids can put their used cups, plastic bottles, and cans. Explain to them how much energy it takes to create new products and to transport trash to a landfill. For small children, make it a game and create reward charts that encourage them to think about each item of trash before they designate it to a specific bin. Offer rewards once the conservation charts are filled up.
- Open the blinds or curtains on sunny days to let the sun shine into your home. This way, the home would not be needing the use of artificial light sources, thus saving on electricity bill.
- Encourage children to play outside instead of at the computer or with video games. Consider scheduling a weekly family outdoors day to conserve energy that would have been spent on powering up lights and appliances. Go camping or participate in outdoor activities regularly in the summer to remind kids that they can have a great time without electronics.
- Encourage kids to ride their bikes or walk to places that are near such as their friends’ houses. This saves gas and encourages physical activity.
Perhaps one of the quickest ways to get committed to promoting energy efficiency is to put all occupants on power saver mode. However, save electricity tips are not only for home use as surely, business owners are also looking at improving the employees’ energy use. This is where practical, how to save electricity tips would ideally come in, as saving on electricity bill would be the single most impactful activity in terms of energy efficiency.
Save electricity tips for the workplace not only improves the bottom line and reduces operating costs. These can significantly help lower the carbon footprint and enhance corporate image as a responsible business that cares for the environment. The first step towards achieving energy efficiency in the workplace is to promote an energy saving culture by inculcating a sense of responsibility among the employees. Each and every one of them has to contribute in working harmoniously towards achieving energy efficiency by first understanding why it is highly important to use less electricity without affecting performance. Here are just some of the benefits of using less electricity in the workplace:
- Reduced utility expenses.
- Increased workplace efficiency and productivity.
- Helped create responsible citizens.
- Enhanced corporate image.
- Did one’s part towards protecting the planet.
- Acquired tax exemptions and other benefits.
Meanwhile, here are power saver tips to use less electricity in the workplace:
- Educate employees. Expect to meet employees who are not highly aware of the fact that it is possible to use less resources and yet still expect the same results in terms of productivity. Some are even inclined to think and accept that saving electricity and protecting the environment is a job solely for the government and other non-profit organizations. It should be communicated to them that it is the job and responsibility of every citizen to consume less resources in order to save the environment. Involve them even more by encouraging them to come up with new ideas on how to save electricity in the workplace.
- Use electricity only when needed. Make sure electric bulbs and other appliances are switched off when they are not needed. People have the habit of leaving light bulbs, fans, air conditioners, and personal computers (PCs) on, even when there is nobody in the room. It would also be a good time to put a system of review and monitoring processes in place to reward or penalize people to make them more sensitive about taking these small but highly significant steps.
- Activate the energy saving settings for the PCs and laptops or set these to go into hibernation or suspension mode when not used for a certain period of time. There are many software alternatives that are less taxing for the central processing unit (CPU).
- Use daylight as much as possible. Office interiors can be arranged in such a manner that they can leverage the natural sunlight instead of using electricity. Use bigger glass windows and create ceilings that let the natural light come in. Natural light enhances productivity. Encourage employees to complete as much work as possible under natural light.
- Optimize the use of office appliances. If the office is using heating or cooling systems, make sure the insulation is well-maintained so the appliances do not have to work extra hard to keep the interiors warm or cool.
- Use cubicles instead of rooms. Power saver cubicles can share light sources and heating or cooling equipment. Rooms, on the other hand, have to have its own lighting system.
- Use solar energy. Solar energy can be used to generate power for many things like having warm water, lighting various workplace sections, and charging mobile and handheld devices.