Our homes, cars, and workplaces run on energy; energy is great! What’s not so great is where our energy comes from, mainly fossil fuels, which have been extremely damaging for our environment. In fact, in 2018, the fossil fuel industry was responsible for 89% of CO2 emissions globally.
While alternative renewable energy such as hydro, solar, and wind power is developing and growing quickly, fossil fuels are still dominating the energy industry. The transition to clean energy will take time, but there are small things we can do to save energy and reduce its impact.
Here are some simple ways to conserve energy. If you just make one of these small changes now, the impact in a year will be massive:
1. Turning off electricals and lights
It’s easy to leave the bathroom light on while you pick your outfit for work or have the TV entertaining the dogs while you are in the kitchen cooking dinner. Switching electrics off while you are not using them and turning off the lights when you leave the room will reduce the energy you use. On average in the UK we spent over £1,250 per year on electricity. Expending less energy means spending less money on bills. Save the world and save your wallet; it’s a win-win.
2. Walk, cycle, skate – don’t drive
Transport is responsible for 27% of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK; the main contributing source is cars. We all have that corner shop which is a 5-minute walk, yet we choose to drive. It’s time to leave the car behind and embrace alternative forms of transportation. You can boost your step count by walking to your friend’s house. Finally, fix that puncture on your bike and start cycling to work. Purchase a railcard and avoid hours on the motorway by taking the train, counting the cows as you rush past. As well as conserving energy, you’ll also be reducing air pollution so that everyone can breathe a little easier.
3. Hold on to your heating
The UK government is aiming to meet a target of net-zero by 2050; to do so, we’ll need to reduce heating usage by 95% to lower emissions enough. Fortunately, there are many ways to do this by making changes that can conserve heat energy to ensure the warmth isn’t escaping. Any home can start with heavy-lined curtains, which will prevent heat from escaping through windows. During winter keeping your curtains closed more often will help keep your house toasty warm. If you have gaps under your doors or cracks in window frames, seal them up to stop heat from escaping. There are so many cosy options from onesies to blankets; treat yourself to some quality comfy wear and snuggle up under a blanket. You’ll be warm, relaxed and can drop the temperature on the thermostat to reduce that energy output.
4. Embrace new technology
You don’t have to carry a daily burden when saving energy; there’s plenty of new technology you can invest in, set up, and let the tech do the work. Simply swapping to energy-saving LEDs can save at least 75% on energy compared to regular light bulbs. You can buy a smart thermostat to monitor and adjust the temperature in your home to be the most efficient. Set up a smart metre that will keep you updated on electricity usage so you can see where it’s being wasted and the benefits of turning all those lights off. Also, try investing in new appliances with high-efficiency ratings, more fuel-efficient or clean energy vehicles, or replacing insulation for your homes.
There are plenty of options for conserving energy in big and small ways, but the most important thing is to start. Make one regular change, and it will turn into a lifetime habit. The most significant part is this change will not only benefit the planet, but you’ll notice a personal difference, whether it’s saving you money or improving your health. It’s an achievable and instant way to make a positive difference in the world.