How Energy Efficiency Can Save the Planet

Though it sometimes doesn’t seem that way, there are a lot of different ways to help Mother Earth survive. Insisting on energy efficiency is one of the ways to do that, but many people aren’t actually fully aware of what that entails. Do you NEED to be a home owner? As a home owner what options are available to you? What about every day life? Here are some strategies that you may not have thought of.

Reduce carbon footprint

Our environmental “footprint,” or the amount of stress that our actions, both collectively and individually contribute to the planet’s system, needs to be shifted for the better. Cutting down our carbon output is an idea that can go a really long way toward fixing the planet and introducing the huge changes needed to our world. It’s all about producing less of a “footprint” than we do now to balance out what we create as a species, along with all the other carbon creators, with what the earth can actually handle. By driving your car less frequently, reducing your waste and using efficient elimination strategies, using reusable things as much as possible, and switching to more efficient energy systems – among other things – we can create enough of a shift to heal the earth! We just MUST do it now.  

But, there’s another problem when it comes to this matter: is every individual’s own sacrifice enough to make enough of a change in the world? Most people believe it’s not, which is why there are so many studies conducted that show how important it is for companies and corporations to get involved as well. After all, these entities are producing more carbon footprint than all individuals combined, and making a change is a must.

Luckily, businesses are finally seeing that this move can actually benefit them, and we are starting to finally see enough of a shift that we see the effects, from the automotive to construction industries, agriculture, fashion and especially in the beauty industry. While the major players took longer to get on board than some of the upstarts, companies like Tesla have shown everyone that it not only can be done, but also that it’s worth the effort.

Just try harder

Blaming other people is easy and saying that big companies are the biggest threat to the environment is even easier. But, looking at your own behavior and admitting that you’re also to blame is never easy. And this is exactly the reason why the world isn’t sustainable enough – we’re just not trying hard enough. 

We’ve decided we don’t want to make changes because our brain always chooses the easiest option, even if it’s only perceived to be the easiest option and even when the RIGHT option is really, really important. Why do people who need to lose weight, even for medical reasons, have a tricky time with it? Why do we drive when we know we could walk? Why do we put off doing dishes when the sight of them in the sink drives us a little crazy? Often it has as much to do with our habits than what would actually make our lives easier.

If we want things to change, we have to change our own behavior first. From unplugging the appliances we’re not using to keeping our windows closed – this has, according to a 2015 study, “the greatest impact on the energy consumption during the heating season” – we can do a lot if we change our approach to energy and therefore sustainability and get more involved. When we demand change with our lifestyle first, which leads to altered buying and spending, the corporations follow suit. When the vegan community looked at animal testing on cosmetics the same way as they approached their diet, the entire beauty industry responded. And quickly!

It may feel like a lot to make so many changes. When you start to look at all the things you can do to make an impact, it seems overwhelming to basically lead an entirely new life, but also, it’s not all that hard in the end. Pick the areas that are easiest to change first, and get good at it. More than anything the complicated part is simply being aware. Keeping an eye out for the things you can adjust. Do as much as you can but don’t freak out. If you turn it into a source of stress you likely will hit a wall and won’t continue.

Explore unusual approaches

No matter how amazing all the traditional ideas are, trying out a few unusual and new approaches is always a good idea. What’s great is there are lots of new ideas and researches that are constantly coming up with new solutions for this problem. And the only thing you need to do is follow them as closely as you can in order to find the ideas that sound the most interesting and appealing to you.

However, you need to keep an open mind and try not to let new technologies and findings frighten you. Whether it’s an innovative approach to reducing carbon footprint or checking out the great triboelectric nanogenerator that makes the most of even the slipperiest surfaces and uses them to harvest water energy – all these ideas can make a difference in your home, your local area, and your community. 

Reduce food waste

 

Here’s another simple solution that could end up meaning a lot in the long run. Though reducing your food waste and planning your meals ahead might not seem like a lot, these things mean more than you can imagine, especially with people who are used to throwing away tons of food every single week. 

Instead of cooking more than you can eat, you should plan ahead and come up with a menu that will work for you and your family with attention toward your best habits. Take time for a couple of weeks to jot down how and when and what you already are eating, and then take a bit to work out how much time you have to put toward your meal prep and when that would be. Working within your already set habits makes any shifts easier and more efficient.

Trade out things you already use for less processed and packaged (which almost always equals healthier) alternatives. Learn your way around a menu that will work for you. Knowing exactly what you’ll be eating and when won’t just make your life easier, but it will also make it more sustainable. Food waste has a huge impact on our environment, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t become a part of this fight as soon as you can! Bonus points if you can integrate gardening, food preservation, buying staples etc in bulk, using reuseable bags and containers while shopping, farmers markets and local suppliers and healthier alternatives to pretty much everything. 

Use renewable energy sources

Instead of wasting too much energy and ending up paying tons of money at the end of the month, you could reduce your energy bill and save the Earth at the same time with this easy solution. Switching to renewable energy sources is a simple way to do a lot, and doing that is something everyone should be looking into right now. 

Most people don’t know enough about this topic though, so getting informed and learning more about it should be your first step. Making the most of solar, wind, and water energy, as well as other forms of alternative energy sources, will make you more sustainable, but also inspire your friends and family to do the same, so you’ll be taking your battle for energy efficiency to an even higher level.

Depending on where you live, both in the world and within your community, you can find different ways to approach alternative energy, and you might be surprised if you start looking at what’s available. For example, if you are living in a high rise in an urban center, you could look into the installation of rooftop wind turbines to supplement or even entirely erase your electricity bill. In some areas you can even find government grants to offset the costs of installation. If you live in more rural areas, there are plenty of options from solar to wind to water and kinetic energy capture. Everything from solar backpack chargers to refitting your home to transportation and supporting community projects in some way to bring alternative energy initiatives to fruition, even if they don’t benefit you directly, could be a strong way to help change the environment.  And make you a better person by default.

 

If you still doubt that energy efficiency can save our planet, stop being skeptical and start being proactive. Do your research. Do LOTS of research. There is always a better way to do something. Find it.

peterminkoff

Peter is a lifestyle writer living between Europe and Australia. Follow Peter on Twitter for more tips.

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