The current global population is estimated around 7,4 billion people. According to the UN, the number is expecting to grow to approximately 11,2 billion by 2100. This growing tendency can mean a higher demand and usage of resources. We will need to produce more and greater production will involve great consumption, especially of energy.
The problem with energy consumption
Energy consumption is a subject which raises great debates worldwide. It is essential to understand what the term means before we go into further detail. It refers to the total amount of energy consumed for different purposes: household work (cooking, lightning, heating, washing), industrial, technological etc.
In order to produce energy, we need sources. Currently, some of the most used ones are fossil fuels (petroleum, natural gas, coal), accompanied by original minerals or chemicals such as uranium and shale gas. These are non-renewable sources. Sunlight, wind power, rain, tides and geothermal heat are renewable energy sources. It is the first category that concerns us.
Great consumption combined with non-renewable sources results in using all our natural resources. According to The Guardian, in 2010, the BP Statistical Review of World Energy announced the total global oil could supply the planet only for 46,2 years, if the global production remained at the same rate as then. Natural gas was approximated to last for almost 59 years of global production and coal for 188 years.
Besides the loss of natural resources, energy consumption has a great impact on the environment. By 2050, energy-related CO2 emissions are expected to grow by 70%, leading to an increase of global greenhouse gas emissions by 50%. This means we may experience great climate changes such as higher temperatures and more and more extreme weather conditions.
Also, the global average temperature is expected to increase with 3°C-6°C by the end of this century.
How to reduce energy consumption
Consuming more and more brings us closer to the point in which we will have no resources and and we will have to find other methods to produce energy. Nature also has a clock and it is ticking loudly, although not everyone is noticing it. In order to change the situation, we need to be more aware of how much we consume and what we can do to reduce these levels.
Here are 6 tips to help you reduce energy consumption.
1. Switch off/Unplug what you do not use
In this case, we are referring to computers, monitors, TVs and other electronics. Although you may think it is not functioning, a TV that has its little light on is still consuming electricity. In fact, it can consume up to 93 kWh/year.
Switching them off or unplugging them is the best solution in this case. It may seem a small gesture in your eyes, but, in fact, it saves valuable energy and can loosen up your electricity bill.
2. Use eco-friendly light bulbs
Switching from incandescent to fluorescent light bulbs is the change you need to make here because they:
- are 66% cheaper than regular lightning bulbs
- can last up to 6 times longer than incandescent bulbs
- do not give off heat
These are the reasons why they are more expensive than regular incandescent bulbs. Think of them as an investment for a cleaner environment and healthier home.
Also, don’t forget the light on.
3. Take advantage of natural light and heat
Nature offers us everything that we need. During the day, there is no need for artificial light and, if it is a sunny day, you can leave the windows open to heat your home. During the summer, leaving the window open in the morning for a couple of hours will cool the atmosphere from your home. Keep your curtains drawn to maintain the cool air and use air conditioning as less as possible.
4. Buy energy-saving products
If you are thinking about a new washing machine or a new refrigerator, you should take into consideration those electronics. They are designed to consume less energy than regular electronics. Again, it’s a win-win situation. Your bills are lighter and the environment is protected.
5. Home changes
Your home needs improvements from time to time, especially if you want to make an investment that will save you some money in time. You should think about sealing, insulation, energy-efficient windows and doors. Although they don’t have a direct impact, they help you use less energy. Keeping a good temperature in your home will determine you to use less heat electronics and air conditioning.
6. Don’t forget about water
Water is a valuable element in the world and for our lives. Wasting it means not understanding its value and importance. You should not leave it open and should try to use just as much as you need. For example, there is no need to take a 20-minute shower if you can have it in 7 minutes.
What other energy-saving tips do you know?