Step 9: Cut your electricity usage

fullsizerender-5Did you know that electricity and heat production  contribute to about a 5th of global greenhouse gas emissions? The burning of coal, natural gas, and oil for electricity and heat is the largest single source of global greenhouse gas emissions. Shocking, eh?

So what can we do to help reduce this? Luckily, it doesn’t mean that we have to go huddle in a blanket in the cold or stay in the dark so reeeeelax! Oh and, WE SAVE MONEY! Yes, indeed!

In the short-term, we can do some simple things like:

  1. Switch off lights when not in use. Uhhhhh – sounds easy and is easy 🙂
  2. Use natural light whenever possible so how about you open those curtains/ blinds?
  3. Change your bulbs to CFL or LED ones which are more energy efficient and last MUCH longer
  4. Try blackout night: Why not have a couple of nights a week when you switch off electricity and have just candles burning? Hopefully beeswax or soya flake ones as paraffin ones can be toxic in enclosed spaces (next post). People with small kids might forego this, understandably.
  5. Unplug your appliances when not in use – they still use electricity even when switched off!
  6. Go for energy saving models when buying or replacing appliances
  7. This one I found on wikihow and LOVE it: Reduce your reliance on appliances. In the old days, people didn’t need large appliances to run their households; experiment with ways to use only what you really need. Using fewer appliances can make some tasks more time-consuming, but if you get the whole family involved you won’t be spending too much extra time on chores. And you will get pleasure out of a lot of things the slower way.
    Most people wash their clothes more than necessary; try reducing the number of loads you do each week.
    Hang a clothesline in the backyard and let your clothes line dry instead of using the dryer.
    Wash your dishes by hand (using the water conservation method) instead of using the dishwasher.
    Limit your baking to one day a week, during which you make several dishes within the same period of time. This way you won’t have to heat the oven over and over.
    Get rid of small appliances you don’t really need, like plug-in air fresheners (these are gross and toxic anyway). Open the windows instead!
  8. Insulate your home- this can substantially reduce heating and cooling costs.
  9. Air conditioners and heaters: In winter, heat your home to a lower temperature rather than have a sauna at home – why not wear a sweater instead of a t-shirt and pretending it is summer? And the opposite in summer- either forego the ac (guess this is not doable in a few countries) or have it at a warmer setting like 22-24 degrees celsius.

So, go on, try these at home 🙂 and let me know how you fared.

As far as the long term is concerned, we need to invest in cleaner energies and technologies, write to our representatives/ politicians and governments to push them to pass laws encouraging planet-friendly living, teach our children to have as zero-waste a life style as possible….