America has only five percent of the world’s population and uses twenty-five percent of the world’s energy. We are constantly consuming resources faster than the earth can replenish, causing massive amounts of pollution, and creating the need for more and more landfill space. A little bit goes a long way in helping solve the problem. So why not be a part of the solution by joining the green evolution! The following is a list of ways you can reduce your home energy consumption:
Problem: Light use is accountable for about 20 percent of all energy consumed in the US.
Solution: Trade your standard incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescent bulbs. They are more energy-efficient, last for years instead of months, consume little power and generate little heat. Also, if you’re renovating your house, place your windows in such a way that natural light is allowed to enter so that you wouldn’t need to use manmade light during the day. Furthermore, if you don’t want to buy new light bulbs, simply turn the lights off when leaving the room.
Problem: A dishwasher uses 80 percent of its energy for heating water; a washing machine, about 90 percent.
Solution: upgrade to energy star certified products. Also, only run the dishwasher or washing machine when it’s full. Also try using short cycles for all but the dirtiest dishes and air dry them. You may also want to consider a front-loading washing machine since they use 50 percent less energy and one-third less water. Plus, they remove far more water in the rinse cycle, and that translates into big savings in dryer time.
Problem: All the refrigerators in the United States use more than half of all the power generated by nuclear power plants.
Solution: Energy Star refrigerators cut down on energy use, and cuts costs by one-third to two-thirds, depending on the age of the original machine. If you can’t afford to buy a new one, set your refrigerator temperature at 38 to 42 degrees Fahrenheit; your freezer should be set between 0 and 5 degrees Fahrenheit. You may use the power-save switch if your fridge has one, and make sure the door seals tightly. (By the way, you can check this by making sure that a dollar bill closed in between the door gaskets is difficult to pull out. If it slides easily between the gaskets, replace them.)
Problem: Leaving chargers plugged in still draws energy.
Solution: Unplug your chargers when not in use or when appliances are fully charged.
Written by: Sade Richardson, class of 2015
For more ways to save energy, check out the following links: