Top 3 Practical Methods for Saving Our Energy Resources
There is no longer doubt in anyone's mind that finding new methods for saving our precious energy resources is not just a fad but a necessity. It took millions of years for the earth to create the fossil fuels we rely on - coal, oil and natural gas. In just a few generations, we have managed to consume the majority of those available resources.
Today we are warned that the oil and coal we rely on for our energy needs may be completely depleted in another 50 years. That's the driving force behind development of new sources of renewable energy and also drives the conservation movement.
Increasingly, there is an awareness that we must invent new strategies for saving our energy resources and make them last as long as possible. Part of this is the higher costs of fuel and electricity in a time when many budgets are stretched to the breaking point.
The other part is the realization that the electricity and gas we have used so irresponsibly in the past may not be available in the future or may be unaffordable for the average person.
There is a mentality that says one person cannot do much to save the fuel remaining on the planet and that one person cannot do much to reduce energy use. It's faulty logic as one person times 10,000 or 100,000 can accomplish much in the way of saving energy resources.
One of the problems faced by groups advocating conservation of energy is the mindset of adults who were raised to think of saving energy only as saving a few cents on the power bill.
They would remind their children to close the refrigerator door and turn off lights when leaving a room - but thought nothing of buying the largest upright freezer or biggest water heater. They kept homes warm and cozy in the winter and chilled the rooms in the summer heat. Now the children of those people are adults and accustomed to comforts they grew up with.
When the subject of finding ways to save our energy resources was raised during the oil crisis in the 1970s people agreed readily with the need to conserve. However, they saw no reason to turn off their outside lights and resented being told to drive their big cars less often.
Finding the ideal ways to save our valuable energy resources was a popular topic as long as it didn't take away your personal convenience. We know saving the energy we have and developing new source of energy will be crucial to retaining our comfortable lifestyle.
Perhaps the top way to save energy resources is in teaching our children how important it is. This can be done by making energy conservation a way of life. When you find a way to save energy resources, talk about it. Children who grow up understanding the importance of conservation will practice it throughout their lives.
We remind kids to turn off the lights but we should also teach them to read the energy labels and look for products and clothing that indicate energy use or fabrics that are not environmentally friendly.
We remind children to close the door to the outside but should also encourage them to add a sweater to warm up or sit quietly for a few minutes to cool down rather than rushing to adjust the thermostat. Above all, parents can encourage children to think of ways to conserve energy so they grow up understanding the problems and looking for solutions.
2. Wrap and Insulate
Wrap your pipes with foam sleeves designed for the purpose. Originally this was done to keep pipes from freezing in frigid climates but it's also good to keep hot water pipes from cooling quickly. Use an insulated cover on your hot water heater to keep the heat where it belongs.
On a cold day, feel for drafts along the switches and wall outlets on perimeter walls of your home and add bits of insulation if needed. Open windows on moderate days rather than turning on the air conditioning and run fans indoors during the summer to increase the cooling effect of the A/C without lowering the thermostat. Check your attic insulation and add more if needed. If your home has an unfinished basement, add insulation to the basement ceiling to warm the floors above.
3. Cover Up
Instead of maintain 72 degrees in your home during winter nights, use thick comforters to stay warm when sleeping. Add timers so the house heats up just before it's time to get up in the morning. Keep small blankets or lap covers on chairs and couches so family members can watch a movie or TV in comfort.
Dress appropriately for the weather. Anyone from a cold climate knows that wearing layers of clothing warms you better than one heavy sweater. However, many people forget to practice this when indoors. If you dress warmly you won't need to turn up the heat.
If you have old, single pane windows consider covering them with heavy plastic. This works in both summer and winter and thought not an idea solution from an aesthetic point of view it can save energy resources and will lower your electric bill.
Each person should do as many small things as he can to reduce his personal energy consumption. A two degree change in your thermostat may not seem like anything important but when hundreds of thousands of homes make that two degree change, it is one of the top ways to cut our energy consumption.
Raising your children to be aware of the energy they use is critical. Those who are children today will be making the energy decisions as our fossil fuels become increasingly scarce.