Save Energy to Save the Planet! (…And save money too!)
Money saving ways to save energy from Loans 2 Go…
Love them or hate them, you can’t fail to be aware of the Extinction Rebellion movement. Their message is clear: life on Earth is in crisis because of a period of abrupt climate breakdown.
But what can we – ordinary people – do to change things? How can we do our bit to save the planet?
The least we can do is to try and be mindful of the four elements that together form the foundations of life: fire, earth, air and water. This is an easy way to remember to conserve energy on a daily basis in our homes and as we go about our everyday business. And as well as taking steps to save energy, we will also find that we are saving money at the same time.
So let’s look at each of the elements, and some ways in which we can both save energy and help to save the planet:
It is easy to take the heat of the sun for granted, and expect our homes and other environments always to be warm. However, we can all play our part in making sure that we only use the energy we actually need. Some ways we can do this are:
- switch off lights and appliances when not in use: you can save around £30 a year just by switching lights off when not in use and not leaving appliances in standby mode.
- turn down thermostats: even just a 1 degree reduction can save energy and money.
- cook several meals at once when using your oven, then leave the oven door open to heat up your kitchen.
Trees are vital to life on earth but deforestation – the destruction of the earth’s trees – is increasing. Deforestation is caused largely by the demand for timber for wood and paper products, and for land for crops, cattle, and housing.
So every day try to make choices that do not cause further deforestation. Some of the ways you can do this are:
- recycling and buying recycled products. Buying second hand is also another way to save money.
- eating vegetarian meals more often: this too can save you money on food bills.
- going paperless wherever possible.
Carbon dioxide emissions – and other so-called “greenhouse gases” – are significant because they have the effect of trapping heat and enabling earth to hold onto some of the energy it gets from the sun. However, if there are too many carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere this can cause the temperature of earth to rise – which in turn then increases the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere even further.
There are natural sources of carbon dioxide emissions such as decomposition, ocean release and respiration. But more concerning are the sources caused by human activity such as deforestation, cement production, and the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas.
Some ways that we can all reduce our carbon emissions – and help to halt climate change are:
- Drive our cars less: walk or cycle or use public transport.
- Use fuel efficient cars such as electric cars or hybrids.
- Insulate and seal your home and make energy efficiency a priority when choosing new appliances.
- Consider adding solar panels to the roof of your home to cut down on your energy bills.
Water is essential to our existence but we are all guilty of using far too much water. There are many easy ways to save water around the home without it affecting the quality of your daily life. Try these for starters:
- When using the kettle, make sure you just fill it with the amount of water that you need.
- Don’t leave taps running when you are not actually using them.
- Try to use your washing machine one less time per week, and use a lower temperature eg 30-40°C.
- Showers tend to use less water than baths, though if you have a power shower try turning the pressure down to save energy. Also, if you spend one minute less in the shower each day you could save up to £80 a year on the energy bill for a family of four.
None of us can save the planet on our own, but if we can all do our best to implement some of the above practical steps then we know we are helping a greater cause. As we have seen, many of them will also help us to save money at the same time. Win-win.
Check back here soon for more financial and lifestyle tips from Loans 2 Go.