“There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew.” (Marshall McLuhan, 1965)
In everyday living, we are constantly exposed to news about environmental issues around the world, surrounded by environmental activists who passionately advocate the protection of Mother Earth, and taught about global warming and climate change in schools.
However, statistics revealed that demand for limited resources in the world continues to rise over the years due to economic growth and increasing human population (Nejat, Jomehzadeh, Taheri, Gohari, & Abd. Majid, 2015). Specifically, the residential sector constitutes the world’s third-largest major energy consumer, with 27% of total energy consumption (Lausten, 2008), while electricity accounts for 21% of energy utilization (International Energy Agency, 2014).
What can we do?
Given the accessibility of information on climate change, why is there a paucity of global citizens engaging in mitigating behaviour to resolve environmental problems? Gifford (2011) identified that most people are unaware of what specific actions to take, how to implement pro-environmental behaviours, and subsequently, the benefits of their behaviour.
Thus, to encourage the implementation of more environmental-friendly behaviour, this post will share 5 simple and useful energy saving tips that could be implemented both at home and at the workplace. If you don’t have time to read through this all, watch this 2.5-minute animated video created by one of our PEET members instead!
1. Appreciate nature – Use natural light from the sun in the day instead of switching on lights. Engage in outdoor activities regularly. Even if you do not enjoy sports, taking a stroll at the park could be more enjoyable and relaxing than staying in and using the computer or watching television. This not only keeps you healthy, but also allows you to appreciate the beauty of nature.
When the weather is warm over summer, open the windows to allow wind and natural air to enter the room. If air conditioners must be used, do not set the cooling temperature lower than 24°C and ensure that the doors and windows in all air-conditioned rooms are kept closed when the air conditioning is on.
2. Switch off and unplug – Instead of putting equipment or appliances on standby, switch off and unplug those that are not used regularly, as simply switching it off without unplugging the appliances still utilizes energy. Switch off lights when they are not in use.
3. Stay warm and save money – Instead of turning up the heating, wear thicker jumpers and socks. To keep yourself warm and comfy, prepare a thermal flask containing hot coffee, tea or water. You could also consider getting a hot water bottle (or hottie) that not only comes in a variety of designs, but also keeps your body warm. If you have to use the heater, avoid heating your home or workspaces over 21°C. Did you know that turning your heating down by 1°C can help you save as much as £60 per year?!
4. Fridge tips! – Keep your fridge temperature between 3-5 °C. Place or remove items quickly so that you do not leave your fridge door open for too long. Leaving the door open for a long time warms the fridge easily. Thus, more energy and money are required to get it back to the optimum temperature. Defrost the freezer regularly to prevent the build up of ice and keep the condenser coil clean and well ventilated.
5. Use energy-efficient products – Energy-efficient products not only save energy, but also help us save money! Energy saving light bulbs last up to 10 times longer than ordinary bulbs, and by using one you can save around £50 over the lifetime of the bulb. Furthermore, replacing an inefficient fridge with an A+ or A++ rated model at home or at your workplace not only reduces energy consumption, but could save you up to £37 a year.
Who says environmental protection is difficult and boring? A simple act of switching off the lights can go a long way!