Energy conservation means reducing energy consumption by producing or using less of it, but why is it important to conserve energy? Let's find out!
There are many reasons to conserve energy. Energy conservation limits the number of carbon emissions in the environment and sustains resources. It leads to better air and water quality and helps improve the quality of life. It can also help you cut back your utility bills and save money!
Energy conservation is not just a big word. It is an essential step towards a better planet. It is a big part of sustainability and sustainable development. The constantly expanding need for energy has made energy conservation even more crucial for the well-being of our planet. You might be taking baby steps every day to conserve energy (such as turning off the tap while brushing or switching off lights and fans in an unoccupied room), but do you know why you do it? This article will help you find out.
To write this article as accurately as possible, we invested in a great deal of research regarding the energy sector. All facts and figures mentioned are backed up by sources as linked to throughout the article, so trust us to equip you with everything you need to know about conserving energy!
Why Is It Important to Conserve Energy?
Everything we know runs on energy – even humans! Energy is used everywhere, from homes, factories, and cafés to schools, offices, and shopping centers. Increased energy consumption has harmed our environment, and we must reserve the damage.
In this section, we will discuss seven reasons why conserving energy is vital for human health and the health of Mother Earth.
1. Reduces Risk of Depletion
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), energy consumption is projected to increase 3.1% per year from 2018 to 2050. We are consuming more energy today than ever, which simply means that oil sources are depleting every single day.
The largest sources of oil are located in nations like the Gulf States that experience a lot of political turmoil. As a result, these nations enter into conflict with high energy consumers like China and the U.S., increasing their over-dependence on them for oil. The risk of depletion followed by political conflict explains why we must conserve energy to protect the world population if there's ever an emergency.
2. Helps You Save Money
Even though there are far essential things in life than money, saving money is a good thing! Conserving energy helps you save money by reducing your overall energy bills and living expenses. When everyone consumes less energy, decreasing demand causes prices to drop.
In addition to lower bills, energy conservation can also help you save money if you install alternative energy equipment such as solar power systems and appliances. In such cases, you can qualify for tax incentives and rebates.
3. Boosts Human Health
Pollution is the most harmful by-product of energy resources. When resources like coal, natural gas, and oil burn, they cause air pollution and release harmful chemicals and gasses into the air. These substances contain toxins that can cause a variety of severe diseases and medical complications like lung cancer and asthma. Not only does this bring about unnecessary suffering, but it also leads to extraordinary medical costs.
Conservation of energy reduces the carbon footprint, leading to lesser air pollution. Cleaner air automatically means lesser chances of developing harmful diseases like respiratory illnesses.
4. Mitigates Global Warming
According to the EIA, 61% of electricity generated in the U.S. in 2020 emanated from fossil fuels. Converting fossil fuels into useful energy forms such as natural gas for cooking or gasoline for cars involves a great deal of carbon dioxide emission into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is harmful to the environment, and it is the primary contributor to global warming.
The impact of global warming is highly apparent these days. Changing weather patterns, increase in atmospheric temperatures, rising sea levels threatening to submerge islands and the creation of deadly diseases like lung cancer are consequences of global warming. Energy conservation helps keep carbon dioxide emissions at a minimum, lowering the possibility of global warming and saving the world from its harmful consequences.
5. Ensures a Constant and Safe Water Supply
Conserving water is just as critical as conserving energy for future sustenance. Water makes up two-thirds of the earth's surface, yet people don't have a clean or constant water supply in several places like villages in Africa.
Hydropower plants require massive amounts of water to generate energy. The more energy is consumed and generated, the more water is needed, leading to a lack of water for human, animal, and plant life. Energy conservation reduces the demand for energy which automatically means less demand for water to generate energy.
6. Mitigates Destruction of Habitat
Conserving energy also helps mitigate the destruction of habitat. To extract fossil fuels to generate energy, the energy sector destroys habitats of several animal and plant species. Energy companies mine in these habitats, rendering them unsafe for the species thriving there. Some mines even involve clearing out large chunks of forests that belong to the wildlife. This leads to a transfer of wildlife and human populations.
7. Enhances Home Value
Not many people know this, but energy conservation can also enhance the value of your home. If you are a homeowner, you probably anticipate selling your home one day at a profit. The more you enhance the value of your home, the more significant profit you will make.
One way of enhancing the value of your home is by installing energy conservation systems and appliances such as solar panels and rainwater harvesting systems. Not only will these systems conserve energy and help you save money each month, but they will also attract prospective homebuyers if you ever decide to put your home on the market.
3 Popular Methods of Energy Conservation
There are many methods of conserving energy. Most of them involve refraining from using high energy-consuming appliances and devices whenever possible. Let's take a closer look at the three most popular methods of energy conservation:
1. Turning Things Down
Energy conservation is more about saving energy rather than eliminating it. You cannot possibly eliminate the use of energy because the world wouldn't function without it. However, you can save it. One of the most effective ways to do this is to turn down things that demand a lot of energy.
For example, heating an indoor space takes a lot of energy, but by turning the thermostat down by just one or two degrees, you can save as much energy as taking several cars off the road. Similarly, using cold water for regular tasks can also save energy. Use cold water to wash dishes and clothes. Turn down the heat on your shower if possible. If not, try shortening the length of time you spend in the shower just by two minutes.
Some devices and appliances use energy even when they’re not actively being used. Hence, it is better to turn them off completely, as they use energy even when not being actively used. While it’s better to turn the heat down rather than off, many appliances and devices should be unplugged or switched off when not in use. Turning off a ceiling fan or air conditioner when leaving a room helps a great deal to conserve energy.
Appliances such as televisions, stereos, computers, and more also draw energy from the power grid when plugged into a wall, even when they are shut off. To reduce energy usage, make sure these devices are entirely unplugged when not in use.
3. Substituting for Efficiency
Last but not the least, try substituting high-energy consuming devices with energy-efficient ones to conserve energy. For example, invest in more energy-efficient appliances, such as Energy Star-approved freezers, washers, and dryers.
Replace your regular shower head with a low-flow version that reduces the amount of hot water you need while showering. If you are thinking of buying a new car, consider investing in an electric one or an energy-efficient vehicle, such as a hybrid car or a small economy car. These small changes can make a big difference.
About THE AUTHOR
James Parker has a Masters degree in Sustainability with a focus on land management, permaculture and regenerative agriculture. He also has experience managing sustainability projects, and is passionate about conservation and sustainability.Read More About James Parker