PRACTICAL COUNTER MEASURES TO ENERGY NEEDS
IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE
Prepared by The Academy for Future Science
- Cycle or walk for shorter journeys. If you have to drive, do it ecologically–look ahead to avoid sudden breaking and accelerating. Buy green–hybrid or “flex fuel” cars.
- Plant a tree. One tree of average size absorbs about 6 kg of CO2 per year, so over 40 years it soaks up about 250 kg.
- Turn your thermostat down by 2 deg. F and install a programmable thermostat to automatically change thermostat settings at certain times of the day. This saves about 10% of your heating bill.
- During winter when airing your house, open the windows a few minutes only, instead of letting the heat escape over a long period. If you leave a small opening all the day long, the energy needed to keep it warm during six cold months (10 deg. C less outside temperature) would result in almost 1 ton of CO2 emissions.
- Heat only as much water as you need for your tea or coffee. Heating a whole kettle of water uses about as much energy as lighting your living room for the night. Use instant “tankless” heaters for your showers. You can save 16,000 gallons of water per household and it uses less energy than a 25 watt light bulb.
- Use weather stripping for your home around windows and doors. Make sure your home is well insulated, since 50% of the heat escapes via the walls. Insulation is good for the environment and makes financial sense in the long run. In building a home use double walls with installation (R-38) between them (Cf. See specs for example, for the Award-winning Colorado Dream Homes, Pagosa Springs, CO, which are energy efficient and low-maintenance). Also consider electro-chromic windows which remain darker in sunlight and transparent in winter.
- Recycle all you can. Better yet, reduce your consumption where possible. Buy goods with less packaging and switch from disposable to reusable goods.
- Clean or replace furnace and air-conditioner filters regularly. Keep refrigerators and freezers clean and away from ovens and cookers. They work more efficiently that way.
- Switch off lights and appliances you are not using. Do not leave anything on stand-by mode.
- Switch to energy-saving light bulbs but please recycle them. They last ten times longer than ordinary light bulbs while generating up to 400 kg fewer emissions and cutting up to $60 (USD) off your electricity bill during their lifetime.
- Install shades or awnings on windows facing south and/or west to block sunlight. In winter, open shades on sunny days to help warm rooms. Then at night, close the drapes to retain the heat.
- Fix defective plumbing or facets. A single defective facet can waste over 200 gallons of water per month.