Energy conservation is any action you take where you end up using or reducing energy use. With strains being put on resources these days and rising energy costs, it helps the environment, as well as our wallets, to converse energy. Here is what you need to know about energy conservation.

Why You Should Care About Conserving Energy

Energy conservation covers a wide range of actions focused on using less energy. This goes beyond simply turning the thermostat down a few degrees in your house. Conserving energy involves thinking differently about the way you use energy. The ramifications of conserving energy also go beyond just you alone. The future, as we know it, depends on all of us doing our part in creating a sustainable future.

You have probably heard that you should reduce, reuse, and recycle. This is a great general rule for conserving energy, with the key being the reduction of energy use. Reducing energy use prevents resource depletion, as well as financial depletion. We can all do a great service to ourselves and humanity if we reduce our energy consumption in the first place.

In this modern technological age where electricity is the driving force behind practically everything, conserving energy can seem difficult to do. This is especially true for people who have less control over their energy use, such as people working in an office. However, there are still plenty of ways in which you can be a more mindful user of energy. You can think in terms of minimalism, where less is more.

You do not have to keep all the lights on in all the rooms of your house. You do not have to drive a gas-powered car or a car at all. You may have more options than you may think. 

If you are serious about reducing your energy footprint, you will shift into a more conscious mindset with every switch you flick and every freezer door you open. While it may seem like it will be overwhelming to figure out how to converse energy, there are many things you can apply to your life and home that only take some initial setup time, so you can set it and forget it.

You should care about conserving energy because we live on a planet with finite resources. Even our energy sources, such as solar and wind power, need non-renewable resources to build up their infrastructure. This means that there is no truly non-renewable resource, unless you have a way to harness the power of the sun and wind without using anything more than your mind.

We all know how environmentally devastating oil drilling, mountaintop coal mining, natural gas fracking, and nuclear meltdowns are when it comes to energy sources. Not only are these methods of obtaining energy harming the one planet we have to call home, but they are also expensive and brought to us by companies that can raise prices at any time with little that we can do about it.

Ways You Can Conserve Energy

Energy conservation is an empowering action. You take it into your hands to be a co-creator of a cleaner world. You also get to keep more of your hard-earned money instead of giving it away to companies making money off of selling unsustainable energy sources. There are some things we have little control over, but the things we do have control over are enough to make a meaningful impact.

There are a plethora of practical methods with which you can conserve energy, ranging from simple actions to huge lifestyle choices and renovation plans. Here are some of the best ways to conserve energy.

Make Your Kitchen More Energy Efficient

Beautiful kitchen

The kitchen has many resource-heavy appliances that should grab your focus and attention when you are on the path to conserving energy. There are several ways to work smarter in the kitchen. These will not demand any investment, only a change in how you do things in this important part of your house or apartment.

  • When defrosting, allow the food product to thaw out naturally or speed up the process by putting it in a bowl of hot water. Avoid using the microwave or oven to defrost anything.
  • Make sure you place your fridge away from direct sunlight or any heat sources such as your stove.
  • Keep your fridge only as cold as it needs to be. Energy is wasted if it is colder than necessary. An efficient temperature to keep it at is 38 degrees Fahrenheit, or 3.3 degrees Celcius.
  • Periodically defrost your freezer to remove any ice that may build up since more ice will increase its energy usage.
  • Pull your fridge away from the wall once per season to vacuum the coils. When you remove the dust, the fridge's motor will have to work less.
  • Make sure the seals on your freezer and fridge are airtight. If they are not, replace them.
  • Open your fridge door as little as possible. A quarter of the cold air inside can escape out each time you open it, making it very wasteful to keep open for long periods. 

Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

living room

Possibilities abound in a home when it comes to conserving energy. Here are some of the many ways in which you can conserve energy throughout the rest of your home.

  • Turn down your thermostat. This is probably the most well-known way to conserve energy and rightfully so. Even one degree makes a difference. You can always put on an extra layer if you get cold. If you wear multiple layers, you will keep heat in more readily.
  • Forgo the bath for a quick shower. A shower requires far less water, especially with water-conserving shower heads designed to reduce water usage while keeping water pressure high.
  • Take advantage of passive solar heat. This means you should keep your blinds and curtains open during the day to let the sunshine in. Once night comes, close them to keep the heat inside.
  • Clean any filters your appliances may have. This includes your dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, and vent hoses.
  • Seal off any gaps or cracks in the points of entry such as windows and doors. If you feel a draft under a door, think about getting a draft stopper. If you have air coming through an old window, consider buying insulating foam.
  • During the cold season, if you mainly stick to one or two rooms, consider using a portable heater in any rooms you use less frequently.
  • Install dimmer switches in places where you either have incandescent or LED lights. If you still have incandescent or compact fluorescent bulbs, replace them with LED lights that use hardly any energy at all.
  • Only leave the tap running while you are using it. You will save quite a bit of water by using it in such a conscious way.
  • Install energy-efficient appliances, especially if you have old energy-draining ones. Some new air conditioners these days use a fraction of what AC units of the past have. 

Make Your Car More Efficient

man driving car at sundown

A car is something most of us cannot live without. While carpooling and public transportation are available to some, there are many who either do not have access to these options, or they are impractical. There are quite a few ways you can make your car more efficient, whether it is electric, gas, or a hybrid.

  • Remove anything from your car that is weighing it down unnecessarily. More weight in a car means your car needs to work harder and use more energy.
  • If you have a roof rack, remove it while you are not using it. These racks create wind resistance that will cause your car to become less efficient while driving, especially at higher speeds.
  • Keep your tires fully inflated. Tires with low pressure cause more resistance on the road, leading to greater energy use.
  • Drive smoothly. Accelerating fast will use up much more energy than transitioning from lower speeds to higher ones.
  • When it comes to keeping your car cool, at slower speeds, you will save more energy with the windows down. At higher speeds, meaning 60 MPH or higher, you will save more energy by having the windows up and the air conditioning on.

Wrapping Up

You now know all about energy conservation and what you can do to be a part of the change from an energy-wasting society that is degrading its environment to a world that is conscious of its energy use and keeps its environment in mind with its choices. 

While there are some things beyond the control of any one person, there are many steps we can take to conserve energy and help create a cleaner and more sustainable future. Now you can take what you learned and apply it to your life to be a conscious change agent of energy conservation.