Doing our part to save the planet doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend hours sorting products for recycling or planting trees. In fact, helping the environment can be as easy as turning down the thermostat or flicking off lights in rooms that aren’t being used. In this article, you’ll learn why simple everyday conservation methods are highly effective in helping the environment.
Each light that is turned on in a household or business uses electricity, which is powered by one of two finite fossil fuels: coal or natural gas. When these two fuels are burned for electrical generation, it causes greenhouse gas emissions that rise up into our atmosphere and cause global warming. Thus we have two detrimental outcomes from lights left on in unoccupied rooms: excess finite fossil fuel use and increased global warming.
Reduction of energy use is only one aspect of reducing overall consumption. Water continues to be an issue as well, and global warming will only serve to cause droughts in more areas of the country, particularly in the west and southwest. The less water we consume, the less likely we will experience drought conditions in our area.
Small behavioral changes such as turning off water while brushing one’s teeth, purchasing Energy Star appliances, and making sure the dishwasher is completely full on every cycle helps conserve water. Xeriscaping is another consideration in the effort to conserve water, particularly in the hot and dry western and southwestern areas of the country.
Consumption vs. Conservation
Trash is another consideration. The less stuff we buy, the less we have to throw away in some faraway landfill. The less we drive, the less gasoline we use, and the less we emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels. The less food we consume, fewer pesticides are used and the less farm machinery needs to burn fossil fuels to harvest crops. It’s a very simple principle, actually. The less we consume, the less impact we have on the environment.
We are a nation of consumers. But when it comes to energy and the environment, we should be particularly cognizant of the consequences of excess consumption.