The one thing that unites us all is this planet we call home.
It’s home to the plants that serve as food and nutrition to millions of species. It’s home to the wildlife without whom the eco-system will not sustain. It’s home to the life under water and its home to us, the humans.
We have already done enough harm to the earth and the actions we take in the next few years will determine the future of the planet for the next several generations to come.
It started from Australia and the message has spread across the globe. Yes. We are talking about the incredible initiative called the Earth Hour to raise awareness about the very real threat global warming poses to this planet and what we can do reduce our impact to the environment by going beyond just one hour.
1. Move to energy-efficient lighting and appliances
Lighting comprises 5% of residential greenhouse emissions and 18% of a typical household’s energy bill. By moving to a more sustainable solution like LED bulbs, you can reduce 90% of energy wasted when using traditional incandescent bulbs. LED bulbs are not only more energy efficient but are also recyclable. Similarly, when buying electrical appliances for your homes such as washing machines, dishwashers, air conditioners, fridge, electric oven and hot water heaters check their energy ratings first.
2. Switch off the idle appliance
Plenty of household appliances use energy when on standby. These include computers, laptops and mobiles, appliances sitting on your kitchen counter, electronics in your entertainment centers and the list goes on. These energy vampires silently consume electricity and add up to $100 to $200 to your annual electricity bill, hurting your pocket and the planet at the same time.
3. Light and heat rooms only in use
Turn off the lights when you leave the room and adjust your thermostat to keep your home a little cooler in winters and a little warmer in summers.
Heating and cooling account for about 20% to 50% of the energy used in Australian homes. To avoid having this energy wasted, make sure to seal drought around doors and windows and have a good roof and wall insulation. Consider using a fan instead of using your air con as soon as the heat turns up. Grow trees or put curtains to shade windows.
4. Use hot water wisely
Save hot water and save energy. Heating water accounts for 23% of the energy of an average Australian household. Most of this water is used in showers and laundry. You can save energy used on heating water by taking shorter showers and washing clothes in cold water. Additionally, avoid overheating your water and start using energy efficient instant hot water systems that heat water only when you need it.
5. Make nature your best friend
The cleanest form of renewable energy is in the form of solar. A 4KW solar system can prevent 3.5 to 4 tons of carbon dioxide from going into the air. With 25% of households in Australia already having solar panels installed, why not reduce your carbon footprint, save on energy bills and become more energy independent all at the same time.
6. Get a home energy audit
Track your overall energy consumption so you can make a plan for boosting energy efficiency. Energy audits can help identify air leaks due to bad insulation and poorly functioning appliances including air conditioner and hot water system. You will get to know what the biggest energy drains are so you can make upgrades and improvements accordingly
As your licensed and qualified local electricians in Geelong, this Earth Hour feel free to give us a call to discuss what steps you can take to make your home more energy efficient and thus reduce your carbon footprint.