Learn about conserving energy for energy sustainability, why it is important, and actionable, fossil-fuel energy conservation and renewable energy initiatives you can implement in your home or business to save money and reduce your eco and carbon footprints.
This page may contain affiliate links, so I may receive a commission when you click a link and make a purchase at no cost to you.
LIKE IT? SHARE IT!
What is Energy Conservation?
When we talk about energy conservation we ultimately want to achieve “sustainable energy”, which means using less energy than is produced or will not be depleted for future generations’ use. The definition of sustainability applies to energy as well.
When there is a system of energy production that relies on fossil fuels (petroleum, coal, natural gas), then this energy system is not renewable. Once the fossil fuels are depleted, the dependent energy system will stop. Hence, it is not sustainable.
Additionally, fossil fuels taken from below ground and burned for energy use emit dangerous greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxide – into our atmosphere.
Sustainable energy forms, therefore, are those that are not only renewable, but also clean (no greenhouse gases). Obviously, this is the preferred method of energy production and consumption for a sustainable future.
Why is Energy Conservation Important?
When fossil fuels are burned and release harmful greenhouses gases into our atmosphere, scientists have confirmed they cause global warming which has terrible side effects, such negative human health impacts and climate change, we are becoming more familiar with, unfortunately.
Human health impacts are seen in the forms of cancer or increased asthma cases. Climate change alone produces increased hurricane and flooding occurrences, melting ice glaciers, sea level rise, coral reef depletion, and drought, to only name a few.
The increase in human health issues cause higher medical and insurance costs, not to mention the stress and distress of taking care of failing loved ones. The side effects from climate change also have financial, emotional and psychological impacts to humans, such as home loss, human migrations, increased dependency on bottled water, increased insurance rates, loss of businesses and income, home rebuilding costs, etc.
As you can see, when the environment is negatively impacted by greenhouse gases, it has negative impacts on our society and economy. It’s a viscous cycle that will not end until we reduce, and eventually end, our use of fossil fuels and change the current system of energy production and consumption.
In that vein, it’s beneficial to take a look at what sectors produce the most greenhouse gases. The EPA chart below shows that the Commercial and Residential Building Sector (responsible for electrical and heating use) and the Electricity Sector accounted for 40% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2017.
How To Conserve Energy
It goes without saying that energy use plays a critical role in reducing climate change and its impacts.
Therefore, there are many benefits to reducing the amount of energy we use, as well as switching to renewable energy sources, especially in the Commercial and Residential Building and Electricity sectors.
The good news is that there are ways you can help now. Implemented individually, little to big methods of reducing your fossil fuel-sourced energy usage, to switching to renewable energy sources, will accumulate for major, positive results towards reducing our overall, negative impact on the environment – climate change.
In turn, these efforts will reduce negative impacts to our health, well-being, and finances.
The chart below from a 2015 study by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows how energy was consumed in the typical U.S. household. This breakdown of energy use type lends insight as to where day-to-day changes in each type of use can lend to positive impact.
Many of these day-to-day changes are easy to do. They involve simple, purchase habit changes or changing the energy consuming products you use, or both!
These can be done in different levels, if you will – from the easiest “low hanging fruit” methods (see lighter-colored boxes), to more complex or up-front-cost methods (see darker-colored boxes below) that may have long-term financial savings. If you want more tips and ideas, check out the Conserve Energy Blog posts that are continually added for your convenience.
In any case, I encourage you to review these initiatives, pick some, and take the Energy Conservation Challenge below.
Energy-Conservation Initiatives: How and Why
Take the "Energy Conservation Challenge"!
Go a step further and take the CORR Concepts “Energy Conservation Challenge” by doing the following:
1. Take the pledge to turn off all lights and electronics, in your home or office, that are not in use. Get others to take the pledge.
2. Pick at least one more of the Energy Conservation Initiatives and implement them into your everyday life. Periodically, go back to remeasure your Ecological and/or Carbon Footprint to see if you’ve lowered your score. Keep adding more Energy Conservation Initiatives to your daily life to keep reducing your footprint!
3. Share this webpage to at least one person so that the sustainability message will spread and enrich and benefit us all.