Did you know you can be more energy efficient at home by making simple changes in your day-to-day habits? On World Energy Conservation Day, here are 7 smart ideas to explore. Spare a watt, save a lot!
By Monali Bordoloi
Did you know that a simple tweak to the way you do your laundry can conserve energy? And in doing so, you can save a substantial amount of money too. Additionally, by being energy efficient, you are doing your little bit towards a greener, healthier and better planet.
As a slogan for conservation goes – Today's wastage is tomorrow's shortage!
Sustainable initiatives are not something that need to be undertaken by big industries alone. You too can make a difference at home. Moreover, your child too will be quick to adapt this as a lifestyle.
So, why not make these seven energy-saving tips an everyday habit in your home? Read on!
1. Don’t plug it on: Are you guilty of overcharging your mobile phone? Do you put your mobile on charge overnight? Avoid this as much as possible for it is unsafe practice. What's more, switching off fans, lights, geysers, televisions, ACs and other electrical appliances, when not in use, helps you save considerably on your electricity bill as well.
2. Change the bulbs: Are you still using regular bulbs that consume more energy? It’s time for a bright new beginning. How about changing all the bulbs in your home to more energy-efficient Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs). According to the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), a 15-watt CFL bulb produces the same amount of light as a 60-watt incandescent (regular) bulb.
The BEE, under the Ministry of Power, suggests that cleaning light fixtures and bulbs regularly contributes towards your energy-saving efforts. They note, "Dirty bulbs reflect less light and can absorb 50 per cent of the light emitted. A cleaner bulb gives out brighter light."
3. Optimise your kitchen: Your kitchen is an ideal place to put energy conservation into practice. Jyothi Shenoy, a housewife in Bengaluru says, “I try to reduce gas consumption while cooking. It is my way of contributing towards lessening our monthly expenditure and working for a sustainable future. I use flat-bottomed pots and pans the same size as my gas burner so that the heat does not escape. This also means my cooking gets done faster and I conserve energy in the process.” Jyothi also does simple things like using a pressure cooker for most of her high-heat cooking, covering pots while cooking, lowering the gas to the minimum flame once the food is half cooked, etc.
There are other tips you can put in place, such as cleaning your oven or microwave regularly, to save some energy in the process. It is also a good idea to fix leaking taps in your home and lessen water consumption.
4. Do laundry the right way: Does your child come home from school or the playground in utterly dirty clothes and ask you to wash them? Well, unnecessary laundry loads take a toll on energy conservation. There is a more efficient way — go easy on the detergent, don’t use more than you really need and keep the water cold or at room temperature. Also, it is better to soak the clothes before washing. Never overload the washing machine and always keep the lint filter clean. These simple measures go a long way in saving energy and making your machine work efficiently.
5. Adapt carpool as a way of life: Tired of traffic snarls? Why not adapt carpooling as a daily practice, for example, while dropping kids to school. Office-goers who have long commutes can save on fuel and also cut monthly expenses, by opting for carpooling.
6. Energy-efficient devices: Does your refrigerator or AC come with a 4 or 5-star rating? Yes, we are talking about energy-efficient devices. While shopping for electrical appliances for your home, always look for the energy-efficiency certificate and rating from BEE. On a scale of one to five, more the stars, the better.
Also, when the refrigerator is in use, do not overcrowd it with food items that may not even require cooling. The air inside the fridge requires enough space to circulate around or it will end up consuming more energy to keep food items chilled. Also, do not put hot food items inside your fridge, as your fridge's cooling system has to work harder then, and this, in turn consumes more energy. Further, keep your fridge away from direct sunlight and ensure that there is a good gap between your fridge and the wall. Ensure that you or your child do not keep opening the fridge door unnecessarily.
7. Reduce your carbon footprint: Your home could transform into a hub for energy conservation if you look for ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Heating water takes a lot of energy. As a first step, install a solar water heater at home — this is a great way to save on energy bills.
The Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, an NGO that looks at clean energy, energy efficiency, sustainable urban transport and climate policy, says, "It is a great idea to install a rooftop solar system to meet your day-to-day power needs. The trend has seen gradual momentum in India as people are willing to shift to cleaner and efficient sources of energy."
Apart from this, start consciously saving water at home. Avoid unnecessary wastage of water during baths, while washing vessels, brushing teeth, etc. Over and beyond, you could try to adopt waste recycling and segregation of waste products.
All these steps will result in saving energy, in the long run.
Activities you can do with your child:
It is important to make energy conservation a part of your conversation with your child. As a family, in little ways, you can make a difference through day-to-day activities. What's more, you also become a role model for your child by practising energy-efficient ways at home.
As a family, do you have your own tips and tricks to save energy? Do share your ideas with us.
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