Using Less Energy
There are many ways to reduce the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions that are behind climate change. An important one is for everyone to become more energy efficient—that is, to find ways to reduce our use of energy. This can come about in many different ways. On the large scale, energy providers can start making use of some of the alternative energy technologies discussed earlier, such as wind or water power.
On a smaller scale, we can all find new ways to reduce our use of energy. Some are obvious, such as lowering the thermostat in winter and raising it in summer, to use less oil or electricity. Another easy way to reduce energy use is to unplug appliances that are not in use. Or, we can drive fewer miles, use our feet or bicycles, or take public transportation.
Photo courtesy of Michigan Country Lines
Replacing standard incandescent lightbulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs is one way to reduce energy use.
There are new technologies—either in place or under development—that can really make a difference. Energy-efficient lightbulbs and other new lighting technology can save many kilowatts each year. Hybrid automobiles use much less gasoline than regular cars. We can build houses that retain heat in the winter and keep cool in the summer, reducing our use of energy. If everyone in a community implements some of these changes, the reductions add up to much less energy used, and fewer emissions produced.
Let’s take a closer look at the new ways we can be energy efficient.