Saving energy: A little effort from each of us will help.

It is sickening that we are using massive resources campaigning for, researching and finding new green or renewable energy, in a bid to bail ourselves when the fossil fuels run out. This is the same issue we have with food, that we are now modifying genes with the excuse of producing more to feed the world.

There is nothing wrong with both ideas, (finding the green energy and using technology to improve yields) and in fact, it is wise to look for alternatives. But the real issue is that we have become extremely wasteful in all aspects of life, to the extent that it has become the norm, and our children are learning from us.

Breaking Energy reported that “…it has been estimated that we throw away as much as 30-50% of the energy and water that flows into our buildings”.

Water, gas, electricity, fuel, you name it, is heavily wasted in this country. The fact that many people can afford to pay their bills does not make it OK to waste them.

Let us take transport as an example. It is a very common thing these days to find husbands, wives older children going to work and school in their own cars. Members of the community prefer to drive than to use the public bus, even if they are all going grocery shopping around the corner. The Public Transport Organization said: “The average household spends 16 cents of every dollar on transportation, and 94% of this goes to buying, maintaining, and operating cars, the largest expenditure after housing. A household can save more than $9,700 by taking public transportation and living with one less car.” Now multiply that with the number of families in the country, and that gives you an idea of the waste I am talking about.

Back to our homes, we (including myself) all leave our computers and gadgets plucked into the sockets 24/7. We run the hot shower for so long and keep the extractor working. We run the tap for long periods when washing hands or brushing the teeth. Needless to remind you of the dishwashers, washing machines and dryers that run needlessly (because many times it is faster to wash a dish or two at the sink than to throw them into the dishwasher).

As for public places such as supermarkets, hospitals and restaurants, the least said the better. There you find thousands of lights that never go out, with constant heating or cooling, with doors that are never shut. Restroom taps run constantly and people rip paper towels or tissues as though they are free commodities. It is easy to imagine that they do not cost anything, but let us agree that energy and raw materials were used to produce them. Who pays for all that? You and I of course!

At this rate, renewable energy is not going to solve all our energy problems. We will still have to pay for energy, green or red, and it will not come cheap. For me, we need to start hammering the message of conserving energy into everyone, especially children, whiles adults are empowered to set good examples.

If we can all save just 25% of our water, electricity, gas, fuel (pretty much all energy), together, we would have saved something substantial, and whiles that can prolong the reserves of fossil fuels, we will also save the money for other important things. I am making the effort to conserve energy, and I am sure I can count on you.