Saturday, March 28th, from 8:30-9:30 PM, is World Earth Hour! During this hour, every person, business and city is encouraged to turn their lights out and reduce their energy consumption. Earthday.org boasts that, “World Earth Hour is the largest call for action on climate change in history and continues to grow every year. It has become a global sustainability movement and will be followed by many more green initiatives for Earth Day.”
By adopting the following tips, you can reduce your energy consumption for World Earth Hour, as well as on a more permanent basis:
1) Be sure to switch off the lights if you are the last one to leave. This can reduce electricity consumption by up to 15%!
2) Adjust what you are wearing before adjusting the thermostat. If you still find that you are too hot or cold after doing this, adjust the thermostat up or down by one degree at a time.
3) Don’t pump the heat or air conditioning while windows are open. Many people do this, claiming they “enjoy the fresh air.” However, every building must legally circulate fresh air coming from outdoors into buildings. So you are always getting some fresh air even when inside!
4) Set your computer or laptop screen’s electricity usage to “power saver” or “energy saver.” This allows the screen to “go to sleep” more often when you are inactive, and saves electricity.
5) Install compact fluorescent or LED bulbs in your home’s light fixtures. These bulbs use far less energy than incandescent bulbs and last orders of magnitude longer, saving you money in the long-run. However, be sure to dispose of your compact fluorescent bulbs safely through your local hazardous waste program (for Londoners, you can take your household hazardous waste to the Household Special Waste Depot at 3502 Manning Drive.
6) Choose energy efficient appliances, including low flow shower heads, faucets and toilets.
7) Unplug your electronics when they’re not in use. Your TV, computer and cell phone charger still consume electricity when they’re off and plugged in; this is called phantom power, and can account for 10% of your electricity consumption. Plug things into a power bar with an easy switch-off to save some energy.
8) Hang dry your clothes whenever possible. If you don’t like the “crisp” feeling certain clothes take on after being hung to dry, you can put them in the dryer for a few minutes after they’ve dried to help fluff them up a bit.
9) Choose green electricity. Many utilities give you the option to purchase electricity generated by wind, hydro and solar power for a small rate surcharge. Go to www.bullfrogpower.com to find out about Ontario’s green electricity options.
10) Only run your dishwasher and laundry machines when they are full.
11) Wash clothes in cold water. Research has shown that washing in cold water often cleans clothes just as well as hot water. Up to 80% of the energy consumed during a wash cycle is just from heating up the water!
Join the international movement and reduce your energy consumption!