Contributed by Leon Collier
What is sustainability?
We all hear this word often, but we don’t seem to have much interest in understanding it. Dictionaries define sustainability as the quality of continuation. But that doesn’t really reveal the true importance of the concept in terms of natural resources and energy consumption.
Sustainability is all about trying to use energy in a way that does not harm nature and waste limited resources on our planet. But ever since the Industrial Revolution, we’ve been consuming too much energy and natural resources
The world is near the point of no return, so it’s time to consider saving energy to save nature.
Where are we now?
If we want to make plans and save nature by adjusting our energy consumption habits, we need to know where the world stands now. Generally speaking, there are five levels in the energy pyramid:
- Saving energy: Every person in the world can do a lot of things to save energy and reduce their impact on nature. For instance, a simple solution would be to turn off the lights whenever you leave the room.
- Efficient use of energy: On this level of energy consumption, people are shifting to energy-efficient devices and tools such as LED lighting or enhanced home appliances.
- Renewable energy: This is probably the most practical way to combat pollution and excess energy consumption. It relies on renewable sources such as tidal or wind power. Unfortunately, it has a major drawback, because this type of energy production is often unavailable when it matters the most. A good example is solar energy, which is not available at night when most people want to turn on lights.
- Low-emission energy: Another way to minimize environmental impact is to take advantage of low-emission energy. Examples include nuclear power and hydropower.
- High-emission energy: This is the worst-case scenario as it means using coal, oil, and gas for energy production. Needless to say, non-renewable energy resources are finite and highly polluting.
Unfortunately, we need to point out that the current situation is far from idyllic. A report suggests that global energy consumption is still rising, while more than 80% of our energy still comes from fossil fuels.
What can you do to save nature?
Even though it may look like a single person cannot do anything to solve this problem, the fact is that we all can contribute to the solution at least minimally. Imagine the impact of millions or billions of people making the same choices you do!
There are dozens of ways the average individual can help nature by making minor adjustments to everyday behavior, but let’s see some of the most common examples:
- Adjust your daily behavior
How many times do you leave the faucet on even if you don’t really need water at a given moment? You probably do it every time you brush your teeth or take a shower. The simplest way to reduce consumption is to examine your daily habits. Wherever you notice waste, make some changes: Learn to turn off the lights, home appliances, or tap when you’re not using them.
- Install smart systems in your home
Smart technologies come in many different forms and they all have two main goals: to reduce energy consumption and your bills. For example, a smart thermostat will turn off your air condition system when no one’s in the room. You can also deploy the smart lighting technology that automatically turns off the lights when everyone leaves the place.
- Opt for energy-efficient appliances
If you need to replace an appliance, search “energy-efficient” plus the name of the appliance, for example, “energy-efficient refrigerator.” In the US, you can just look for Energy Star appliances. You will see that lots of home appliances consume up to 25% less energy than standard models. We are talking about saving energy with everyday items like dishwashers, boilers, etc. that can also save you a lot of money in the long run.
- Buy energy-efficient windows and improve insulation
A well-insulated home uses a lot less energy. So do homes with energy-efficient windows and other isolation components. Although it may be a costly investment at first, the bottom line is that insulation drastically reduces energy consumption and minimizes your electricity bills.
The bottom line
Human civilization has always been dependent on energy. But now it seems as if we’ve become addicted to the overuse of natural resources. The world is still far from figuring out how to save nature by saving energy, but one thing is for sure – it will require a joint effort of every country, company, and person worldwide if we want to prevent permanent damage. Let’s each look at our own lifestyle to see how we can do our part.
Leon Collier is a college paper writer and a part-time blogger interested in new technologies, ecology, and the environment. Apart from working for the college essay writing service, Leon is also a dedicated traveler and long-distance runner. Follow him on Twitter @LeonCollier12