Updated: Dec 1, 2022
The 14th of December is Energy Conservation Day. Usually, a day like this isn’t what we circle in red in the calendar, to remind us that time is passing and that we need a healthy Earth to survive. This date, I repeat, is merely a reminder, as is this article. So, let’s take a moment out of our busy schedules and dive into ways we can help conserve energy.
Energy conservation is making sure that an unnecessary amount of energy is not used, so that energy resources can be saved for generations to come. And every year it’s celebrated to raise awareness among the general public about the importance of energy conversation and efficiency. With the rise in population, there’s an obvious increase in all kinds of consumption, including energy. To make energy conservation plans more effective, every human should actively participate. It can be done in simple ways, just by adjusting your daily routine- like following the 3Rs ( Reduce, Reuse and Recycle). Well-equipped facilities and buildings that have opted to use methods for energy conservation help in increasing the overall environmental quality and preventing future depletion. Raising awareness about climate change and global warming among people is vital, especially among the youth. Ways to conserve energy usually begin at home, by turning off the tap, switching off lights, cleaning the filter of the aircon, switching to solar power, LED lighting, air-drying your laundry or keeping your refrigerator away from the wall. Energy conservation is also achievable by using energy more efficiently. Green/sustainable building is one of the new concepts and a step towards promoting green living. These buildings when compared to the norm are designed to use less energy and water, conserve natural resources, generate less waste and create spaces for healthy living.
We use energy for almost everything now, but whether we are using it consciously is the question. Because conservation is proportional to reducing climate change. Fossil fuels emit so much carbon dioxide into the environment, thus causing the greenhouse effect. Activities like coal mining and building nuclear power plants have caused a lot of forest destruction and it has affected the flora and fauna of those regions in a very negative way and every year, the world consumes 2% more energy than what is utilized in the previous year.
According to data of United States calculated over a year, it was found that the average family’s energy use produces over 11,200 pounds of air pollutants. Countries like the US, China, India are dependent on oil-producing nations. The stock of oil in these countries is restricted and may end very soon with how people utilize it without a care. The governments of Singapore, France, and Denmark on the other hand have started implementing an energy tax. It motivates people to use less energy and start choosing alternatives that are beneficial for them and the environment. So when conserving energy we should use renewable energy instead of non-renewable energy. Renewable sources of energy can be replenished back in nature. Thus, energy conservation is an environmentally friendly alternative to increased energy production. Tidal, wind and solar energy can be used to conserve energy. In Sri Lanka, “A huge amount of our GDP is spent on energy annually. Of this amount, around US $9 billion is spent on fossil fuel and coal importation and another great portion is spent on electricity generation”, energy conservation expert Aruna Lekamge said. He further mentioned, “Are you aware that a huge amount of electricity is used for street lights, traffic lights and also for lighting public places? You are not concerned much about that because you do not pay the expenses for street lighting or the lighting at other public places normally. But as a whole, everyone, including you and me, bear the expenses of street lights, traffic lights and lighting expenses of public places indirectly since it’s the Treasury which settles the expenses”. KPMG, an international audit firm did an energy conservation study of street lighting systems in the Colombo District and their survey showed that by implementing novel energy-saving technologies approximately 70% of the energy expenditure can be saved.
In conclusion, conserving energy should come from the heart, from a place that loves Earth and understands that our survival is tied with it. Let’s spend more time educating ourselves about sustainability, conservation and ways to heal Earth as a whole because we are the next generation to take over the future of the Earth. As moral citizens, we should be responsible for our actions. This is important, or in more gen z words, hashtag this. #EnergyConservation