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After saving water, air and land in the previous blogs, we come to the next important resource for saving...
Energy, is what we need to sustain ourselves and the planet. How we save our energy to last longer for things we need to accomplish, the same way we need to save energy resources on our planet which is currently drained out of energy each day, every minute, all the time.
There are various forms of energy and many are misused. Some of the energy forms that we can look into as citizens are :
- Solar energy
- Electrical energy
- Light energy
- Thermal energy
- Wind energy
- Hydroelectric energy
Renewable energy sources are what we get naturally from earth and is everlasting. Non renewable energy is from resources like fossil fuel, oil, coal, natural gas, wood etc which are limited and cannot be replenished.
As citizens, we can make a difference by looking into following forms of energy:
- Solar energy is available for free, is in abundance, is a renewable source of energy and keeps air free of pollution. It can be used for :
a) producing electricity through Photo voltaic panels
b) solar panels for heating water and cooking
c) solar chimneys for passive solar ventilation
d) absorbing maximum of sunlight into interior spaces helps with thermal heating and daylight, cutting down energy loads for heating in cold climate and lighting respectively
e) drying clothes in the sun helps in saving energy consumed by a clothes dryer.
We can initiate using maximum of sunlight and solar energy within our homes for long term benefits.
- Electrical energy must be saved
a) by using energy efficient LED lighting instead of incandescent bulbs
b) using thermostats for fixed temperatures
c) setting air conditioning above 23 degrees temperature
d) switching off fans/lights/heaters/coolers when not in use
e) switching off stand by mode for electronic gadgets
f) removing plugs which are not in use within sockets
g) reducing cooling and heating loads on electricity consumption with proper insulation and right type of glazings and curtains
h) avoiding leakages through air conditioned rooms/refrigerators(35 to 38 degrees for refrigerator and 0 to 5 degrees for freezer)/ovens
i) running full loads of clothes or dishes respectively within washing machine or dishwasher and all cycles with cold water
- Light energy can be saved by
a) using maximum daylight through windows/glazings/skylights
b) switching off lights when not in use
c) using task lighting to avoid usage of all main lights
d) using energy efficient LED lights instead of incandescent bulbs that consume more electricity and release more heat
e) using solar energy for batteries or rechargeable batteries in lamps
f) reduce wattage and by installing dimmers
g) using solar lights for landscaping to reduce large scale electricity usage,
h) avoiding multiple fittings but using multiple switches
i) by installing motion sensors
- Thermal energy can be saved by
a) treating losses due to heating or cooling a space
b) Air conditioning or heating loads can be cut down by the right type of glazings(single for normal temperature and double glazing for extreme temperature or sun facing rooms)
c) using the right type of curtains or drapes
d) checking and sealing leakages around openings
e) good thermal design with localised temperature control within each zone of a space to avoid extreme heating or cooling
f) using solar energy for heating water
g) cooling of roofs with insulation or terrace gardens
h) using more south facing sun and cutting down the west facing sun
i) reducing paved areas and adding more greens to reduce heat island effect
- Wind energy must be used
a) at places with high wind pressures as this is also a form of renewable energy with no harm to the environment
b) This primarily helps to generate electricity and can be installed at highly windy areas or used on seasonal basis
c) New inventions are also creating domestic wind turbines that can be used for homes to save on electricity bills in the long term
- Hydroelectric energy works well at places with flowing rivers or streams.
a) These help in supplying electricity and lighting to homes and other structures as long as they are set up with minimum damage to the environment
b) Small areas also use the hydro power for grinding of grains and at small scale for private residences.
c) For area located near the sea, wave energy can be used for achieving electrical and lighting supply.
We need to aim at not using non renewable energy resources as these are disappearing fast and will soon be non available. Let us not extract every bit of energy from our planet. We must use the long term renewable resources and save energy in maximum possible ways.
Are you ready to initiate the required change within your immediate surroundings before our planet runs out of energy? Next blog will be on another form of consumption that we cannot afford to waste...