You know all those little things you do to save energy, like turning the lights off when you’re not going to be in the room for the rest of the day?
Not all people do that. But if they did, our nation as a whole would save billions of dollars and reduce its carbon footprint. And we’d all still be able to live comfortable lives, without having to make ourselves miserable just to save energy.
In fact, a report by McKinsey & Company says we could reduce our energy consumption by 23% and eliminate $130 billion in wasted funds by 2020 just by taking some simple, practical steps.
To put it in perspective, $130 billion would rank as the 37th largest corporation in America, just a couple spots ahead of AT&T. So that’s a pretty significant amount of waste we’re talking about here.
What are some of the easy ways to save energy that everyone, maybe even you, should be doing to make a difference?
Here are a few:
- Residential landlords could install newer air conditioners for their tenants
- New homeowners don’t ask about the R-value of the home’s insulation
- Many people won’t pay new money for a washer or dryer because the savings are long-term, not immediate
- Consumers should check their tires every 3 months to ensure they are properly inflated
- HVAC air filters should be replaced regularly
- Clothes should be washed in cold water whenever possible
- Use public transportation whenever possible, or carpool and find other ways of limiting your drive time
- Recycle all your plastic and aluminum waste
- Avoid driving your vehicle roughly – braking fast, accelerating hard, making quick lane changes, not using cruise control
- Your clothes dryer most likely wastes energy because energy efficiency standards for it have not been updated for more than 30 years
Why Don’t More People Make These Changes?
The McKinsey report adds that efficiency is fragmented millions and billions of different, small ways. To realize energy savings, people in most cases would have to make a financial investment that pays itself back slowly over time. And the savings any one individual realizes for themselves generally aren’t that significant.
So, to make the change happen, you really have to think beyond yourself and of the world at large.
Regardless of how you choose to save energy, it will come back to you in some way, shape, or form. But more importantly, you’ll be doing your part to reduce our nation’s problem with wasting energy.