Energy and Water Saving Tips We All Need
We can moan and whine as much as we like, but at the end of the day, we all need to come together to save energy in the home.
Our Earth is undergoing a huge upheaval and the time is well past a quick reversal to make things right. We all need to make drastic changes in our lifestyles to ensure our quality of life and that of our children and grandchildren.
We can complain about load shedding, whine about the quality of our drinking water, or blame the weatherman for a summer heatwave or devastating thunderstorm, but at the end of the day the damage is done and we can only move forward to try and live life as best we can. Here are just a few ideas that will go towards preserving your lifestyle and protecting the environment.
Energy Saving in the Home
Incandescent globes have been banned around the world, due to the amount of energy required to run them. Now we have Halogen, LED or CFL (compact fluorescent). Of these three, LED and CFL uses the least amount of energy and last longer. When replacing older light fittings in the home, shop for Energy Star certified light fittings and replacement bulbs, as these save even more energy.
Now that you have replaced all your old light fittings with more energy-efficient options, you still have to be aware of how lighting is used in the home:
• Switch off lights in rooms not in use
• Install a dimmer switch to reduce energy consumption
• Start saving for a solar-powered geyser installation
• Opt for solar lighting wherever possible
Solar lighting uses the energy provided by the sun to provide illumination. Using solar power for all your outdoor lighting is free and one of the easiest ways to light up your outdoor areas.
Nowadays there are plenty of options for solar-powered security and spotlights, solar-powered floodlights and smaller solar lighting for paths, walkways and accent lighting.
Water-Saving in the Home
Whether it's in the kitchen, bathroom or garden, saving water should be a way of life. Our natural water sources are at risk due to global warming and the intermittent rains are not enough to keep our dams and reservoirs at full capacity.
It has reached the stage where every home should have a water harvesting tank installed to provide water for non-essential tasks such as watering a garden, washing the car and like. If you can afford to, look at investing in a rainwater harvesting system that provides you with quality drinking water that can be pumped directly into the home.
If you don't have the space for an outdoor rainwater harvesting system, at least look at installing an RO or water filtration system that will ensure that you have good quality drinking water.
Here are more tips to be more water-wise in the home:
• Fill a glass with water to use when brushing your teeth
• Make a concerted effort to use less water when in the shower or shower with a friend
• Modify your bathtub into a tub/shower combination if you don't already have a shower
• Install a dual-flush toilet
• Fit water-saving taps and showerhead
Using less water in the home requires less energy to heat up your hot water geyser, so look closely at how you use water and what can be done to reduce how much water you use.
Heating and Cooling The Home
As climate change affects our regional weather, we turn to heating and cooling options to make our homes comfortable. But these options use a lot of energy, so be aware and keep in mind that even small changes can make a difference.
• Turn down the thermostat on your geyser during the hotter months of the year
• Adjusting the aircon temperature by one-degree in summer/winter will reduce energy consumption by up to 5 percent.
• Install window treatments that allow you to control heating and cooling loss/gain.
• Keep your home warm during the winter months with efficient energy heating options.
More Energy Saving Habits
There are hundreds of ways to save energy and water in the home and we offer a few more to give you pause for thought and look at how you can save simply by making a few changes to your lifestyle.
• Did you know that your microwave uses only 20 percent of the power required for a conventional oven
• Replace old appliances with energy-saving models.
• Do some research on how you can incorporate solar power into the home
• Make laundry more efficient with cold water wash and drying outdoors on a line or washing rack
• Look at the option for using greywater to water your garden
• Recycle all your plastics, and particularly plastic grocery bags