For decades, people have focused on figuring out how to save electricity. There are dozens of books, videos, and online tutorials about all the different techniques consumers can use to reduce their personal consumption of energy. Occasionally, those discussions veer into a related topic: environmental benefits of energy efficiency.
It's one thing to learn all sorts of strategies for energy efficiency and environmental sustainability, but it's even more important to know why we're doing these things.
How can using less electricity help the environment, how does conserving energy reduce air pollution, and why should everyone strive help the environment at home?
It's Not All About Money
Reducing consumption of anything is a way to save money, but that's not always the reason we do it. Sometimes people eat less food in order to lose weight, not necessarily reduce their grocery bill.
Likewise, older people often move into smaller homes not just to save money, but simply because they need less living space after children grow up and move away.
Of course, the obvious benefit of saving money is a key incentive for families who need to cut expenses, especially due to job loss or other financial hardship.
Most first-time homeowners begin their energy-saving quest as a way to spend less money on the monthly budget. Later on, they often realize the more important, and sometimes more complex, reasons for cutting electricity use.
More Important Reasons for Cutting Electricity Use
So, what are some of the main reasons to save electricity?
1. Environmental benefits of energy efficiency
The good news is that there are numerous environmental benefits of energy efficiency, including the preservation of finite resources. Additionally, when there's a need for fewer power plants, society is not as dependent on large mining operations to extract oil and coal from the ground.
Less oil consumption means fewer spills, cleaner oceans, and cleaner ground water.
2. Public health
When a society reduces its overall consumption of energy it accrues many health benefits. One of those benefits is a reduced incidence of lung and respiratory diseases due to air pollution. Check out the skyline of any major city and it's plain to see what the air pollution problem is all about.
It's only been in the past few decades that citizens in large metropolitan areas have begun wearing pollution masks in order to avoid breathing dirty air.
3. Lessened dependence on other nations
Saving electricity makes good sense as a nation. When we need less electricity, we'll become less dependent on others to supply what we need in terms of coal, oil, uranium, and other energy-related resources.
When we're able to produce most of what we need here at home, there's less worry about facing a shortage, short-term crisis, or even a political confrontation with energy-producing nations.
4. Positive examples of the value of smart consumption
No one acts in isolation. When responsible adults who own homes and businesses work together to save electricity and reduce consumption of energy, we set an example for those who are not yet on the same page. That includes children, many of whom are watching us and patterning their behaviors on what we do.
5. Logic (being wasteful is not logical)
If you can comfortably get by on less of something, then using more than you need is an act of wastefulness. This is the reason we cook only enough food for a given meal, try not to throw good clothing in the trash, and avoid impulse buying of goods we can do without. Engaging in wasteful behavior goes against the basic human urge to be efficient with what we have.
The Verdict on Reduced Energy Consumption
How does saving energy help our environment, and what are the main benefits of energy efficiency besides saving energy costs?
In a few words, reduced energy consumption brings many benefits to the lives of people who take the practice seriously. Knowing how to help the environment at home means contributing to a nationwide effort to cut back on the consumption of electricity and live more responsibly.