How to Turn your Home Green: Tips on How Moms Can Create an Energy Efficient Home
In a world continuously developing, with new discoveries and new inventions every day, the world of the future we see is one with many advancements in medicine, science, and technology. But as a mother, we are constantly worrying – is that world of the future something that will come at a high cost? What does the future hold for our children, and their children; will they still get to enjoy many of the things we enjoyed as a child? As we progress into a more advanced era, our society is using more and more natural resources, and one day many of the things that Mother Nature provides will no longer exist. We are afraid to tell our children that the world in The Lorax (film) by Dr. Seuss is a possibility; and it is scarier to imagine a world where even air comes at a price.
While our children are still young, we try to impart to them the importance of taking care of Mother Nature. Earth is our home, this is the home of our children and grandchildren, and it should be the home of hundreds upon thousands of generations to come. How we try and protect our home now, no matter how small, makes a big difference in the long run. Most people might think they’re only part of a small community, but even the smallest unity of society– the family, can develop practices that will build a greener tomorrow.
This is why when the European Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines (ECCP) and AISEC launched their Switch Right On movement late last year, we knew it was something we would definitely want to support. The movement is aimed towards urging Filipinos away from a passive attitude on the current status of energy generation, to supporting renewable energy. Using a pinwheel, which symbolizes a greater understanding of renewable energy, Switch Right Onis working towards a sound policy direction for the country, for future generations.
So as mothers who constantly want to be ready and prepared, and of course also be an advocate for awareness and change, here is a part of our commitment. We’ve made a list of a few energy saving or energy efficiency tips each household can implement on their own homes. These practices may seem insignificant and small, but if we diligently practice these small things at home, it will become easier to practice them outside of the home, as well.
· Open up your windows during the day, and let natural sunlight in. One effective way to reduce your electricity consumption during the day is to open your windows. Unless you live in an area that’s shaded or blocked by taller buildings, or you’re doing something that really requires a strong light, avoid switching on that light switch. Living things were made to naturally enjoy sunlight. The day is the best time to open windows, pull up the blinds, and pull back the curtains. Let the sunlight fill your home with light and warmth.
· Switch to using household items that are energy efficient. There are many household items that can be replaced or converted into something that is energy efficient.
o Replace current light fixtures with light-emitting diode (LED) lights. They may not seem like a huge energy spender, but imagine how many light fixtures one home has scattered throughout the house. Try replacing your light bulbs from incandescent bulbs to LED lights. Though initially costlier than buying incandescent bulbs, LED bulbs last for years, saving you on money that you’d initially have to spend replacing worn out bulbs. What’s more, they are less costly in the long-run–LED light bulbs use a lot less electricity wattage (about 1/3 of incandescent bulbs). LED bulbs are also cooler, they don’t build-up heat while in use, and don’t contribute to heat build-up in rooms.
o Switch to inverter technology – for your air-conditioning, refrigerators and/or washing machines. Similar to the light fixtures, inverter technology can feel like a heavy investment, but your savings in the long-run will help you think twice about your current household situation. Inverter technology is being promoted by a lot of electronics brands now, and for good reason – it is energy efficient. Inverter technology is approximately 30% more effective than their normal counterparts. Air-conditioners and refrigerators for example, when using inverter technology, generally reach ideal temperatures faster; that’s because the compressor that produces cold air works at a controlled speed that slowly speeds up or slows down to adjust the temperature inside a space. Other air-conditioning and refrigerator technologies run on a fixed speed unit, which switches on and runs as it tries to reach desired temperatures, and then switches off when the set temperature is reached. The problem with this is that it becomes more costly, because fixed speed units use up more power every time they start up, rather than when inverter compressors stay up and running at a constant speed. With inverter motor washing machines on the other hand, inverter technology adjusts the speed of the wash depending on the load placed in the machine, which differs from machines that constantly run on high power despite small loads.
· Put your electronics on a timer. Nowadays, it’s easier to lessen your carbon footprint, by putting a limit to how long some electronics stay on in your home. Air-conditioners for example, can be adjusted such that they automatically shut off after a few hours, this is ideal because you’ll already be fast asleep once the air-con goes off. For electronics that don’t have their own timers, they can be attached them to plug-in and wall-switch timers, which cut off access to power once the timer has gone off. This solution is a great alternative to simply unplugging from sockets, though studies show that despite items not being switched on, will still consume electricity if they are still plugged to an electrical outlet.
· Keep your household in tip-top shape. A house is always most efficient, when everything inside is working effectively. Keep your electronics well-maintained, and make repairs (quickly) where repairs need to be made. When utilities around a home are damaged or are not working properly, they tend to use or waste more power or more water than normal, like a broken faucet or pipe. Home repairs, like a damaged door or window, are actually a big waste of energy.
Our list is part of our commitment to helping advocate awaREness and change towards the growing effects of climate change, and the growing need for REnewable energy. With our pinwheel for change, we are making a commitment to promote change, to practice energy efficiency in our household, and to encourage others to do the same as well. We want our children, and futuRE generations to live in a world where progREss doesn’t mean hurting our environment. With this, we make a solid commitment.
What about you?