Apetite for energy

We use it to heat, to cool, to light up our cities. Our modern life is built on energy. It keeps us switched on and plugged in. The question is: for how long?

Without any doubt we live in a fast changing world. The development of technology changes almost every aspcet of our life. In 1990s in an American house there were three electronical devices. Now there are twenty-five. And all of them need the energy to be used. The problem is that we do not know how to use them efficently. We are permanently ‘switched on’ and ‘plugged in’. Is it possible to use the technology to fuel our future in a reasonable way? And are we ready for it?

The solution is to find sources of energy without threatening our world and at the same time to use our knowledge about technological possibilieties of our times. To save us from climate change, the world needs to switch to sustainable energy and sustainable lifestyle/living. What exactly does it mean?

“In short, a definition of sustainable living is taking no more than the environment can supply and renew. It is living in balance with nature in a symbiotic relationship without harm to the earth’s ecology. It is meeting one’s needs in the present without compromising the needs of future generations” (source: http://www.brighthub.com/environment/green-living/articles/77017.aspx). Yes, it is being environmentaly responsible and following energy-saving behaviours. It is realizing that what we do here and now influences and creates the future of the next generations. The awareness of the global climate change and concerns about the quality of our environment made us, the inhabitants of the planet Earth (our only home!), searching for more eco-friendly and sustainable ways of living. Reducing energy use, using sustainable foods and non-toxic products, following the rule of reduce, recycle, reuse really make THE DIFFERENCE!

! Increasing home efficiency can save third on your energy bill! Be aware of the amount of energy you are using! Sometimes carelessly! You DECIDE. Some ways are more expensive like for instance solar panels but there are a few simple ways: wait for a full load before washing your clothes, switch to energy efficient light bulbs, adjust the temperature by a degree or two, turn off the TVs, video games, and computers. Sustainable lifestyle is spending time with people not devices. Develop strong relationship with your family and community.

!! If possible, leave your car in the garage and walk or cycle to work or school. It saves on gasoline and improves your health. If it is time to buy a new car, choose a small one – fuel-efficient or a hybrid. It is a challenge, I know, but you can do it! Practice makes perfect.

!!! Do one big shopping once a week and not small ones everyday. Plan your day and be consequent. If it is possible, grow your own fruit and vegetables. Choose seasonal and locally grown products which are without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics or hormones. Thanks to that the food is healthier to eat and healthier for the environment. By buying locally you also support local farms and the money stays in your community.

!!!! Reduce. Recycle. Reuse. Are you recycling glass, paper, and metals? Great! But still you can do more! Before throwing anything away, think how it might be recycled or reused by you or people aroung you. Old clothes can be used as cleaning cloths or stuff pet toys which you can do together with your children. Compost organic waste. Reduce trash by eliminating the use of paper plates, paper towels, and plastic products. Use recycled glass jars for storing left-overs and not the plastic containers. Get creative!

It all begins with YOU. With YOUR awareness and realizing that every single person matters and has the responsability and contribution to make for the planet Earth. Action helps creating a healthy and sutainable environment for yourself, your children and their children.

Beata Jaranowska

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