A global challenge that affects everyone - Save more energies
If you´ve noticed the weather getting hotter these days, you´re not alone. Climate changes affect everyone and everything. Now, we are fortunate to have really smart scientists who tell us that the causes of climate change have been related to human activity over the centuries. Burning fossil fuels to generate electricity influences the world´s temperature significantly, no thanks to the huge amount of CO2 or carbon dioxide emissions being released into the atmosphere.
The Smart 2020 Study conducted by the Climate Group entitled "A Low Carbon Economy in the Information Age" revealed that the ICT industry is set to overtake the aviation industry as one of the key contributors to global CO2 emissions (report here). With the booming growth of ICT in recent decades, especially in developing nations, the consumption of electricity has been tremendous. In most of these countries, the source of electricity is generated from burning fuel; hence increasing CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.
What is Climate Change?
So what exactly is climate change? You’ve been hearing the phrase thrown around for ages and have yet to fully understand it. Well climate change is a change in the statistical properties of the climate system when considered over periods of decades or longer.
Learned men of science have indicated that we, humans are responsible for the greenhouse effects and that our lifestyle choices have contributed to global warming, resulting in rising global temperatures that have affected weather patterns. In some cases, these changes in weather patterns have been extreme, creating the phenomenon, Climate Change.
Climate change is the greatest environmental challenge that the world is facing today and everyone has a responsibility to address this issue, whether on an individual, corporation or industry level.
As you might have already guessed it, Climate Change can be and is an environmental challenge facing us on a global scale.
Take for instance the Greenhouse Effect. This climate change problem is related to changes in the concentration of the greenhouse gases (water vapour, CO2, CH4, N2O, and CFCs), which trap infrared radiation from the Earth's surface and thus cause the greenhouse effect. This effect is a natural phenomenon, which helps maintain a stable temperature and climate on Earth.
But human activities, such as fossil fuel combustion, deforestation, and some industrial processes have led to an increase in greenhouse gases concentration. Consequently, more infrared radiation has been captured in the atmosphere, which causes changes in the air temperature, precipitation patterns, rising sea-levels, and the melting of glaciers.
How To Help?
So, you’d like to start making a difference but find yourself wondering where on earth should you begin? Well the answer is simple. You can start making a difference this very instant, starting with your own home. Did you know that the average home is responsible for a large portion of CO2 emissions contributing to global warming? Now you do. So let’s make a checklist of all the things we can do to conserve energy, save the environment and save our pockets as well.
White Reflect Heat
Close the curtains on the sunny sides of the house as A/C units work extra hard to cool hot air from sunny windows. Install white window shades, drapes or blinds to reflect heat away from the house.
Turn down the A/C thermostat to 24-25 degrees Celsius as each degree cooler will increase energy use by 6-8%.
Check for air leaks in a/c by testing for tightness on a windy day. Hold a lit \incense stick next to windows and doors where there is a possible path to the outside. If the smoke stream travels horizontally, you’ve found an air leak to seal. Save as muchas 10% on cooling bills by reducing air leaks.
Use Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
Replace your light bulbs with energy efficient ones. Over its lifetime, one bulb can reduce your lighting costs by up to RM30 – 40 annually and will last around 10 times longer.
Use Natural Light
Switch off the light. Where possible, use the sun for a natural source of light.
Standing Energy Usage
Plug home electronics into power strips and turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use. Make sure the lights are off on your electronics, or else you’ll be paying for standby energy use.
Optimal Refrigerator Temperature
Set optimal refrigerator temperature to 26 – 35F (2 – 3 C) while freezer to 0-5 F (-18 to 15 C). Remember to keep the water in the freezer full.
Defrost Refrigerator and Freezers Regularly
Defrost refrigerators and freezers regularly; frost build-up decreases the energy efficiency of the unit. Don’t allow frost to build up more than one- quarter of an inch.
Seal Refrigerator Door
Make sure your refrigerator door seals are airtight. Test by closing the door over a ringgit bill so that it is half in and half out of the refrigerator. If you can pull the bill out easily, the latch may need adjustment or the seal may need replacing.
Refuse: If you don’t need it, don’t buy it. By refusing to purchase products that you don’t really need, you can influence the whole production cycle, from extraction of raw materials to disposal in landfills.
Reduce: Don’t opt for disposable goods or products with lots of packaging. Buy vegetables loose and not pre-cooked, bring your own shopping bag. Don’t use plastic where possible.
Reuse: Instead of paper cups, use a mug. Invest in rechargeable batteries instead of disposable batteries. Reuse or donate toys, books, furniture, clothes, jars and containers. Where possible, consider fixing it instead of purchasing a new replacement.
Recycle: (What can be recycled?) Newsprint, Magazines, Office and computer paper Tetra pack, Juice boxes, Cardboard containers (cereal, milk cartons and shoe boxes).
*Compost most uncooked kitchen and garden waste.