How is everyone? Yesterday’s blog from Sam Faries was very interesting on the topic of the Valentine gestures and the importance of wildlife flowers. If you haven’t read it, you should!
Today, I want to talk about what I am so very passionate about: energy. Energy is an important piece of life. Without it, nothing moves, no machinery works, no communications across the globe– even no human life. At the birth of civilization, humans just required enough energy that they could obtain it from food and water but now, we have evolved into a world where we burn fossil fuels at an increasing rate. At present, the world’s average energy consumption is approximately 1 toe (ton of oil) per year… but the US alone is six times higher than that. In 2013, 36% of US energy came from petroleum, 27% from natural gas, 19% from coal, 10% from renewables and 8% from nuclear. Our rate of consumption is increasing, well above our rate of production and importation combined. We use most of it in transportation (27%), industrial purposes (24%), electricity generation (18) and other. We are well over the point of no return. As population increases, so does our consumption and as our technology makes energy production more efficient and cheap, our consumption goes up as well. Countries all over the world under Kyoto Protocol and other agreements have made it their mission to reduce CO2 emissions. It is vital in order to reverse some effects of global warming. Also, to aid in that, some countries in Europe like Sweden, Estonia, and Bulgaria have already reached their 2020 renewable energies goal, of using certain percentage of energy from renewables. Other countries are on their way as well such as Austria, Finland, Denmark, among others. Energy contributes to everything: industry and agriculture, transportation, food, home and commerce. So, it is vital we work towards being more efficient in our consumption to reduce those emissions and help the world.
Everyone knows we need to change and here are some easy tips that we can all use.
– Participate on Campus: Longhorn LightsOut!
– Recycle! Recycled paper takes 40% less energy to make.
– Switch your lights off! You will be happy when you see your bill.
– Switch your showerhead! Save 750 gallons with a water-efficient shower head; they are inexpensive!
– Smart Heating! Keep it at 68 degrees and when you are not home, turn it off.
– Smart Cooling! Keep it at 74 degrees and when you are not home, turn it a few degrees higher.
Some of the tips were published by the Switch Energy Project. There is a very interesting film about all of this that I would recommend for everyone to see called: “The Switch”.
This is the webpage: http://www.switchenergyproject.com/index.php
Want to do a little more? Download the UT Conserve app, and small challenges are in there which you probably already do, but buzz each time you do now and see how much you are save.
We all have a duty to contribute and give back to our planet. We are past the point where resources can replace themselves on their own, faster than the pace at which we use them.
U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)
3 EU Countries Have Already Hit Their 2020 Renewable Energy Goals — You’ll Never Guess Them.” CleanTechnica. N.p., 13 Mar. 2014. Web. 04 Feb. 2015.
“Switch Efficiency Tips.” Switch Efficiency Tips. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2015.