Green Your Routine: Energy Consumption 101

Ever wonder how your electricity consumption impacts the environment? Power plants are one of the leading sources of greenhouse gases. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, “The three major fossil fuels—petroleum, natural gas, and coal—accounted for most of the nation’s energy production in 2016”.  Sadly, renewable energy trails in fourth. A large chunk of these energy plants are fossil fuel, biomass or waste burning power plants, which means that combusted matter goes directly into our air. That doesn’t spell good news for our air quality or the environment as a whole.

primary_energy_by_major_source_largeAre you ready for some scary energy consumption facts? The combustion of fossil fuels produce the following byproducts:

  • Carbon dioxide or CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and it contributes to the greenhouse effect. Trapped CO2 gas in atmosphere causes the planet to become warmer that it would without the presence of these gases..
  • Sulfur dioxide  or SO2 causes acid rain, which is harmful to plants and to animals that live in water. It can also contribute to respiratory illnesses and heart diseases, especially in children and the elderly. It also causes haze and ozone issues.
  • Nitrogen oxides or NOx contribute to ground level ozone and smog, which irritates and damages the lungs. Primary sources are car exhaust
  • Particulate matter or PM results in hazy conditions in cites and scenic areas, and coupled with ozone, contributes to asthma and chronic bronchitis, especially in children and the elderly. Very small, or fine PM, is also believed to cause emphysema, heart disease, irregular heart beat and lung cancer.
  • Heavy metals such as mercury are hazardous to human and animal health.

So, how can you reduce your energy consumption to help combat this growing problem? Aside from limiting your energy usage, Energy Star appliances are a must. Energy Star is an EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) program that issues certification to buildings and consumer products that meet high standards of energy efficiency. It is the most successful voluntary energy efficiency movement in history.

Here’s a fun video on what Energy Star is all about.

 

Time to take your energy consumption (and your electric bill) WAAAAY down. Make sure your appliances have the Energy Star logo so you can be sure you’re doing the most good. As we approach the fall and winter months, it’s time to plan ways on how we can reduce our energy consumption and still stay comfortable. Here is a fun infographic from our friends at LG. These tips are great for any time of year and Energy Star products of all kinds are available on Shoplet.com. Until next time, happy greening!

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