Summer- the season where the air conditioner is always on and the electricity bill always seems to increase. The increase in energy demand during the summer greatly affects levels of greenhouse gases and air pollutants in our atmosphere. In addition to polluting the air, summer is not a great time for water and the life it sustains. Rapid temperature changes (which Southern California is basically famous for) can put a lot of stress on marine life. So what can you do to lessen your contribution to the summer peak in energy consumption? I’m so glad you asked!
- Don’t be afraid to use that dishwasher. Believe it or not, the dishwasher uses less water than washing the dishes by hand. Plus you don’t have to lift a finger!
- Microwave is the way to go. Another little known fact: The microwave using less energy than the stove. It saves you so much time too!
- Avoid the peak hours. During the summer, most energy consumption occurs between the hours of 2 PM and 8 PM. You want to avoid using the electricity and/or water at these times. You would also be helping to prevent power outages.
- Turn off those lights!! I know this seems very obvious and redundant, but if you aren’t consciously thinking about it, it is easy to walk out of a room without turning off the light. Light also contributes to heat, so you’ll appreciate the cooler temperatures.
- Think about getting energy-efficient appliances. Investing in new energy-saving appliances can make a significant difference in the amount you spend on water and electricity every month. Long term, it is definitely worth the initial cost.
- Load it up. Try to wait until you have a full load of laundry to wash or a full dishwasher before you decide to run it. You probably don’t realize just how often you use these appliances.
All these simple little changes can make a difference, both in your personal life and for the community as a whole.
Article researched and written by Sustainability Student Employee, Kayla Ziegler.