The theme of this year’s World Environment Day is doing small actions to save wildlife from the problems of climate change and land use change. It is easy to think that as individuals there is little we can do to change things. This is absolutely not the case and here is an example of how a small action if done by everyone would make a huge difference.
One day I decided to turn everything off in my house that uses electricity. This included extension cables with a little red light on, TV’s on standby, the sky box in the spare bedroom that is rarely used, the clocks on the microwave and cooker which were never right, the digital radio alarm clock (we have an alarm on the telephone). All that stays on all the time is one sky box, the wireless router (which we turn off when we go away) the telephones and obviously fridge and freezer (which we regularly defrost to keep running as efficiently as possible).
These small things turned off reduced our electricity usage from 12kWh/day to 9kWh/day – That’s a reduction of 25%!
If everyone in the country did this not only would we save a lot of money, the environmental benefits would be massive. The average annual electricity bill in the UK for a 3 bedroom house is £1604 so there is the potential to save c.£400 a year. According to the 2011 census there are 26,473,000 households in the UK. The average annual household electricity usage is 3550 kWh so that equals 93,979,150,000 kWh used each year. If we saved ¼ of this, that would equal 23,494,787,500 kWh.By reducing our demand for electricity we could turn off some power stations, would need to have fewer wind turbines, solar farms, hydropower, electricity pylons and transfer stations, our greenhouse gas emissions would be lower, our air would be less polluted, we would have fewer people suffering heart and lung problems due to that air pollution which would reduce strain on the NHS. By reducing our electricity bills we have more money to spend which is also good for the economy. Now do you believe me that small actions add up?
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