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A Complete Guide to Both Indoor and Outdoor Energy Conservation

Modern society runs off fossil fuels, such as petroleum (oil) and coal that provide the electricity and fuel needed to power the electrical grid and enable transport of goods and services. However, these finite natural resources are not renewable, which means that the global society will need to convert to a sustainable lifestyle in order to continue its progression for future generations.

Energy conservation helps the environment by consuming less, which usually translates to bigger savings. Most of us do not consider the amount of resources we use on a daily basis. For instance, washing our hands, driving our cars, turning the lights on, and watching television overnight all contribute to the collective consumerist consumption mentality. This mentality implies a bountiful, endless supply of resources that will allow us to live carelessly indefinitely. Acknowledging the logical fallacy of our everyday consumption will help propel the global infrastructure's productive capacity. 

Some energy conservation tips for home owners include turning off the lights when you leave the room and in unoccupied areas of the house, try to accomplish tasks during the day to limit the need for artificial lighting, shutting off the computer and accessories, setting the computer and printer to the "power save mode" after a one-hour idle time, check for the EnergyStar(TM) when purchasing new computer equipment, and use laptops and ink-jet printers instead of desktop and laser printers. Practice energy conservation strategies while on the job.

Some energy conservation tips applied to an office building include using the stairs instead of elevators, closing drapes and blinds to restrict the airflow, implement paper-saving methods, such as double-sided printing, re-using paper, and using e-mail instead of printing paper to send memos and other important documents. Connect computers and other peripherals to one power strip, adopt a last-person-out policy that requires the closing employee to turn off the lights and shut off all electrical equipment, turn off lights in unoccupied rooms, keep all exterior and interior doors closed, dress in weather-appropriate attire, and recycle everything possible.

Energy conservation shares both economic and environmental benefits. Economically, the current global infrastructure depends on non-renewable sources of energy; however, only a finite amount of fossil fuels exist. In 2003, a survey unveiled that the global oil reserves are estimated at one billion barrels, which should sustain the current societal constructs for another thirty-eight years. There are approximately 5,400 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, enough to supply the current consumerist mentality for another fifty-nine years before being completely depleted of its reserves. On the other hand, coal measures at one-billion metric tons, which would sustain the current economy for another 245 years. Energy conservation would allow nations to function more independently. Conservation protects the economy and its consumers from uncontrollable price fluctuations and energy service disruptions. Energy conservation eliminates the stiff competition between utility companies. Energy efficient communities also rely on domestic and local suppliers rather than imports from mega-conglomerates. Finally, energy efficiency programs provide home and business owners with a way to enhance their homes for an increased level of comfort and property value.

The environment will also benefit from an energy-efficient world. More specifically, energy conservation will reduce existing surface and ground water pollution by eliminating excessive extraction of fossil fuels from underground water supplies. It also reduces land and wildlife disruption by deeming all buildings and equipment needed to extract the fossil fuels unusable. Fewer potential opportunities for oil spills during transport also accentuate the need for an energy efficient global infrastructure.

Implementing the aforementioned energy savings tips will help the world become more conscientious of the environment and natural resources. Taking an active role in energy conservation, and enforcing green-living standards will help transition the global society into an economically and environmentally thriving way of life.

View the following links for more information on energy conservation and an energy-efficient global society:

  • Colorado State University: Energy Conservation in the Home
  • University of Iowa: Sustainable Initiatives in Facilities Management
  • Texas A&M University: Landscaping for Energy Conservation
  • University of Carolina-Santa Barbara: Energy Conservation Tips
  • The Franklin Institute Science Museum: The Secret Lives of Energy: The Energy Problem
  • Bridgewater State College: Resources for Energy Conservation Education
  • Standford University: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (PDF)
  • Peninsula School District: School Energy Conservation Ideas
  • Iowa State University: Energy Efficiency Savings at Iowa State University
  • South Carolina Sustainability Project: Energy Conservation
  • Utah State University: Planting Trees for Energy Conservation
  • Dartmouth University: Energy Conservation Policies
  • Clarion University: Energy Conservation Policies
  • Environmental Protection Agency: Energy Conservation: Pollution Prevention Toolbox (PDF)
  • Science.gov: Energy and Energy Conservation Directory
  • Energy Conservation Organization: Campaign Resources: Making a Difference
  • United States Energy Information Administration: Energy Savings: Savings in All Sectors
  • Energy Codes.gov: Building Energy Codes Program
  • Vermont Department of Public Service: Energy Efficiency Division
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: What's Energy Efficiency?
  • National Public Radio: Energy Conservation: Starting at Home
  • Florida Public Service Commission: Energy Conservation: Find Energy Savings in Your Home
  • Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington: Energy Efficiency and Conservation
  • American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy: Six Simple Energy Saving Tips to Celebrate Earth Day
  • Do Something.org: Energy Conservation: Act Now!
  • Center for Resource Conservation: CRC Programs and Resources
  • National Resource Defense Council: How to Reduce Your Energy Consumption
  • Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency: Energy Conservation Resources
  • Energy Efficiency Works: A Campaign for an Energy-Efficient America
  • Consumer Energy Center: Consumer Tips to Save Energy and Money
  • Global Stewards: Eco Tips: Conserve Energy: Environmental Tips for Individuals: Energy Conservation Tips
  • Need.org: Global Need for Energy Efficiency Infobook (PDF)
  • Climate Progress.org: Energy Efficiency is The Core Climate Solution
  • Rochester Public Utilities: Energy Conservation
  • Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan: Mojave and Colorado Desert Projects
  • Association of Energy Conservation Professionals: Energy Conservation Mission
  • OCEAN Building Codes Assistance Project: Energy Conservation (PDF)
  • National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service: Dairy Farm Energy Efficiency
  • Practitioner Resources.org: Bringing Home the Benefits of Energy Efficiency to Low-Income Households
  • Publication Of Peer-Reviewed Science: Energy Sprawl or Energy Efficiency?: Climate Policy Impacts on Natural Habitat for the United States of America
  • Victoria Policy Transport Institute: Energy Conservation and Emissions Reduction Strategies
  • Power ScoreCard.org: Reduce Your Electricity Use
  • Grist.org: With so Much Potential for Energy Efficiency, Why is the South so Inefficient?
  • New York State Energy Innovation Solutions: Economic Recovery and Energy Efficiency
  • Sallan.org: Energy Conservation Steering Committee (PDF)
  • ABT Associates, Inc: Energy Conservation for Housing -- A Workbook (PDF)
  • Centerwest.org: Southwest Energy Efficient Project (PDF)
  • National Association of Conservation Districts: Energy Conservation Opportunities in Agriculture (PDF)
  • Greenfaith.org: Energy Conservation
  • Action Housing-Green: Home Energy Conservation, Weatherization Assistance, Green Building Programs