Believe it or not, President George Bush Sr. declared October National Energy Awareness Month All the way back in 1991 – that’s 24 years ago. From our research, we can’t find any specific goals for this awareness campaign. But, the campaign’s overarching goal was simply to raise awareness that it’s important to use energy in a sustainable way.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), headquartered in Paris, believes we will increase greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2050, and carbon dioxide emissions by 70% in the same year. However, they don’t think it’s because of inefficient use. Rather, they believe there’s going to be an 80% increase in energy demand globally. Transportation emissions will likely increase significantly because developing countries will have a much higher demand for cars and airplanes.
What does all this mean to you? By 2050, the UN would like to see the average global temperature increase by just 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. But that number could double if our energy usage grows at current projections. There’s no telling exactly what changes that will bring about in your daily life, but there’s little doubt it increases many risks.
So What Can You Do During October to Reduce Your Energy Use?
Even though this projection shows we won’t be the main culprits contributing to energy use, we’re still adding to the problem. Driving your car and using electricity contributes to carbon emissions.
Fortunately, here in October, we’re in one of those “sweet spot” months. Temperatures are generally more comfortable than other times of the year, so you don’t feel the need to turn on the air conditioning or heat as much.
Best Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
For us in Western society, this is actually pretty easy. Here’s the biggest areas that increase your carbon emissions:
- Use less hot water. Heating your water requires a lot of electricity. Shorten your showers. Use a water heater blanket. Wash your clothes in cold water. Consider a low flow showerhead. Using less hot water will create savings on your energy bill.
- Drive conservatively. Drive the speed limit (Tough, we know. But try to do it as best as you can). Keep your speed as steady as possible – use cruise control at every opportunity. Avoid stopping and starting suddenly when driving. Your air filter, oil filter, and fuel filter should be replaced according to your manufacturer’s schedule. Keep your tires properly inflated. If possible, own a fuel-efficient vehicle.
Those are the biggest ways to reduce your carbon footprint and save energy. Do those things, and you’ll be doing your part to help out mother earth.