Droughts, heat waves, fires and food shortages: these are just some of the hazards facing our nation and the rest of the world in recent months. Now, more than ever, it’s important to live sustainably, cutting back on everything from water to electricity. Besides low crop yields, droughts and heat waves cause an increased usage of air conditioning, which can max out the system and cause dangerously long blackouts over time.
A recent New York Times article details the ways in which utility companies are encouraging customers to use less energy—they’re trying everything from social networking games to contests that award gift certificates to local restaurants as prizes. One campaign utilizes a series of web videos, in which a bossy blonde girl reminds viewers to wash their laundry in cold water, hang their clothes to dry outside, and to unplug chargers when not in use.
Replacing incandescent bulbs with energy efficient LED lights is another great way to save energy and lower electricity costs. There are lots of ways we can all chip in to help weather the storm, and installing LED under cabinet lighting in a kitchen, for instance, will save hundreds of watts of energy over time. Another easy way to regulate energy usage is to install an LED dimmer on existing LED lights. Full illumination is rarely needed in an ambient lighting situation; a low voltage dimmer switch will allow you to adjust the lumen output of your fixtures and cut back on unnecessary emissions.