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5 ways you can make a positive environmental impact by increasing your energy efficiency NOW.

According to NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, April 2016 was globally the warmest April on record.

It’s getting hot in here and the consequences of global warming have become so evident that, if you live in Europe, you may have already seen people wearing shorts in February.

 

Carbon dioxide emissions caused by the burning of fossil fuels used to produce energy, together with other air pollutants, are the main culprit for this increase in temperature. Once they accumulate in the atmosphere they absorb sunlight and trap the heat, thus provoking global warming.

 

If you think there’s not much we can do in our everyday life to improve this dramatic situation, you will be surprised to hear that actually, we can make a difference. Boosting energy efficiency is an amazing way of creating a tangible positive impact on the environment, getting in return a more sustainable and healthier lifestyle.

Energy efficiency consists of reducing the amount of energy required to provide products and services. With little effort we can reduce our footprint and contribute to mitigating the effects of climate change. Let’s have a look at 5 simple ways we can increase our energy efficiency and make a positive environmental impact.

 
1. Invest in energy-efficient appliances.
 

When buying a new fridge or a washing machine, pay attention to the energy efficiency labelling of products; a more efficient appliance (class A or higher) will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released in the atmosphere. CO2 is the climate’s worst enemy, the burning of oil and coal to generate electricity is a major contributor to this problem. Reducing its use also means saving money on your bill.

 
2. Buy and consume food responsibly, reduce the quantity of meat and freeze ingredients to avoid waste.
 
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The production, packaging, transportation and cooling of food requires 30% of the world’s total end use energy consumption. Roughly twenty-five times more energy is required to produce one calorie of beef than to produce one calorie of corn for human consumption. A preference for corn, beans and local vegetables supports a healthier diet and cuts down our energy consumption. Opting for local, seasonal products helps the environment by reducing the amount of energy normally required to produce far-flung food by 5 to 17 times.

 
3. Change your old bulbs.
 
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New LED lightbulbs consume 80–90% less energy compared to your old ones. They’re cost-effective, durable (they can last 3 times longer than incandescent bulbs) and cool (they don’t cause heat build-up). They’re also eco-friendly, work well with low voltage and can make a huge difference on your bill.

 
4. Change the way you do laundry.

 

Save water and energy by washing a full load at low temperatures. This will reduce carbon emissions, since usually 90% of the energy consumed by a washing machine goes to heating water. If possible, air-dry your clothes on lines and racks instead of using a dryer and if you’re afraid cold water won’t be enough to clean your clothes, opt for cold water detergents which, apparently, perform even better than normal ones.

 

5. Keep track of your energy consumption and change your habits to bring the energy transition to your home.

 

It’s important to spread the word on energy efficiency and incentivise people to change their behaviour. Tracking your consumption and receiving feedback helps you improve your environmental impact and save money on your bill. There are a few energy monitoring systems on sale which can be suitable for this specific need, such as smart meters and similar devices.

 

To make things simpler, at Enffi we are developing a user-friendly mobile app which will make it possible to scan your meter and get immediate feedback on how good you’re performing and how you can improve.

 

We are building a community of sustainability-minded people with the goal of saving enough energy to shut off a whole coal power plant. Do you think we can pull it off?

 

If you like the idea and feel like joining our cause, sign up to access the pre-launch of our app in June 2016.