Why it’s Important to Conserve Energy

March 19, 2019
Written by Moni Wahid

It’s easy to forget the impact you have on the Earth when all you’re doing is turning up the heat a little when the temperature drops or you take a nice long hot shower after trudging to the campus in the snow. However, our small actions add up, especially because it’s not just you are doing it, but everyone. As the freezing cold hits our mildly temperate campus, we all begin to prioritize comfort over the impact we have on the Earth. It’s important to think about our energy use in a high demand situation.

Expending energy contributes to consuming more of the Earth’s natural resources such as oil and coal, two resources that take the Earth millions of years to produce and we are depleting it quickly. The standard household in British Columbia used an average 92.5 gigajoules of energy in 2015. That is equivalent to 185 tanks of propane or 2, 775 litres of gasoline. Gasoline and propane come from petroleum and petroleum is a fossil fuel. The use of fossil fuels directly impacts our world by polluting the air we breathe and destroys the balance of the Earth’s ecosystem which directly affects every living being on this planet.

Conserving energy is not only beneficial to the Earth, but also to yourself. By doing so, you can save your wallet from taking a hit on those gas and water bills. One GJ of gas costs $1.55 so that adds up to hundreds of dollars every year!

For this heating season, the Sustainability Office is hosting the BC Cool Campus Challenge is a friendly reminder to stay warm sustainably. Taking the pledge alongside students and staff from five post-secondary institutions to make a tangible commitment to yourself and incorporate easy actions within your day to conserve energy.

Tips to reduce your energy use:

  • Layer, layer, layer! When you leave the house, you make sure to gear up for the snow, but when you’re inside, keep an extra layer on instead of turning the heater on

  • Turn the thermostat down by two degrees. Keep it on at a lower rate for a steady build of heat, and turn it off once you’re warm enough. Simply raising the heat above 20 degrees celsius to 21, will increase the cost by 5%.

  • Take shorter showers-- set a timer on your phone to remember how long you’re taking. Heating water for showers uses a significant amount of energy.

  • Wear some fuzzy slippers, or put a rug down in the areas you usually walk to avoid a cold floor.

  • If you have lots of windows, cover them up with some thermal insulated curtains to keep the cold air outside.

  • Set your washing machine to use cold water to do laundry and air-dry clothes instead of using the dryer.