Kids’ Org. : Save Energy & Save the World
Using energy wisely means being efficient. We use energy everyday at home, at school, at work, and even when we are playing. By saving energy we are helping to save the world's energy resources like natural gas, oil and water and we are also saving money on our utility bills. Best of all, by using energy wisely we can cut down on pollutants in the air and water, making a better environment for everyone.
Think about what would happen if there wasn't enough energy. . . there would be no light to turn on when it got dark . . . there would not be any hot water for the shower or heat for your house in the winter . . . no gas or oil to drive the car . . . so there are lots of reasons we should save energy.
In fact energy efficiency can go a long way towards preserving our natural resources and promoting a clean environment, so it is important for us to learn and practice energy conservation. There are many things that kids can do to save energy around their homes. By simply turning off lights when leaving a room, recycling, and conserving water, everyone can make a huge difference in home energy saving. Children you can use the following information and resources to learn more about energy efficiency and how you can make a difference.
Using less energy can have beneficial results financially, ecologically and personally. The average household uses 500 to 800 kilowatt-hours per month. When energy-saving techniques are properly applied, one can help ones family to save 20-30 per cent of their energy bills. Saving energy also reduces “greenhouse gas' emissions. It's highly important that we save energy and our natural resources. There are many ways by which you can use less energy at home, such as:
- Shut off the lights when you are not using them, and turn off the TV, computer, video games and other electrical stuff when you leave the room.
- Don’t leave the refrigerator door open. Every time you open the door, up to one-third of the cold air can escape. Don't leave the refrigerator door open. Decide what you want BEFORE you open the door.
- Replace a burnt-out light bulb with a LED bulb/tube. LED bulbs use 75 per cent less energy, and they last ten times longer.
- Remind grown-ups to use cold water in the washing machine. Hot water won't get the clothes any cleaner, and it wastes a lot of energy.
- Fix dripping faucets. One drop per second can add up to 165 gallons of water a month – that's more than one person uses in two weeks.
- Take a short shower instead of a long bath since water is also a source to generate electricity. Close the tap while you brush your teeth . It is said that about two liters of water is used to generate one unit of electricity.
- Draw the curtains during hot summer days to block the sun. By doing so you will not be compelled to use a water cooler/ air conditioner. Similarly during the winters, keep the curtains open so that the sun rays can come in and make the room warm.
- Help your mom or dad plant a tree to help shade your house on hot summer days. Deciduous trees (trees that lose their leaves) are best to block the sun in the summer and, when the leaves fall, they let the sun shine through in the winter helping to warm your house.
- During the day, when it is bright outside, open the curtains and use the sunlight instead of turning on the lights.
- Don't leave windows or outside doors open when the heater or air conditioner is on. This makes the furnace and AC to work harder to heat and cool the house.
Brief History of Energy
The very first energy source was the sun providing heat and light during the day. Later fire was discovered by a lightning strike, producing another source of heat and light.
Thousands of years later we discovered that the wind could be harnessed and we began to use sails on our boats for transportation. Later we began to use windmills to turn water wheels for grinding grain.
Throughout history, we have made lots of discoveries using energy. Before 1850, wood was our main source of fuel for heating, cooking and producing steam for powering steam engines for the railroads. Other sources of energy were water, wind, coal and some manufactured natural gases.
Natural gas was used as early as 500BC by the Chinese. They found natural gas leaking from the ground and used bamboo to pipe the gas for boiling sea water to remove the salt.
Around 1816 manufactured natural gas, made from coal, was first used for street lights in Baltimore, Maryland. From about 1850 to 1945, coal was the main fuel source. Wood was still an important energy source for heating as well as natural gas for lighting, but water and wind were used less. Electricity was used more in the late 1900s. From about 1945 to the present, nuclear and solar energy along with water and wind have played a larger role in the production of energy. Other alternative energy sources being used today are geothermal and biomass.
Renewable and non-renewable energy
Renewable energy is derived from various resources, such as the sun and the wind. They do not produce greenhouse gas emissions or cause air pollution. Unlike many sources of fossil energy, renewable energy does not require fuel and costs are becoming comparable to higher fossil fuels. Non renewable sources of energy such as gas, coal, and oil can run out; they deplete once they are gone-at least not for thousands of years. People need to save as much gas, coal, and oil as they can so that there will be enough for a long time. Conversely, renewable energy sources such as wind, water, and the sun can be replenished quickly. People need to work on using more of these energy sources. Unfortunately, less than 2 per cent of electricity comes from renewable energy sources right now.
Each year we are looking for more ways to conserve our energy resources, like natural gas and oil, because these are non-renewable fuels. That means there is a limited supply. By using renewable fuels like water for hydropower and sunlight for solar power, or alternative fuel sources like fuel cells and biomass, we can help conserve our natural resources so that they don't run out. —Aniket Raja
(July 19, 2015 Page : 64-65)