Energy

How To Reduce Your Energy Waste as a Consumer

In 2019, household energy consumption accounted for 26% of the EU’s total consumption. Seeing as just 28% of this comes from renewable sources, reducing our energy waste in these areas can have a serious impact on our carbon footprint as a continent.

Here are a few ideas of how to reduce your energy waste in your home, regardless of whether you’re renting a room in a shared flat or own your own home.

Shutdown your appliances fully

Many of our electrical appliances have a standby mode, which tricks us into thinking we have shut them down while they are still actually consuming energy. For example, computers are some of the biggest energy users in office buildings – and the same applies at home. Get into the habit of turning your monitor off at night and ditch the screensaver. 

Computer

Switch to LED

We all know that we should be turning off lightbulbs when we leave a room, but we can’t live in the dark all the time. LED bulbs are the most energy efficient lighting option out there; switching to LED means you use 75% less electricity than incandescent bulbs on average. Plus, they last much longer than traditional bulbs, meaning less time you need to spend on changing them.

Eliminate vampire power

It might seem like second nature to leave things plugged in, like kitchen mixers, games consoles, TVs, and so on. If we’re not using them, they’re not using energy, right? Wrong!

Devices like televisions, microwaves, scanners, and printers use standby power, even when switched off. This is known as ‘vampire power’. Some chargers even continue to pull small amounts of energy, even when plugged in; you can often tell if this is happening when a charger feels warm to the touch when plugged in for a while.

To make it easier to make sure everything is off, use multi-plug extension cords, so you can turn all devices off at once. Flipping the switch on your extension cord has the same effect as unplugging each socket from the wall, preventing vampire energy loss.

Cord

Switch to a wood-powered boiler for heating

If you own your home or can switch out the heating system, consider moving to a wood-powered boiler for heating. Heating our homes is the number one drain of household energy. Using a sustainably sourced wood boiler is both more efficient and eco-friendly than traditional energy sources.

Even if you can’t switch your heating system entirely, shop around and see if there are sustainable energy suppliers you can switch to. Make sure you look at the fine print to avoid any greenwashed energy providers.

Improve insulation

In the winter, try to avoid using your heating as much as possible by insulating your home to keep out the cold. Investing in extra thick curtains and placing draught excluders along doors and windows helps to keep cold air out and warm air in, so you don’t need to turn on the radiators as much.

Curtains

For more sustainable living tips, come on down to the Zero Waste Berlin Festival to meet other sustainable businesses and like-minded people. We have consumers, individuals, and entrepreneurs from a range of different industries who are all approaching sustainability in a unique and authentic way. 

Tickets are currently available to buy here, so make sure you secure your space alongside like-minded professionals, entrepreneurs, and activists on September 17-19. We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

Author

  • Rachael Davies is a freelance writer and journalist based in Edinburgh, with work in National Geographic, Huffington Post, and TechRadar. You can find her on Twitter @rachdaviesetc or via her website.