Written by: Nathan Murphy, Environment Michigan
Energy efficiency and reducing energy waste are important steps in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and getting to 100% renewable energy. As they say, the cleanest energy is the energy we never generate in the first place. On top of this, a lot of experts are saying reducing energy waste is crucial for reaching 100% renewable energy in the time frame needed to avert the worst effects of climate change. We don’t have to build nearly as many solar panels and windmills if we work to reign in unnecessary energy usage.
By now most people know everyone can do simple things to save energy by doing things like replacing incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs. But there’s lots of other, less widely known actions people can easily take at home. Did you know most microwaves use more energy per year to run the built-in clock than to cook? A simple fix is unplugging the microwave when not in use. There’s lot of other gadgets and appliances that use energy even when turned off and just sitting there. These are called energy vampires because of the way they quietly suck energy from the system.
In the spirit of staking energy vampires and getting the word out on less well known ways to reduce energy waste, Environment America created the web comic “Buffy the Energy Vampire Slayer”. For those of you who were alive in the 90’s or who watched it on syndication, you remember Buffy the Vampire Slayer as a long-running show centered around Buffy. Buffy was a high school student who gained exceptional strength and reflexes when she became a “Slayer”. One is “chosen” every generation. She and her friends went on to defeat any number of vampires and demons throughout the seasons.
With our web comic you can follow Buffy’s exploits as she defeats some commonly known and less well known sources of energy waste around a typical home. Putting in LED light bulbs is in there, as is opening and closing blinds to let in solar heat or keep it out depending on the need. Unplugging your microwave is in there as is washing clothes using only cold water. Turns out the clothes come out just as clean. Many of these actions are surprisingly easy and quick, and a number are free.
I encourage you to check out Buffy’s exploits and see if there’s anything you can do around your own home to reduce your energy waste and help our environment.
Banner image shared with permission by Environment Michigan