Why is it important to save energy?
If people use less energy, there is less pressure to increase the available supply of energy, for example by constructing new power plants, or by importing energy from a different country.
(SOURCE: Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_conservation)
What does “life-cycle” mean? What does it have to do with energy use?
Nearly all everyday products have an impact in terms of energy, especially when you consider their energy requirements across the whole life-cycle: production, use and end-of-life. In many cases the use phase is dominating. Plastics, for example, are one of the most resource-efficient materials available. In their use phase, plastics products help to save more energy than is needed to produce them: For example, when you choose a bottle of water packaged in a light weight material such as plastic, remember that lighter packaging requires less energy for transport. Thus, less fuel was used to power the truck that delivered those plastic bottles.
What can I do to save energy?
There are many sources on the web that give you ideas of what you can do to save energy. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Change your travel behaviour, think more in terms of public transportation, if possible, walk or ride your bicycle instead of taking the car
- Reduce your house heat by 1C, keep the windows closed while heating, dress warmly
- Choose products that come with lightweight packaging
- Turn off lights and appliances when you are not using them, use energy-saving light bulbs
- Reuse plastic bags for shopping and storage
- Use a microwave instead of a stove to reheat food
- Use rechargeable batteries instead of disposable batteries
What effect do materials have on the environment?
In our daily life, we rely on many materials. Wood, metal, glass and plastics all have environmental consequences. Think about the impact of every product you use. For example, the lighter an object, the less fuel is required to transport it. A heavy suitcase in the boot of a car will require the car to consume more fuel during its journey. The same goes for all product packaging. Therefore, buying food wrapped in lightweight materials thus helps the environment.