As green consumers we often find ourselves trapped between “a rock and a hard place”; namely being as eco-friendly as possible without actually extricating ourselves from modern consumer society. Imagine, for example, trying to live a “normal” Western life without the use of electricity. While that would arguably be the optimum solution, for most people (including me) it’s just not going to happen, is it?
So what simple steps can we take in order to continue using electricity around our homes yet making it as green as possible? How can you watch your TV at night without feeling guilty or switch on your computer without harming the environment?
In answer to this, while we’ve written previously about how to reduce your electricity use, today we’re going to look at how to make the electricity that you do use more environmentally sound.
Switch To Green Energy
Green energy is becoming big business as ethically-minded individuals all round the world are seeking more sustainable sources of electricity. This form of electricity is normally generated from wind and wave power though other sources may be added to the mix.
Whilst there are a number of well-known “green energy” suppliers, many standard domestic utility companies also offer a green tariff if only you’re willing to ask. I was surprised recently when a friend of mine said they’d managed to keep their current supplier (meaning no paperwork or hassles) but had just switched to a green tariff for a small additional charge.
Sadly it’s a fact of life that most green energy suppliers charge a little more than the old-fashioned fossil-fuel powered stuff, though bare in mind that many countries now are actually taxing non-sustainable power in order to make green energy more affordable than ever before.
In addition by using a price comparison site like Energy Helpline you can not only help you get the best rate possible; you might even find a tariff that’s even cheaper than your current (non-sustainable) supplier.
Generally speaking batteries are nasty things, filled as they are with harmful chemicals. But they’re also a necessary evil these days. Rather than using standard disposable batteries, instead consider investing a little more in rechargeable batteries and a suitable charger.
Not only does this reduce the constant purchase of fresh batteries, but of course it also reduces the amount thrown out. Overall the savings can be significant; I honestly can’t remember the last time I actually bought a new battery.
When you also take into account that your batteries will be charged from your new green energy supply and that it removes the annoyance of batteries running out of power at the most inconvenient times it’s a clear winner over the alternative.
Fitting out your home with a complete solar installation may be out of many people’s budgets, even with all the various government grants and incentives, but we can all “go solar” in a small way.
Small stand-alone solar panels can be purchased very cheaply from store like Amazon, that will let you charge up cell phones, camera batteries and the like. There are even solar powered torches these days and prices are more respectable than at any time in the past.
One step further, if you’re really not afraid of a little work, are the range of wind-up electricals currently for sale including wind-up radios and torches. A few minutes of winding can provide hours of use, and there’s no risk of batteries going dead or power cuts affecting your enjoyment.
Whatever option you choose, it’s important that we don’t just reduce our energy use (though that’s also an important part of the puzzle) but also try to use the greenest electricity possible.
What have you done to make your energy use more eco-friendly? Please leave a comment below…