Conservation is something that most people instinctively understand to be good, but they often do not fully consider the reasons. When you stop and think of the question: Why should we save energy? You can get more answers than you expect.
Environment and quality of life
Using less energy means a cleaner environment. This in turns leads to a better quality of life. Nobody wants to breathe smoke, and what comes out of cars and smokestacks cannot be good for anyone’s health. Conservation leads to a cleaner and nicer world.
There is also a strong scientific consensus that human activity is contributing to global climate change, and the worst-case scenarios are pretty scary. Even those who are skeptical about these fears and think the science is not proven still cannot deny the need for caution. To say a danger is not proven is not to say it could not be there. Prudence and foresight dictate the need to take even potential dangers seriously, especially when there are so many other reasons why we should save energy.
The use of imported fossil fuels has only increased in virtually all advanced economies such as that of the US. These raises several security concerns.
- The economy is dependent on long supply lines as well as often volatile and unfriendly regimes for its energy. Anything from political unrest to natural disasters in distant lands can disrupt energy supplies at home.
- Huge and costly military resources need to be devoted to protecting energy resources, and sometimes oppressive regimes, to keep energy supplies secure.
- The money that is used to pay for this energy often goes to unfriendly governments and even ends up in the hands of terrorist groups.
- It is not a coincidence that those areas with the most fossil fuels to export often have some of the worst leadership. Energy money coming from the US and other big energy consumers has a corrupting effect on the societies it goes to.
Fossil fuels, where most of the energy used still comes from, are a finite resource. While there is debate as to whether resources like oil have already reached their production peak or not and very serious shortages are in the near of far future, there is no denying they are in the future. When something is finite, and you are not sure when that end point will come, it is only common sense to want to save and conserve.
In the US, per-capita energy consumption doubles roughly every 20 years. Until all energy comes from renewable resources, this rate of growth needs to be kept as low as possible by utilizing different ways to save energy.
Economic efficiency and saving money
Saving energy makes good economic sense. More energy wasted means more energy is used per dollar of GDP produced. That means a less efficient economy and more expensive products. An economy that saves energy will have a competitive advantage. In addition, much of the money spent on energy ends up overseas or in the pockets of the very rich and not in the hands of those who really need it at home.
If you save energy, you will be saving money at the same time. You will be spending less on gas, save money on bills and have more for investing and the things you need. Some of the same good habits that come from saving energy are related directly to better personal financial management.
It builds character!
Yes, while this is something most do not consider, it should be taken seriously. Being sloppy, wasteful and short sighted are certainly characteristics people want to avoid. Being able to think ahead, conserve and be efficient are values parents want to install in their children and what everyone should be striving for. These are things anyone can learn when they think about how they too can conserve energy.
It saves in other ways
There are a number of other reasons why we should save energy that manifest themselves in both big and small ways. For example, saving energy is also a way to save water since significant quantities of water are used in power plants. There is no measuring the health problems which are caused by pollution that is produced during energy production and consumption. Significant savings in both the quality and quantity of life as well as medical costs can come from saving energy.
While the reasons why we should save energy can go on and on, there are few, if any reasons, we should not. The vast majority of society can certainly gain greatly. You can start by thinking about how to save electricity.