Green Mistakes – Why Your Efforts To Save The Planet Might Actually Be Making Things Worse
Making the decision to go green is a great move and something that should certainly be commended. Once you consciously decide that you are going to start trying to reduce your carbon footprint and begin recycling and gardening, you will not only reduce your contribution to global warming but also encourage others to follow in your stead while saving yourself money and picking up other good habits.
Unfortunately though, good intentions alone are not enough. While you might mean well, going green isn’t always as simple as it should be and sometimes the very things you think are helping the planet can actually be doing more harm. There are many common examples of things that sound eco-friendly but actually have caused more waste than they save. Of course this is a big shame if you are genuinely trying to do good and a serious waste of that good will. So to make sure that all your energy is being put to good use, read on and make sure you aren’t making any of these common ‘green mistakes’.
Green Mistake #1 – Leaving the Heating Off
Heating a property uses up a lot of energy, which leaves many people to try and avoid using it. This is a good idea in theory but actually it is almost certain to waste more energy than it saves. The reason for this is that leaving the heating off when it starts to get cold will mean that your walls become cold and eventually that they reach what’s known as the ‘dew point temperature’. At this temperature the walls will begin to attract condensation which will steel yet more heat from your house and they will be incredibly difficult to warm back up again. If you try to save energy by leaving the heating off until the winter months, you’ll then be forced to waste a lot more to bring the temperature back up to normal and you’ll risk mould problems and leaks if you don’t. Oh and don’t leave the heating off for long stints when you go on holiday either.
Green Mistake #2 – Turning Off the Air Conditioning
Likewise, turning off your air conditioning can have the same problem. If you’re going away for a few days in the summer and you’re tempted to turn the air conditioning off completely in your absence, note that when you get back the house may have warmed up to such an extent that the system needs to go into overdrive to cool it back down. Once again, this could end up costing you more overall than leaving it on at a low setting.
Green Mistake #3 – Hanging On to Old Appliances
You might think that throwing things out is wasteful and that’s true in most cases. However, when it comes to things like ovens, boilers and air conditioning units the opposite is true as upgrading will mean an upgrade in energy efficiency and particularly if you the old unit isn’t running as well as it once did.
Green Mistake #4 – Showering
Showering is not a mistake – it’s hygienic. However, if you are showering instead of bathing because you think it’s saving water, then you may just want to look into that a little more closely. While some showers will indeed use less water than a bath, power showers can actually be much more wasteful than you realise. This is particularly true if you think that you can stand there for hours preening yourself just because you’re showering. Whether showering or bathing, the real way to save energy is just to try and be as efficient as possible which means using less water, being quicker. A bonus of bathing is also that you can share bath water of course which isn’t an option in a shower!
Green Mistake #5 – Turning Off
What’s the best way to save your phone’s battery when you’re not using it for half an hour, turning it off right? And how can you save energy when you’re in a traffic jam? Turning off the engine right?
Actually no – if it’s only for a few minutes then turning off most machines and gadgets will actually cost you more energy than it will save. The reason for this is that turning devices back on is actually often the most power-hungry process of all. In most cases, your phone would be better off running quietly for half an hour than having to go through the powering-up process.
The author of this post, Gemma Hastings, is a voracious reader who likes to convey her views and opinions on a variety of topics through her blogs. She is an employee of SolarPanelGrants.org; you can click here to find out more about them.