By BB Denton | Mar 28, 2024
Text: "Sqwatch's secrets: Powering down" with illustration of Sqwatch unplugging a cord from an outlet

Energy and climate change feed off of each other, causing problems for all of us. The energy sector is the second largest emitter of greenhouse gasses - which cause warming temperatures. As the climate warms, it increases the demand for electrical-powered cooling, putting stress on our energy supply and leading to more emissions. 

In 2021 the United States accounted for 16% of the world’s energy use despite having less than 5% of the world’s population. Even though personal use only accounts for a portion of this total, it’s important that everyone works to reduce their consumption of energy when possible. This not only has a positive environmental impact, but is economic through its reduction of personal utility costs! 

It may be difficult to know where to start, so we’ve listed some tips below on how you can reduce your energy consumption at home.

  • Shut down electronic applications when not in use. This reduces your energy usage and can also lengthen the battery life of your devices! It is especially important to do this when you will be away for long periods of time - think breaks or vacations.
  • Completely turn off and unplug equipment (office items, kitchen appliances, chargers, etc.) when not in use. Even when they are turned off or not in use, these can still draw energy when plugged in.
  • Wash clothes in cold water when possible. Most of the energy used by washing machines is to heat water. Cold water is not only still effective in cleaning clothes, but also may prolong the life of them too! 
  • If you have control of the thermostat, set it as low as you are comfortable in cool weather. Instead try opting to stay warm using cozy clothes to save some energy.
  • When you need to replace a lightbulb, buy LEDs. LEDs, or Light Emitting Diodes, are more efficient than standard light bulbs and last much longer.
  • Utilize windows as temperature regulators. During warm periods, install window coverings to keep heat out. In cold periods keep windows (and doors!) closed in order to keep heat inside.
  • Use power strips when possible. This helps reduce the amount of energy that is used by devices even when they are turned off. 

It may be hard to keep track of these tips - so a good rule of thumb is to power down when possible! 

Sources/Reading List
Learn more about our energy use & its relationship to climate change:

More tips on how to reduce energy usage: