Use as needed. That phrase sounds like an invitation with the emphasis on ‘use’ meaning go ahead and take some. But what if it’s better understood as a limit: take only what you need, use only what you require, recognize when you’ve had enough, leave the rest for someone else. Canada is rich in many natural resources. Water especially. Oil too. Wood, minerals, metals. But if we use them faster than they can be replenished, we will not be rich for long. When it comes to energy, consumption often cannot be avoided. But how cold does it need to be in air conditioned buildings? How warm does it need to be in winter? How often do we need to drive the vehicle? How much light do we need to light the room, and what kind of light? First we need to boil down our consumption, perhaps not to bare necessity, but certainly scaled back from excessive and unthinking use. Once that’s done, it’s time to consider alternative sources. One of the most overlooked sources of energy is kinetic power: the human body. Think about how many things that used to be run by hands and feet and bodies that are now run by electricity instead. Electricity accomplishes many things the human body could do on its own. Electricity may make things faster and easier, but in the long run, perhaps that’s not necessarily better.
THE STEPS INVOLVED…
- AUDIT your current practices for inefficiencies and overuse. Often your local power utility provides this service.
- REDUCE inefficiencies. Build in conservation techniques and practices.
- SUSTAINABLE practice – use only what is needed. Take no more than you require. Ultimately switch to alternative/natural energy sources.
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