Learn about how you use (and waste) energy in your home
Americans waste more energy than people anywhere else on the planet. We spend $130 billion on energy that we don't even use. All of that energy has a big environmental cost.
Power plants across the country use non-renewable resources, like coal and gas, as well as renewable resources, like sunlight and wind, to produce electricity. Producing this electricity is one of the biggest ways that Americans contribute to climate change. Climate change describes a change in the average conditions — such as temperature and rainfall — over a long period of time. Changes in global temperatures are impacting people and the planet, causing rising sea levels and flooding, more frequent and powerful extreme weather events like hurricanes and snowstorms, droughts and heatwaves, and other dangerous conditions. Climate change will dramatically change the way humans live on this planet and have major effects on our communities, health, food, and more. Learn more about climate change here.
If using energy contributes to climate change, why do Americans waste so much energy? Many people do not realize how much energy is used by Energy Vampires. Energy vampires use electricity even when they are not in use. Some common energy vampires are:
- Wi-Fi - Is your wifi plugged in and turned on even when no one is home? Wifi uses a lot of energy, even if no one is there to enjoy the internet.
- Televisions - Is your TV always plugged in? Is your cable box or game system always turned on? Big electronics like TVs use energy even when they aren't turned on.
- Power cords - Do you leave your tablet or laptop charger plugged in? If it's hot (it probably is!) it is wasting energy.
Energy vampires waste energy and contribute to climate change AND they cost a lot of money. You can find energy vampires in your house to reduce the amount of energy you waste.
Step 1: Find your Energy Vampires
Using the worksheet, find the energy vampires in your home. Using the guide, calculate how much energy your vampires waste and how much money you could save by unplugging or turning them off.
Step 2: Locate Other Energy Wasters
Where else do you waste energy? Are there any lights or fans left on in empty rooms? Does your air conditioning run when no one is home?
Step 3: Identify Five Ways to Conserve Energy
Look at your list and notice where you waste energy in your house. What are five ways you can reduce your energy?
Take a photo of your worksheet and ideas for reducing energy and share it on social media. Make sure to tag @peancorg and #PEAYoungLeaders to be entered into the weekly Young Eco Leaders Raffle.
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