Air Quality Health Index classroom kit, grades 5 and 6, environment: chapter 17

C. Use Less Electricity

Power lines connected to a utility pole

Set it and forget it: use sensors or other technologies that automatically turn off or turn down things that use electricity.

Turn off lights when you don’t need them

You can save electricity (and money) by turning off the lights when no one is using them. You may even want to use sensors that automatically turn lights on/off.

Turn down the heat when you don’t need it

It’s always a good idea to set your thermostat to lower the temperature when no one is at home. You’ll create less air pollution whether you use electric heating or another form of heating, such as oil.

Use energy-efficient light bulbs

If you could get the same amount of light using less electricity, would you? That’s exactly what you can do. It’s simple. A 60W incandescent bulb uses much more electricity than an 8 or 9W LED light bulb, even though it produces the same amount of light. Switch to energy-effcient light bulbs and use task lighting instead of keeping all the lights on.

Hot water

Some hot water tanks use electricity to heat the water. Turn down the hot water tank and it will use less. A leaky hot water tap can waste up to 13,000 litres of water a year. If the faucets are fixed, they’ll save energy used to heat the water in the hot water tank.

Keep your clothes clean and green

When possible, hang clothes out to dry instead of using a dryer. Think about how much electricity a dryer uses compared to fresh air! If you use electricity for hot water, wash your clothes in cold water. When you’re buying a new washer or dryer, consider buying low-energy ones.

Turn off your machines

Turn off or unplug your computer and television when they are not in use. It’s best if you set them up to automatically go into sleep mode in case you forget.

Use a fan

Instead of cranking the air conditioner, try a fan. Or, if you must, tune the air conditioner at 1 or 2 degrees warmer than usual.

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