I am old enough to remember the energy crisis in the mid-1970s. We took a different approach to save energy but it kind of faded away over the years. We used to find ways to use less energy.
We used less gasoline by driving less and by driving cars that got better gas mileage. Yes, they were smaller than what we were used to. Driving less is the best way to reduce energy consumption and costs. Carpooling became more popular too as people got the idea of filling up their car and making the most out of those gallons of gasoline.
Cars are expensive too. Sometimes it is possible to become a one-car household and share a car. Becoming a no-car household is even better.
Starting a car and letting it run to “warm up” isn’t really necessary and it adds up to a lot of fuel consumption and air pollution.
I don’t recall having LED light bulbs back then like we have today but we saved energy by turning lights off when we left the room and by using fewer lights when possible. We unplugged things too.
To reduce the cost of heating a home or business we used to turn the thermostat down and wear sweaters. I think people save energy that way today too but people also like to keep their houses cool enough in the summer so they can sleep under blankets and wear sweatshirts in the house. That requires a lot of electricity. Back in the 1970s, we didn’t have air conditioning. We opened windows and used fans and sweated a lot.
We didn’t think about water much back then here in the land of 10,000+ lakes. Yet here we are in year two of a pretty severe drought. It seems to be hard for people of all ages to learn that they don’t need to leave the water running in the sink to wash one knife and then leave it on as they cross the room to do something else.
Don’t even get me started on greening up the lawn by watering it daily.
My parents used to talk about rationing during world war ll. People cut back on all sorts of things. They worked together to save resources so that they could win the war. Gasoline was needed at the front and so were tires. Both were rationed and so was food. My grandmother altered recipes so that they would work with missing ingredients.
The way we celebrate the holidays is all about consumption and waste. They are also stressful. There are many ways to celebrate holidays. Eating less, drinking less, and buying less is the new way to celebrate Christmas. How about more handmade gifts and upcycled gifts?
At any rate, most of us can turn down the heat, turn off lights, use less water and drive less. The problem is that most people don’t want to and some won’t.