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At present, people are self-centered. They care only about themselves and their affairs. Therefore, it is surprising to understand that individuals are concerned with something other than their own desires, needs or interests. But it is true. They do not always put themselves first. This is the one thing that regular individuals care for the most: the environment. In the 1970s, millions took to the street in order to demand environmental protection.

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Almost half a century later, things have not changed too much. As a matter of fact, it can be argued that the public cares for Mother Earth more than ever. They are making considerable efforts to reduce energy consumption and they encourage others to follow their example. It is needless to say that this is a good thing. Saving energy helps save the environment. Even if it may not seem evident, there is a close connection between energy use and the environment. More specifically, the less energy is consumed, power plants release fewer toxic fumes.

Even with all the gadgets, people are using less energy

Technology has its place in the modern world. It is impossible to imagine life without it. Owing to machinery and devices, individuals can stay connected with their friends and family, travel, and cure illnesses. Virtually everything that we own is plugged in and connected to the Internet. This is not an exaggeration. Ordinary objects collect and share data by means of cheap processors and wireless networks.

The public has become more environmentally conscious. This translates into the fact that they are worried about the environment and are interested in protecting it.

Taking into consideration the context, it is a little bit shocking to find out that citizens are using less electricity than they did 10 years ago. How can this be? Well, there are two explanations. One explanation is that modern devices are more efficient. Basically, they are designed so as to not increase utility bills. Another explanation lies in the fact that the public has become more environmentally conscious. This translates into the fact that they are worried about the environment and are interested in protecting it.

Canadians, for instance, are doing their best to protect Mother Earth. Government of Canada partners have recently launched a tool that enables students to find out more about plastic pollution. It has been acknowledged that plastic pollution is a serious issue, negatively impacting the health of oceans, lakes, and rivers. Getting back on topic, Canadians have a love for the outdoors and take care of the environment so that future generations can enjoy it as well. From an early age, kids are taught about the consequences of landfill waste, as well as toxic waste. Adults, for their part, resort to using energy types that emit fewer greenhouse gas emissions. And they insulate thoroughly in the home. Experts at Great Northern Insulation recommend using blown-in insulation, as it is made from recycled paper and reduces landfill waste.

What motivates them to save energy anyway?

It seems that it is not necessary to persuade individuals to save energy because they do it anyway. What is the factor of motivation? In this case, information is what drives positive behaviour. To be more precise, the public receives details relating to how much gas or electricity their neighbours are currently using.

The moment that they understand that their peers are wasting no time when it comes to saving Mother Earth, they start behaving in the same way. Examples empower and this is a truth that cannot be denied. If you ask people themselves, they will say that money is the strongest motivator behind reducing energy consumption. Put simply, they will not admit to the truth.

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Whether they like to admit it or not, people follow social norms. They follow the unwritten rules even when they make absolutely no sense. The reason for this is that they want to feel accepted. Therefore, if a study highlights the fact that ordinary individuals behave pro-environmentally, there will be much more pro-environmental behaviour. The point is that what others do matters a lot.

In the United States, there is a firm that informs the population about each member’s energy consumption. This existent practice has not been copied in other parts of the world, but there is hope that it will happen very soon. Frequently, the behaviour of others has adverse effects. When it comes down to the environment, things are a little bit different.

Using less energy has never been easier

The general opinion is that reducing energy consumption is hard. It is not difficult, yet it requires changing something that is deeply embedded in the behaviour. The vast majority of people are happy to make an effort. Unfortunately, there are still individuals who cannot be bothered to do anything. Using less energy is a good thing. So, how can society reduce energy consumption? Here are just a few suggestions worth considering.

  • Insulating the home – A property can never be too well-insulated. Most owners do not realize that their dwellings are under-insulated. They believe that the utility bills are high due to other reasons. A great percentage is lost in a home that is not properly insulated through the walls. Saving energy is, thus, achieved by insulating.
  • Identifying energy-efficient appliances – The amount of energy consumption can be significantly reduced by using Energy Star appliances – in other words, devices that use less energy and provide improved performance. It is advisable to look for the logo when purchasing appliances.
  • Avoiding the use of space heaters – Regardless of the model, space heaters are very expensive to operate. They heat up the space by heating the air, which is why they consume so much energy. What is more, it is highly dangerous to operate close to inflammable material.

It goes without saying that there are plenty of other means by which people can use less energy. The means is not as important as the final result. It is important for people once and for all to understand that the environment is essential to human living and that we are blessed to live on a planet that provides us everything we need in order to survive.

 Cynthia Madison