Why Is it Important to Save Energy?

Close-up of a woman changing a light bulb
Close-up of a woman changing a light bulb (Image: jarih/iStock/Getty Images)

There are many reasons to save energy, their relative importance being different to different people. Using less energy can have positive results ecologically, financially, and personally, and the very act of trying to reduce energy use increases an individual's awareness of the surrounding environment and the effect that we all have on it. Using resources efficiently leads to a lessened impact on the environment, lower operating costs for businesses and households, and a cleaner and more organized way of life for everyone.


All forms of energy other than muscle power do some level of damage to the natural environment. Large scale coal production requires strip mining, and coal and oil use lead to high levels of pollutants and gases that contribute to climate change, according to GeoTimes. Nuclear power creates radioactive waste and carries the risk of contamination, states Bernard L. Cohen, a professor emeritus of physics at the University of Pittsburgh. Even wind and solar power, although marketed as “green,” do damage to the environment, although it is less severe than more intensive industries, according to Michael Brower, a physicist writing for the Union of Concerned Scientists. The less energy used, the less the impact of these industries, and the less impact the human race has on an increasingly impacted natural world.


Although it is an aspect of energy conservation that is rarely brought up, a person's character is improved and strengthened by paying attention to what is used and what is wasted. Old-fashioned and somewhat out-of-fashion qualities such as thrift and frugality are increasingly important in a world of waste and pollution, and people who devote time and energy to reducing their energy use and environmental impact become more aware of these qualities within themselves.


Energy in any form costs money, whether it is electricity, gas, oil or coal. Much of the money that is spent on energy is wasted through the use of inefficient appliances, electronics that are left on standby and use of resources and materials that aren't necessary, states Arun Majumdar, professor of mechanical engineering at University of California at Berkeley, in "Tapping America's Secret Power Source" on the Green Tech Media website. By eliminating wasteful practices from one's business and home life, a great deal of money can be saved.


Using energy frugally can lead to the discovery of useful and enjoyable new ways of accomplishing things. Riding a bicycle rather than driving a car can become a hobby, a sport and a pleasure rather than a burden. Walking, gardening and refurbishing old objects rather than buying new ones can all be fascinating and rewarding ways to spend one's time. All of these things save energy, but for many who enjoy them that fact is only a fortunate side-effect.


Humans evolved within a natural system that was in balance with what they could do with their muscles alone. As humans have learned to use more and more different types of energy, whether that comes from stored carbon in the form of fossil fuels or renewable sources such as sunlight, that has tilted the balance of natural functions more and more in their direction, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists' report, "The Hidden Cost of Fossil Fuels." In order to maintain the natural balance, humans need to remain aware of their own place in nature's processes and make some effort to take only what makes sense and to return only what it healthy.

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