Save costs through responsible energy consumption

The demands of our fast-paced modern world have led to the philosophy of slow living. It’s a lifestyle that encourages us to pause instead of hustle and to be more conscious and intentional with our actions.

As we celebrate today’s International Clean Energy Day, let’s explore how we can take on this concept of being more intentional while saving money on our daily electrical consumption. Less energy consumption means less dependence on the current fossil fuel-based energy generation resources. Both energy efficiency and energy conservation approaches reflect the principles of slow living, emphasising conscious choices to reduce energy consumption.

Common energy efficiency and energy conservation practices include utilising LED lighting systems, using a timer for air-conditioning, and opting for 3 to 5 star-rated electrical equipment, especially for high-consumption appliances such as air-conditioning, refrigerators, and water heaters.

Here are five ways you could adopt both of these approaches in your daily life. These could even become an enjoyable creative project to stimulates your mind while promoting sustainability and contributing positively to the environment.

1. Disconnect, Embrace Nature

Limiting the time you spend on your devices, including a laptop, phone, and television, and choosing a hobby that allows you to be in nature or engages you in a creative activity- such as solving puzzles, painting, or playing chess- isn’t only reduces your electrical consumption; it’s also a good practice for your mental health.

2. Practice Conscious Consumption

When you’re not using your charger or electronic appliances – unplug it! Simply turning it off keeps it in standby mode, resulting in continued electricity consumption at a small percentage, eventually increasing overall electrical consumption. Take advantage of natural sunlight when available. In the same way, be mindful of your water consumption, as water heaters can contribute to high electricity usage. By doing so, it could make a significant difference in our overall energy consumption. Additionally, opt for natural sunlight whenever available.

3. Increase Community Engagement

Slow living involves cultivating stronger community connections. Consider this as your sign to adopt a new hobby and involve yourself such as community gardening or farming. It could expand into other community projects like building a walkable community that encourages the adoption of green transportation, such as walking or bicycling, for short-distance journeys.

4. Cook and Bake Mindfully 

Cooking and baking are other creative activities that can be easily adopted. Meal prepping allows for better time management throughout the week while ensuring you can maintain a healthy diet. Batch cooking, where similar meals are prepared, helps reduce energy consumption. Apart from that, opt for defrosting food naturally without the need of a microwave, while using appliances such as slow cookers and air fryers can help lower electrical consumption.

Reduce the energy consumption of your fridge by making sure not to overfill or put hot food in it right away as it will end up disrupting internal temperatures and increase the energy generated to cool down the space.

5. Promote Renewable Energy

Abundant renewable energy sources, such as solar energy, are readily available in our part of the world, so you could also consider installing solar panels in your homes. They might be pricey upfront but can pay off as an investment in the long run. We should always champion solutions and promote renewable energy- like the solar energy- to make it more available, feasible, and affordable. Why? At the end of the day, we want to ensure the entire energy supply chain is renewable, sustainable, and green.

Slow-living serves as the perfect antidote to our frenetic world. Perhaps you’ve already jumped into it head first, but we hope this serves as a reminder for you to take care of your mental health – while taking care of the environment at the same time.

Got any personal energy-saving tips to share? Let us know how you practice the art of slow living!

Hamizah Shamsudeen is a Climate and Energy Campaigner at Greenpeace Malaysia, based in Kuala Lumpur.