Welcome the New Year with Sustainable Resolutions That Matter

It’s the New Year which means the roads are clear of cars but packed with ‘runners’ while the gyms are sardine cans and the smoking areas empty. Every year we all make resolutions and it’s a noble pursuit to want to better your life but perhaps this time is also better suited to changing the world around us as well; thinking specifically about your energy usage. With the recent unfortunate news that Eskom plans to hike tariffs moving forward for the next few years, 2013 might be the perfect opportunity to finally get round to reshuffling the infrastructure of your home and its energy usage; convert to solar power, change to energy-saver light bulbs – the ways are innumerable.

The Phantom Loads

You may have heard of the concept before but phantom loads are among the highest energy wasting causes; in some countries it’s cited as being responsible for up to 75% of a household’s total usage. Phantom loads are often found when mobile phone and laptop chargers are left plugged but it doesn’t stop there; there are a dozens of appliances in every home that eat current even when the device is turned off. Resolve this year to come up with a solution to deal with this waste of energy.

Solar Water Heating

Perhaps this is the year you finally convert the infrastructure of your entire home to something more sustainable in the long run. Considering your water heating systems no doubt contribute heavily to high energy rates in your home, perhaps it’s high time to get ahead of the curb and install a solar power system that would alleviate a lot of the stress higher rates are going to cause in the next few years. The best thing about this resolution is unlike hitting the gym or quitting smoking, this is not only a quick commitment but it can actually affect more than an individual.

Sustainable Lighting

Finally this is something that most people would have already accomplished for their 2010 New Year’s resolutions but perhaps it’s time to switch out those old inefficient light bulbs and trade them in for CFLs or LEDs; if you haven’t already. The perks and benefits of more energy-efficient light bulbs are well documented and falling behind on this is only going to eat chunks out of your bank account. So perhaps your New Year’s resolution for 2013 should be to make a resolution that focuses on the health of the earth; you can, of course keep up with the gym while you save the earth in your own way.