One of the most glaring inefficiencies in the campaign against global poverty is a lack of fiscal intentionality among citizens of developed nations.
Even amidst economic recession, there is a tendency among citizens of the world’s most privileged nations to spend large amounts of money on nonessentials and engage in irresponsible consumption of resources such as clean water and energy. These practices deplete funds that could otherwise be channeled into a more effective fight against global poverty.
Unnecessary energy consumption is one of the biggest money drains in America. Business Insider estimates Americans waste $146 billion in energy annually. If consumers take some simple and practical steps in energy conservation, the amount of money spent on energy could easily be cut by 33 percent. Here are some easy ways to cut back on energy consumption and save money:
(1) Regularly replace your air filter. A dirty air filter makes air conditioning and heating units far less efficiently. It requires the units to work harder. The units require more energy to run properly, thereby driving up utility costs.
(2) Schedule regular tune-ups for HVAC equipment. This ensures the equipment is operating properly and efficiently. It prevents unnecessary energy consumption and saves money.
(3) Install a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats adjust heating and cooling based on predetermined settings that minimize energy consumption. Energy Star estimates that this can save $180 per year in energy costs.
(4) Make sure that heating and cooling ducts are airtight. If air is leaking through the ducts, equipment will not be efficient and will work harder. This drives up energy costs.
(5) Reduce the temperature on your water heater thermostat. According to Business Insider, decreasing the preset temperature by just 20 degrees can save in excess of $400 annually.
(6) Use more efficient light bulbs. Energy Star estimates that inefficient lighting accounts for $9 billion of the $146 billion that Americans waste on energy.
Abolishing poverty can often seem like a daunting task – and rightly so. There is still much work to be done. However, by being more selective with discretionary income, it is possible to save billions of dollars that could be contributed to the cause. Conserving energy is easy if these practical suggestions are followed. It requires little effort and can have immeasurable global impact.
– Matt Berg