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Toby Howell AIEMA BA PGDip

The Time is Now: The Ultimate 2022 Astutis Guide on How to Become Energy Efficient Today!

June 2022

The environment and the way we inhabit it are among the most fiercely discussed topics in public discourse today. Are we doing enough to protect its health? How should we adapt our behaviour to combat climate change? The questions can go on and on. The answers can vary depending on ideology. However, the one thing humanity continues to be unified in is appreciating the planet we call home. 

On days such as World Environment Day, we must appreciate the incredible ecosystem that humanity depends upon. The purpose of this piece is for you to have one private moment to yourself. To step back and become overwhelmed by the audacity of Planet Earth. Whether it be the complexity of our planet's marvellous ecosystems, Earth's 1,000 MPH spin rate or the 18,000 news species of animals we discover each year - we have plenty of reasons to gasp in awe. 

World Environment Day celebrates the weird and wonderful planet we call home, Earth. The mantra for this year is #OnlyOneEarth, emphasising Earth as the one habitable planet for humanity (that we know of) in the universe. The impetus here is to raise awareness and accountability for treating the Earth and reducing the harmful impact we put upon it. 

This piece will investigate how we can all pay homage to Planet Earth. We will analyse proven ways to promote its health and our lives all at the same time. 

What Can We Do?

Having a practical understanding of how to combat climate change is pivotal to planning one's contribution to the fight against climate change.

Here is what we know. According to United Nations Environment Programme, humanity is currently using the equivalent of 1.6 Earths to maintain our way of life. Developments in how corporate businesses can influence the impact are ever-growing and are widely becoming considered to be normalising the Net-Zero strategy (more on that shortly). What is often overlooked is the role of individuals in combatting climate change. Individuals must play a considerable role in urging action that eventually leads to large-scale action.

In recent years, environmentalists have formulated a blueprint for achieving Net-Zero, a process of producing zero net carbon emissions. These plans are often structured to radicalise the functions of businesses worldwide. However, decarbonisation and Net-Zero plans are heavily oriented to revolutionise the corporate industry; environmentally-aware individuals may feel alienated about how they can contribute.

Lifestyle choices can't come more apparent than your occupation. In the fight against climate change, millions of individuals worldwide have analysed their aspirations and have discovered a calling in the environmental industry. Whatever your background, there is always room for anyone looking to land a prosperous job in the environmental sector.

Before enlisting as an environmental ambassador, working in the ecological industry, it would be beneficial to research potential training options. IEMA offers various environmental management courses engineered to prepare learners for a successful career.

Courses such as the IEMA Foundation Certificate in Environmental Management and its more complex alternative, the IEMA Certificate in Environmental Management, offer learners a fast-tracked pathway to IEMA membership status. If learners pass the IEMA Foundation Certificate in Environmental Management, they will be eligible to become an Associate Member of IEMA (AIEMA)

Obtaining an IEMA membership can be incredibly beneficial for anyone working or simply interested in the environmental industry. Members will, from the get-go, see their communications and networks expand, gifting potentially career-defining opportunities to establish connections with future employers or like-minded individuals. Putting it simply, IEMA provides industry-leading scripture on how the ideologies and practices define environmental responsibility.

If you are set in your career, there are a myriad of small things you could be doing to positively contribute to the environment, such as:

Unplug devices and appliances 

We hear and read about this, but you might be shocked to find out how often it's overlooked. The little and simple act of unplugging unused utilities can save hundreds per month on your energy and electricity bills. Simply putting things on Standby mode can reduce emissions and help save money on energy.

Become more energy efficient

When we talk about energy efficiency, we discuss the possibility of using less energy for something. Reducing energy minimises greenhouse gas emissions and, therefore, the demand for energy imports. For households worldwide, reducing energy can dramatically lower (the already skyrocketed) energy bills, helping families save and prosper. Energy-efficient items are widely accessible and they can include the following:

  • Energy-efficient lighting: Energy labels for light sources in the European Union must clearly outline a scale for energy efficiency, from A++ (best efficiency level) to G (worst level). The EU claims that if Europe incorporated energy-efficient bulbs into more homes and businesses, Europe could prevent around seven million tonnes of CO2 emissions each year. 
  • Energy-efficient fridges/freezers: You could save hundreds of pounds every month on your bills by switching to more energy-efficient appliances. The transition would also help Europe save up to 9.6 TWh of electricity per year by 2030. This equals around 3.1 million tonnes of CO2 every year.

Then some items can help reduce output in the home:

  • Water-saving showerheads: showerheads that have control over water flow whilst also proactively limiting the volume of water. They are widely accessible but are not permitted for electric showers, which are generally already energy efficient.
  • Smart heating controls: Smart heating controls are widely considered one of the best ways to save energy without restricting your comfort. Various controls allow users to set their heating using their smartphone, meaning timers and usage calculators are available at your fingertips.
  • Boiler jackets: Believe it or not, adding a simple insulation cover to your boiler could save you a fair amount on your annual water and energy bill, and it helps keep your water hotter for longer! 
  • Radiator Reflectors: By adding a reflector to the back of your radiators you can obtain the maximum yield of their heat. In other simpler words, you can reflect up to 96% of radiator heat back into a room. You would essentially be recycling your heat!
  • Secondary Glazing: Ensuring your window glazing is double could save over 20% on your energy bill. 
  • Smart Plugs: Smart Plugs are great for monitoring and keeping on track of energy usage. You can control the plug remotely via your smartphone, but you can set timers, ensuring you never accidentally leave a plug on for longer than you need to!
  • Eco kettle: The Eco Kettle allows you to use the exact amount of water required for your cup of tea or coffee, ensuring you don't overuse water. The product has been specifically designed to help improve our energy efficiency; never overfill your kettle again!

The critical thing to remember is society is still identifying new, innovative ways to help minimise our carbon footprint. However you live your life, there will be a way to help minimise your impact on the environment. Showcasing how you contribute is vital to help spread awareness to others, giving them the inspiration to do their bit. No contribution is too small, and we must normalise this kind of pro-environment behaviour for real change to occur.

Final Takeaways:

  1. Normalising proactive, environmentally friendly behaviour is pivotal to ensuring effective action is taken in the fight against climate change. 
  2. IEMA offers a diverse range of Environment-oriented courses designed to inform and improve businesses and individuals worldwide in the understanding of environmental management. IEMA courses also offer incredibly rewarding pathways into the environmental sector.
  3. Clear examples of how individuals can radically reduce their carbon emissions are becoming more and more mainstream. Don't forget to ask your energy provider about their energy-efficient offerings to see how you can make a big difference today!
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