Efficiency and conservation

What are efficiency and conservation?

Efficiency is doing the same thing while using less resources to do it:
- use less electricity but cook the same thing,
- use less water but don't take shorter showers, ...

Conservation can mean the same thing but it also sometimes means doing less as well:
- cook less,
- take shorter showers.

Usually you can be more efficient so that you don't have to do less of what you want to.

Another way of being efficient is to repair. An often quoted order of preference is reduce - reuse - recycle but I'd add repair before recycle. It's amazing what people throw out when all they'd have to do is make a simple repair. To see how easy repairing is, click on this collection of repairs that have been made, some with detailed instructions (NEW! Piano/keyboard key repair).

Efficiency examples

Rain water for flushing toilets - uses no potable water

Rather than use water specially treated for drinking and cooking purposes, the toilets at these public washrooms use rain water for flushing. This saves on the unnecessary treatment as well as the cost of pumping from the water source. These are the public washrooms at the Vincent Massey Park in Ottawa, Canada.

Addtional features at the facility are solar power/photovoltaics for all electrical needs, reduced electrical needs by using sunlight for lighting, zero-water urinals and low-flow toilets.

Heat-retention cooking - uses less cooking fuel: electricity or natural gas or propane or fire wood, ...

Heat-retention cooking allows you to cook the very same things but use the stove less while you do it. I cook long grain brown rice using the stove for only 10 minutes instead of the normal 45 minutes this way!

Low flow shower heads & on/off valve - uses less water and less water-heating fuel: electricity or natural gas or propane, ...

Using a low flow shower head in place of an older shower head allows you save water while having the same enjoyable, cleansing shower. And since it's using less water, that also means less water needs to be heated thereby saving fuel.

Also, by adding a simple to use shower on/off valve for turning the flow of water off when soaping and shampooing you can reduce water usage down to 2 gallons/7.5 litres! See the table of calculations on the page.

How to use a watt meter - learn about your electricity use to see where you can save

Using a watt meter you can find out where you are using electricity and how much you're using. With that knowledge you can make changes to save on usage.

If you have examples of ways you're efficient, along with a photo or two, and they're a good fit for this page then send them to me care of my email address at the bottom of this page and I'll include them here. If you have a lot of details that warrant a page of their own then see my share page.

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