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Saving Energy

When people talk about using less energy, the terms energy conservation and energy efficiency are probably mentioned. While these words are closely related, their meanings differ.


Energy Conservation refers to any behavior that results in not using energy at all, or cutting back on your usage. You probably practice different forms of energy conservation every day! Turning off the lights when leaving a room, driving your car fewer miles every week, unplugging household appliances when they are not in use, and turning down the thermostat a degree or two are all forms of energy conservation.


Energy efficiency is defined as saving energy, but keeping the same level of service. For example, adding insulation to the walls of your house enables you to reduce heating and cooling energy while still keeping a comfortable internal temperature in your home.


So, how do these terms relate to the 3 R’s (reduce, reuse, and recycle)?


While reducing is related to energy conservation, recycling is one of the best examples of energy efficiency.




When items are recycled, and they are used to make new products, they don’t require as much energy for processing and preparation as raw materials. For example, when making new aluminum cans, manufacturers simply melt down crushed aluminum stock, and add it to freshly extracted aluminum without losing any overall quality in the finished product. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, recycling an aluminum can requires less than 5 percent of the energy that would be expended in creating a similar can out of fresh bauxite ore.


Similarly, every recycled commodity, whether paper, plastic, or metal, requires less energy to make into new products than virgin materials.


Since energy conservation and energy efficiency both ultimately save energy, imagine the impact they have when they’re used together…it’s the best of both worlds!



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Thursday, 13 August 2020

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Two years after calling recycling a $40 million drain on the city, New York City leaders realized that a redesigned, efficient recycling system could actually save the city $20 million and they have now signed a 20-year recycling contract.