Take Climate Action: Use Energy Efficiently | South Carolina Aquarium

Take Climate Action: Use Energy Efficiently

Jul 08

Take Climate Action: Use Energy Efficiently

Brrrrring! You awaken to the familiar buzz of your alarm. You open your eyes and turn on the light, unplugging your phone as you step out of bed and into your daily routine. In a span of a few minutes, you relied on various forms of energy to jump start your day.

Energy usage has become a necessity in our daily lives. Here at the Aquarium, it’s a critical component to our life support systems, enabling us to care for the more than 5,000 animals who call the Aquarium home. In an age where digital connectivity is required for many of our careers, it might seem impossible to make an impact in reducing energy consumption. However, with innovative solutions rising to the forefront and alternative energy sources becoming available, the possibilities to reduce energy consumption are at our fingertips.

A common octopus at the Aquarium.

Powering Up
The largest contributor to climate change is greenhouse gas emissions, like carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. These gases blanket the world, subsequently raising the earth’s temperature. To generate electricity and heat, we burn fossil fuels, such as oil, coal and gas. As these fuels burn, they release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, exacerbating the emissions issue and thus, the planet’s rising temperature. In fact, three quarters of anthropogenic (made by humans) gas emissions come from energy production.

Aside from the environmental and economic impacts, relying on fossil fuels to power up isn’t a long-term solution. Fossil fuels are a nonrenewable resource, so at some point, the demand will outweigh the supply. When that occurs, what’s our plan?

Working With Nature
For years, climate-conscious folks have been working toward solutions to harness energy from naturally replenishing or everlasting resources, like the sun, wind and water. This type of energy is known as renewable energy, and it can take on many forms and functions.

Take the sun, for example. Sure, it signals the start of a new day, offers us warmth and imbues us with optimistic energy —  but its ability to create energy has been gaining huge momentum in recent years! Installing solar panels to capture sunlight’s radiation to convert to energy is an increasingly common practice for commercial and residential usage.

Solar panels on a building.

Reduce Your Energy Use
So, what are some rapid-fire ways to reduce energy consumption during your day-to-day?

  • Take shorter showers to reduce demand on your hot water heater
  • Flip the light switch when you leave a room
  • Power down computers at the end of the work day
  • Switch out your lightbulbs for LEDs
  • Adjust your thermostat overnight and when you’re out of the house

To facilitate long-term solutions around energy savings, utilize the South Carolina Energy Saver Tool to see what opportunities are available to you for your home or business.

Published July 8, 2022

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