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What about the energy YOU use?

When you run the hot water tap, turn on your central heating, or travel somewhere in a car, train, bus or aeroplane you are using fossil fuels. The energy we use comes from somewhere. Even the electricity that you are using to run your computer!

Did you know ... ?
Did You Know?

Power is measured in watts, or kilowatts (which is a 1,000 watts).
1 kilowatt-hour (kWh) is the energy of 1,000 watts working for an hour. So, if you used a 40 watt bulb for 5 hours, you would have used 200 watts of power (or .2 kWh of energy).

Virtually every household appliance requires energy in some form. Watching the TV, using a hairdryer, microwaving a meal – these all need electricity to work, and electricity comes from power plants that mostly use coal and gas. When the fossils are burnt they produce greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.


How can you save energy in your day-to-day life?

It’s clear that we cannot avoid using electricity altogether, but we can reduce the amount we use easily if we are careful. Can you think of any ways you can reduce the amount of energy you use? Have a look at some suggestions:

A Bath  

You can save electricity whenever possible. We can all make sure we don’t waste energy by making sure we don’t leave hot taps running, not having the heating turned up too high and generally by not using more energy than we need to in the home.
  • You can decrease the amount of petrol we use by using public transport instead of going by car: or better still, travel on foot or by bicycle if possible; this uses no fossil fuels at all!

You could help by planting a tree! Trees help to reduce the greenhouse gases by absorbing carbon dioxide. And they make the world look a better place too!

Recycle Bins  

You can recycle things that are from a non-renewable source; that means things like tin cans, bottles, and paper. When you recycle you are helping to save fossil fuels, trees, and basic elements like aluminium. You are also reducing the production of such items, and thereby reducing the amount of fuel used to produce them. You can also buy recycled products. Look for a symbol with three arrows in a circle: this means the item is recycled. Recycled items require less energy to produce, so are better for the environment.

Solar Panels  

We can actually use solar or wind power to produce our energy: many power stations are giving people the option of using this as an alternative to the energy from fossil fuels. Why not try to find out, or ask your parents if your electricity can be from a more environmentally friendly source?
  • You can also help if you spread the word: talking to your friends and family will make other people aware of the issues and the more people who know about it, the more effect we can have on reducing the effects of global warming!
Discuss it ...
What could your home, school or college do to use less energy?

Wind Generators   Can you think of any other ways of producing energy without using fossil fuels? How about wind and solar power? There are even ways of building houses that don’t need central heating, which can save a huge amount of energy.

Teachers' Notes ...
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Teachers' Notes
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