Use Natural Light to Save Electricity

While watching the HBO mini-series on John Adams series, one scene struck my curiosity.

President Adam’s family had just moved into the unfinished White House and here was the president sitting in a window seat one afternoon reading his daily correspondences by natural daylight.

This made perfect sense, but how often do we practice this daily energy conservation these days?   We needlessly inflate our individual carbon footprints out of sheer mindlessness.

Because energy is so cheap and accessible, consumers have gotten into the habit of immediately turning on all available lights as soon as they walk into a room – no matter for what purpose or for how long.  I watch my college age kids do it whenever they’re home.

Do you really need to consume all that energy and generate the need to burn fossil fuel just to open the refrigerator; or to rinse a few dirty dishes; or to get dressed in the morning?

Lighting is tied for second (with hot water) at 11% of average household energy usage.  It’s a big source of energy consumption for most households.  By gradually changing a few daily habits, you can shave 10-15% off your monthly electric bills and this savings will quickly add up over the year putting more green in your wallet and less CO2 in the atmosphere.

Once Green Blizzard started thinking about it, we were surprised at how often we caught ourselves reaching for the light switch, even when there was already plenty of light to accomplish our mission.

To start reducing your carbon footprint and ween yourself off of fossil fuel consumption, for one week, try to use more natural light and keep those unnecessary bulbs off during the daytime. You’ll reduce your carbon footprint in easy fashion.  During the daylight savings, there’s usually plenty of light available to do many non-light intensive tasks and activities. After you’re first week, it will become habit not to automatically turn on the light switch.

In the mornings during the late spring, summer, and early fall, with light streaming in from the bathroom and bedroom windows, you can probably safely accomplish everything you need to do without artificial light.

Try rinsing your dishes and making your morning coffee in a naturally lighted kitchen without a single bulb burning.   Leave the switch off instead of mindlessly flicking it on and driving the need for some huge coal gobbling furnace to produce heat to drive an electric generator sitting a hundred of miles away, and then transmitting the power over the power lines (a significant portion is lost along the way), just to deliver it to that unnecessary light source.

Give it a try and you’ll soon get out of the habit of mindlessly flicking on the light, all hours of the day.

Check out the Green Blizzard recommended green reading books at the GreenBlizzard Store and these articles may be of interest to you:


About the author

Keith Blizzard

A life-long environmentalist, Keith set out on the never ending journey of adjusting his lifestyle to a more sustainable one, with a goal of annually shrinking his carbon footprint. When he looked around for a dependable source of meaningful carbon footprint reduction ideas, it was pretty lame - so he launched Green Blizzard loaded with eco-friendly lifestyle tweaks. When he's not managing Green Blizzard, you'll find him on the trails around Mid Coast Maine with his trusty trail companion mutt, Moose.