So, you want to reduce your energy use? Good for you! Sustainability is something we’re all about. It’s kind to the planet, and it will save you money – everyone’s a winner. But what happens when you’ve exhausted all the low hanging fruit in your quest? You’ve made sure your light bulbs are energy efficient, and appliances are turned off when not in use – now what!? This article is here to help. Let’s take a look at how you can seriously up your game in terms of energy efficiency:
Put Some Elbow Grease Into Your Smoothie
Blenders are great at allowing us to wolf down a day’s worth of veggies in one go. Unfortunately, for the brief time they run they tend to be hungry for power. But there is another way! By buying a hand crank blender, such as the GSI Vortex, you can save energy, money, and get some exercise alongside your daily dose of vitamins. Well, what are you waiting for? That’s a quadruple win, people! Alternatively, if you’re feeling industrious and have the space, you could build your own smoothie bike. There’s lots of tutorials out there showing how to do this, such as this one from Food Share.
Have A *Real* Cookout In The Sun
No, we don’t mean a charcoal-guzzling barbeque! As fun as those are, we’re talking about cooking food using the power of the sun. Solar cooking is an old idea, but one that’s gained new relevance in recent years. GoSun currently lead the way in this field, and their innovative line of products covers everything from small portable off-grid solar ovens to huge, family cookout machines. Whichever one you choose, you’re sure to use less energy than with a conventional oven! Their website even includes a tonne of recipes for anyone new to solar cooking. Feeling hungry yet?
Solar panels have come a *long* way in recent years. The price of the technology has continued to drop like a stone, while efficiency has gotten better and better. And best of all, you no longer even have to make changes to your house to get in on the act! Thanks to miniaturisation, it’s now possible to get solar panels that can power your phone and tablet, yet can slip inside a backpack! We personally rate this Big Blue Panel from Amazon. Be sure to pair it with an external battery pack such as this Anker if you want power on demand. If you’re feeling even more ambitious, you could go for a bigger, freestanding panel and hook it up to a more traditional 12v battery system.
Heat From Old Soda Cans
Okay, fair warning – this one’s really for the hardcore energy savers amongst you! Not only does it involve some moderate DIY, but it’s also only an option for smaller, easier to heat spaces. Nevertheless, if you’re game, then welcome to the world of solar can heaters. There’s an entire community of YouTubers out there offering advice on tutorials on how to build these innovative space heaters. For a good primer on the subject, we recommend this video from Fair Companies.
Get Yourself A Wonderbag
It’s crazy to think how inefficient cooking can be sometimes – lots of the energy coming out of your stove is simply wasted. The Wonderbag changes all that, however. It’s another old concept – a pot cosy – that’s been given new life by the latest materials and ingenuity. Simply bring your cooking pot to a simmer on the stove, then place it inside the super-insulated Wonderbag. Once it’s in there, it will keep cooking – fuel free – for up to 12 hours! What’s more, for every Wonderbag you buy, another gets donated to a family in need in Africa. Win-win.
Another neat offering from the GoSun team is their brand new ‘Chill’ design. Instead of using ice to keep your drinks cool, why not use the power of the Sun!? The Chill has a solar panel built into the lid and features temperature control and a detachable battery that you can use to charge your devices. So, does this mean that the sunnier and warmer the day is, the longer you can keep your snacks cool? Seems like a no-brainer to me! At the time of writing the GoSun Chill was still crowdfunding on IndieGogo, but had already smashed it’s target funding goal. Definitely one to watch.
Time to get energy savin’
Well folks, that’s a wrap. We hope you found some useful ideas here on how to reduce your energy usage. Got a top tip for using less energy, at home or elsewhere? We’d love to hear from you in the comments! And don’t forget to check out the rest of our blog to see what else we’ve been up to. Until next time folks.