EcoWaste Coalition Pushes Pre-Earth Day “Kuryentipid” Tips in the Face of Power Shortage

As leaders of the public and private sectors scuttle for solutions to prevent the power shortage in Mindanao from worsening, environmentalists have come up with practical steps that will moderate consumer demand for electricity.

The EcoWaste Coalition, a waste and pollution watchdog, has prepared 22 “hot” electricity conservation tips or “kuryentipid” tips to guide the public on how to bring down the usage and wastage of electricity, a basic consumer need.

Making the most of the natural air and light available, using a ceiling fan instead of an air-conditioner, unplugging lights, appliances and gadgets when not in use and organizing chores for more energy efficiency like washing with a full load are among these “hot” tips.

“By saving electricity at home and workplace, we not only cut back our monthly bills but also rein in greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels, which contributes to environmental and climate pollution,” said Roy Alvarez, President, EcoWaste Coalition.

“Aside from conserving electricity, we urge the public to voice their preference and support for safe, socially acceptable, non-nuclear and renewable energy investments and projects to address our country’s growing power needs,” he added.

A far-reaching shift from fossil-fuels such as coal, oil and gas to non-toxic renewable energy sources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides and others could provide sustainable solutions to the nation’s perpetual problems with rising energy demands and costs, the EcoWaste Coalition said.

Practicing what it preaches, the group has boosted energy saving moves within its office in Quezon City ahead of the Earth Day on April 22.

Beginning April 16, staff will consciously let the daylight flow into the office and refrain from switching on the lights and air-conditioners to the extent that is possible.

Office glass windows will be kept clean and open, unnecessary clutter removed and indoor plants installed to improve air circulation and keep the temperature pleasant and bearable.

Meals and snacks served for official meetings will be “meatless” as meat requires more “burning” by the body and hence produces higher body heat. Fresh local fruits and vegetables will be offered instead.

Toward reduced electricity consumption, pollution and expenditures, the EcoWaste Coalition invites consumers to consider the following “kuryentipid” tips:

1. Open the curtains, drapes and windows, as well as remove clutter, to allow natural air and light in.

2. Install skylights wherever possible to maximize the daylight.

3. Switch off lights, radio and television sets and other energy-consuming devices when not in use.

4. Wipe lamps and fixtures clean to improve illumination as dust decreases brightness and energy efficiency as well.

5. Reduce the strength of lights to only what is needed. Use lights that are low in wattage for places where bright lights are not required.

6. Make sure that outdoor lights are switched off during the day.

7. Turn off appliances and gadgets at the power socket when not in use since these still consume electricity even on standby mode.

8. Use a fan to keep cool instead of an air-conditioner. Ceiling fans, in particular, can make you feel few degrees cooler while consuming less electricity.

9. Use an air-conditioner sparingly, set the temperature at about 25 degrees Celsius, keep the filter clean and ensure the unit is serviced regularly for more efficient cooling.

10. Organize household chores like cleaning, cooking, ironing and washing more efficiently and try to do these with lesser frequency.

11. Put leftover food on top of newly-cooked rice to warm it instead of using the stove, toaster or microwave.

12. Set fridge temperature at 5°C, organize items to allow airflow and do not overload. Cover liquids and foods to control moisture that makes the fridge work harder. Also, leave enough room around it to allow the heat to escape from the condensing coil and compressor.

13. Refrain from keeping the refrigerator door open longer than necessary, check the gaskets and make sure the door shuts tightly to avoid cooling loss. Defrost regularly.

14. Allow hot foods to cool first before putting them into the refrigerator.

15. Thaw frozen foods before you cook them to lessen energy use. Defrost them inside the refrigerator as this helps in cooling the fridge.

16. Keep your washing machine loads at maximum; wash manually if possible. Save laundry wash water for cleaning and other purposes.

17. Use just the right amount of detergent to avoid extra rinsing.

18. Hang clothes to dry instead of using the electric dryer.

19. Choose not to iron clothes whenever possible. If needed, do ironing in big batches. Start with clothes that need lower temperatures, avoid heating and re-heating the iron and use the residual heat for delicate items.

20. Use the kulambo (mosquito net) instead of electric mosquito repellants. Keep your surroundings clean and dry to prevent mosquitoes and other pests like roaches and rodents from breeding.

21. Save water by turning off the faucet when you brush your teeth or wash your face and do take shorter showers as these also save electricity used for pumping the water.

22. Plant vegetables and fruit trees to shade your house from the sun and water them after sundown. Get some indoor plants to make the house cooler.