In 1991, President George Bush designated October as Energy Awareness Month “..to promote public awareness of our nation’s energy needs and the energy options available to us.” The full text can be found at UCSB’s The American Presidency Project website. Today, the need for saving energy and diversifying energy resources is just as strong as it was in 1991, if not stronger.
Most of the reasons for saving energy are common sense, with the biggest reason being that energy costs us money and the less we use, the more money we will have for other things. At the micro-level, it means buying food or investing for retirement. At the macro-, or societal level, it means things like curing diseases and investment in new technologies. That said, we can significantly improve our way of life simply by saving energy on both the micro-and macro-level.
Another issue that has become quite relevant in the past several decades is the threat that foreign oil poses to every nation’s security and prosperity. As nations grow and become dependent on energy, usually in the form of oil, they place themselves in danger of having their markets manipulated by oil-producing countries and companies. This is why alternative energy has seen a huge push lately; diversification of energy supply reduces the threat of any one energy supplier manipulating the markets to their benefit and at the cost to societal progress.
Energy conservation and energy saving is everyone’s responsibility. Please take some time this month to analyze your own energy usage or to attend local Energy Awareness Month educational activities. Think about whether or not there are any ways you can save energy around your house. Take a walk around your home with ‘energy eyes’, meaning you are looking specifically for energy savings. You might be surprised by the great savings you can find with just one walk around the house.
For additional information on how to save energy, read the article “18 Water Conservation and Energy Saving Tips for Your Home.” Renters may also be interested in the article “10 Energy Saving Tips for Renters.” Homeowners looking to improve their home’s energy efficiency and take advantage of federal tax credits should read the article “Energy Tax Credits.”
While energy conservation is important year-round, October’s Energy Awareness Month is a good time for consumers and homeowners to educate themselves on the importance of energy conservation and the different ways they can save energy. Together, we can all make a significant impact on our global energy consumption.