Ways to Reduce Fossil Fuel Use

Nonrenewable fossil fuels account for 85 percent of energy production in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Fossil fuel energy affects the environment and health due to the emissions and impact of mining practices. Reducing fossil fuel usage helps protect the limited supply of fossil fuels while decreasing the pollution produced. Fossil fuel conservation saves you money in many situations.

Fueling a jet. (Image: Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Practice Conservation at Home

Conserving your electrical use at home reduces the amount of fossil fuels used by reducing overall electrical demands. Energy-efficient appliances with the Energy Star label help reduce the electricity you consume. Shutting off lights and electronics when not in use, adjusting your thermostat by a few degrees and keeping your heating and cooling systems maintained also help conserve energy at home. Get the whole family involved in reducing energy usage around the house.

Use Alternate Transportation

Every time you drive your vehicle, you consume fossil fuels. Choosing alternate forms of transportation saves on the fossil fuel used to run your car. Consider taking public transportation if your city offers a bus, train or subway system. Taking public transportation allows you to read or do other tasks while someone else handles the driving. Walking or riding your bike gives you exercise while saving fossil fuel.

Green Your Car

If driving your own vehicle is the only option, make it as energy-efficient as possible. Replacing an older vehicle with a more fuel-efficient car is an investment that saves on fossil fuel usage. For an existing vehicle, proper engine maintenance helps keep it running efficiently, according to FuelEconomy.gov. Proper tire inflation helps your vehicle run smoothly, reducing fuel usage. Your vehicle is also safer to drive and the tires last longer. A final way to green your car is to use the recommended grade of oil.

Use Alternative Energy

Alternative, renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, eliminate the pollution that accompanies fossil fuel energy. Alternative energy also reduces the reliance on limited fossil fuels. Consider installing solar panels in your home to reduce the amount of fossil fuel needed to power your home. The initial installation of the solar collectors requires a big investment, but the collectors are relatively maintenance free and last a long time.

Raise Awareness

Spreading the word about reducing fossil fuels makes others more aware of the need to conserve. Talk to your friends, family and coworkers about the importance of conserving fossil fuels. Encourage your boss to employ green practices at the office to reduce fossil fuel consumption. Forming a community group to raise awareness about energy conservation also helps spread the word.

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