Making A Positive Impact: The Connection Between Energy Saving Habits And Environmental Justice

Energy conservation and environmental justice go hand in hand. The way we generate, use and dispose of energy directly impacts the environment and the communities that live near energy generating sites. Being mindful of our energy consumption is an avenue to make a positive impact on the environment, and contribute to the fight for environmental justice.

What is Environmental Justice?

Environmental justice is the fair treatment and equal protection of all people regardless of race, ethnicity, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. The movement for environmental justice arose in response to the unequal environmental risks and harms borne by marginalized communities. These communities often experience greater environmental degradation and related health problems than their wealthier counterparts.

The Relationship Between Energy Use and Environmental Justice

Producers of energy from natural resources such as coal and oil disproportionately impact poor communities and communities of color. These communities often face serious health and environmental issues such as toxic pollution, water contamination, and exposure to carcinogens. When we use energy inefficiently, we contribute to the demand for more energy, causing more harm to vulnerable communities.

Benefits of Energy Conservation

Energy conservation involves minimizing energy usage by making simple lifestyle adjustments such as weatherizing our homes, using energy-efficient appliances and lighting, and adopting good energy practices at home, work, or school. Conservation can lead to significant improvements in air and water quality, decrease greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the extraction and burning of non-renewable resources. Energy conservation can significantly enhance the quality of life of people directly affected by environmental degradation.

Conserving Energy and Reducing Environmental Harm

Conserving energy can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce our dependence on non-renewable power sources, eventually reducing the harmful impacts on communities residing near energy generation sites. Here are some tips to conserve energy:

  1. Turn off the lights when not in use: Leaving lights on when not needed contributes to excess energy usage, and can increase greenhouse gases emission.
  2. Unplug appliances when not in use: Most appliances consume energy even when turned off, therefore unplugging appliances not in use can help to save on energy.
  3. Use energy-efficient light bulbs: LED light bulbs are a cheaper and more efficient replacement for incandescent bulbs, which consume more energy.
  4. Turn off electronics when not in use: Similar to appliances, electronic devices also consume power, even when turned off. Turning off electronics not in use can help reduce energy usage.
  5. Install a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat can help to regulate the temperature in your home, thereby minimizing energy usage.
  6. Invest in energy-efficient appliances: Such appliances typically have a higher price tag than regular ones, but their energy savings can offset their high cost in the long term.


In conclusion, making a positive impact on the environment is possible through energy conservation. Implementing environmentally friendly habits can reduce energy usage and the related harmful environmental impacts on vulnerable communities. Everyone has the power and potential to create a better future for all by adopting energy-efficient habits and supporting environmental justice causes.

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