Saving Energy Lowers Our Impact

Saving Energy Lowers Our Impact

Canada’s energy consumption is 3x as high as the world’s average consumption. When it comes to energy, saving it not only helps to conserve our beautiful planet, it also saves you some of your hard-earned money by lowering your utility bill. So, saving energy is a win-win-win situation, unless you work for the energy industry.

Putting it into numbers:

  • The average Canadian household uses 11,135 kWh of electricity per year (Source).
  • In 2021 numbers, this level of energy consumption would result in energy costs between $800 (Québec) and $4,300 (Northwest Territories) depending on which province the household is located in.
  • Energy costs are expected to rise as Canada is introducing various regulations to meet its 2035 energy reduction targets.


The best way to save energy is to simply not use it at all, when possible, and this is a joint effort. Mother Nature is helping, by providing us with natural light to illuminate our living spaces and wind and heat to dry our clothes, for example. To do our part, let’s accept these offers with gratitude and create smart energy saving habits to pull our weight.

Our WasteLess Energy Saving Guide features over 40 pages filled with Energy Saving Tips to help you reduce your own energy consumption, because each individual action, no matter how small, adds up and helps us bring our national average down.

WasteLess Energy Saving Guide

The WasteLess Energy Saving Guide features 40+ pages of Energy Saving Tips to help you reduce your impact. 

$0.00  $15.00

Table of Contents

Why save energy?

Saving energy is not “optional.” If we continue at this rate, we’ll eventually exhaust our “energy sources,” which will force us to reduce our consumption one way or another. So, cutting down on our energy consumption now will benefit our society in two ways: It will help to delay the doomsday outcome and also get us into good habits so a transition into an energy-low world will be easier for all of us to accomplish when that day comes.

And imagine what reducing our energy consumption will do for our beautiful blue planet and the amazing living beings we’re sharing it with:

  • Lower air pollution, which will have a great range of positive side-effects on our health and mental well being, the earth we grow our vegetables with, the water of the rivers, lakes, and oceans that surround us, the well being of all animals, whether they fly through the air or swim the seas, etc.

  • Less toxic waste, as we won’t need to produce so much energy in the first place. Any energy that is generated, even “clean” energy, creates toxic waste either during the production phase, energy generation phase, end-of-life decommissioning phase, or any combination of these. If we reduce our energy consumption, future generations and other living beings we’re sharing this beautiful blue planet with, won’t have to deal with these consequences.

  • Less exploitation of vulnerable nations. To put it in the words of Elon Musk: “We will coup whoever we want! Deal with it.” This statement happened in response to @historyofarmani’s tweet that the US government was organizing a coup against Evo Morales in Bolivia so Tesla could obtain the lithium required to produce electric cars. It perfectly summarizes the sentiment of powerful multinationals that what they call “natural resources” are up for purchase whenever and wherever they wish to acquire them. And if that’s not the case, they’ll just start a coup against those countries’ governments that do not wish to sell those resources, in order to put into place a government that can be bribed. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but countries with low environmental restrictions are always being exploited by powerful corporations for “resource extraction” so we can maintain our wasteful way of life. And whether we like it or not, we are indirectly responsible for this. Throttling our energy consumption therefore also allows exploited nations to catch a break, and put regulations in place that aim at the conservation of our global ecosystems.

  • Less exploitation of “natural resources.” For obvious reasons, we don’t like the term “natural resources,” because a resource is always seen as something that can be mined and used. And we get it: Religion and powerful men have fed us a story that everything on Earth was created for our consumption. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Earth doesn’t revolve around us. We are part of Earth and we are part of our ecosystem. And as such, we underlie the law of nature. In nature, when a species procreates uninhibited and continuously increases its consumption as a result, the entire species will meet its demise sooner rather than later, when all the resources have been exhausted. And this is where we’re headed. Let’s see if our species is indeed more “aware” and “smarter” than other animals, as we always claim and act accordingly.

How to save energy?

While the WasteLess Energy Guide provides over 40 pages of ways to save energy, here are a few tips we’d like to share with you, so that you can get started right away to save energy and reduce your impact:


  1. Air-dry your laundry rather than using your dryer. This will preserve the fibres longer, too, as the heat of your dryer can damage your clothes, reducing your waste imprint as well.

  2. Do fewer loads of laundry and only run full loads. It may be tempting to do laundry just because it’s “laundry day” but please consider that your washing machine will use the same amount of energy no matter how full the load is. As a result, it makes more sense energy-wise to wait until you have sufficient dirty clothes to run a full load. Besides cutting down the number of loads you’ll wash this way, also consider that washing machines are designed to run most efficiently with full loads.

  3. Only wash dirty clothes. Washing clothes is straining on the environment and the clothes themselves. So, only wash them when they indeed require washing, which is usually the case only after a few wears. In the meantime, you can air out your clothes to freshen them up and do spot cleaning for minor stains.


  1. Let your leftovers cool down before placing them in the fridge. Adding hot food to a cold fridge makes the refrigerator work harder to stabilise its internal temperature again.

  2. Cover all food. Open food containers and drinks increases the moisture levels inside the fridge and thus requires the compressor to work extra hard. To avoid creating waste, steer clear of seran wrap and instead use food containers with lids or cover your food with a small upside down plate or bowl.

  3. Let your dishes air dry. This may require that you turn off heated dry or turn on the air dry option, depending on your model. After the rinse cycle is complete, open your dishwasher and let them sit for a few hours.


  1. Unplug any electronic devices until they are being used. This applies to hair dryers and straighteners, electric toothbrushes, razors, and nightlights, for example. Electric devices that aren’t in use can consume up to 10% of electricity when they’re in standby mode or even turned off (Source).

  2. Heat the person, not the room and lower your use of devices that cool down or warm up the entire room. ACs and space heaters are big energy suckers. Just dressing for the weather (e.g. wearing multiple layers in the winter) even when you’re inside, can go a long way.

  3. Unplug devices that aren’t in use, including your chargers. It may surprise you but devices that are on standby or even turned off use a significant amount of energy and this includes smart plugs and smart devices. In fact, up to 40% of the annual energy consumption of electronic devices occurs when they’re turned off (Source). This energy consumption is referred to as a phantom load and you can learn more about them in the WasteLess Energy Guide and even calculate them here. The best way to look for devices that are likely culprits, turn your lights off at night and make a note of what standby lights and displays shine back at you.


  1. Only run the ventilation fan during your shower or bath and up to 15 minutes after. This is sufficient time to clear any condensation. Fans are a big energy sucker, so it’s best to use them sparingly.

  2. Regularly clean your ventilation fan, at least once every 6 months to ensure efficiency. Dusty clogged vents can be an energy drain as they have to work harder to do their job. 

  3. Lower the temperature of your showers slightly or try a cold or lukewarm shower, especially during the hotter months. Plus points for also reducing your shower time.


  1. Use LEDs instead of incandescent light bulbs when it comes time to replace a burnt-out bulb. LEDs usually have a longer life span and are 70-80% more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs (Source).

  2. Whenever possible, take advantage of natural light during daytime hours instead of using artificial lighting. A south-facing window can illuminate 20-100 times its size. (Source)

  3. Hang mirrors strategically to redirect and distribute natural light to brighten up dark hallways and rooms.

  4. Switch off the lights at home or at work when there’s nobody in the room. At work, one big offender is usually the photocopy room.

  5. Use task lighting instead of illuminating the entire room. Table lamps and counter lights help you concentrate light where it is needed, while ceiling lights can waste a lot of energy without added benefits.

Electric Vehicle

  1. Unload your car immediately after doing the groceries or shopping. Any extra weight in your vehicle (whether gas or EV) requires more energy to be moved around, so unloading your car after shopping trips and removing unnecessary junk from the car means that you will save on gas or electricity when driving.

  2. Charge your EV outside of peak hours. During peak hours energy companies are struggling to produce enough energy to meet our demand and sometimes even have to purchase it from other provinces through the grid.

  3. Drive less and plan your driving routes carefully. Keep in mind that each car weighs between 1 ton and 3.5 tons. This is in addition to your weight and the weight of anyone else or anything else that you’re driving around in your car. Moving this weight from one place to another requires a significant amount of energy. So it is essential to plan out your trips carefully to avoid longer-than-necessary and more-frequent-than-necessary driving. If you can take an alternative means, such as a bike or public transport, consider them a better choice than driving a car.

Download our Energy Saving Guide (below), which features over 170 energy saving tips and useful energy specific information.

Enjoy the Benefits and Good Conscience of Wasting Less Energy.

WasteLess Energy Saving Guide

The WasteLess Energy Saving Guide features 40+ pages of Energy Saving Tips to help you reduce your impact. 

$0.00  $15.00

In 2022, Grow a WasteLess Mindset

In 2022, Grow a WasteLess Mindset

In North America, consumption has become a lifestyle and while our society has become accustomed to cheap goods, we sometimes forget that each product we buy has a massive hidden cost that isn’t reflected on its price tag.

When buying a product, we need to take its entire existence into account:

Each product has to be produced from something.

That something could be a metal that needs to be extracted from the earth, a plastic that is produced from crude oil, a tree that had to be killed, or any other material or organism that we deem valuable as a building block.

Let’s clear out one definition real quick: What we often call “natural resources” are materials that were formed over millions of years through various environmental processes or organisms that lived for thousands of years. Whether we like it or not, they already serve a purpose on this planet and while their purpose is often complex and hard to summarize, what is easy to understand is that interference from us on their existence has dire consequences. Cutting down trees, for example, impacts the ecosystem it was part of and clear-cutting an entire forest can lead to soil erosion and thus landslides, to name just one example.

Each product travels the world many times.

A product is not made in one facility in one country and then shipped directly to your doorstep. If we consider each piece a product is made of, we can see how the environmental impact of their production really adds up.

A car, for example, consists of over 1,000 parts, from the metal that shape its form to the screws and glue that holds things together. The more parts you add, the higher the environmental impact. Each single component consists of a “raw material” that has to be extracted from somewhere, then transported to a facility where it is processed in a certain way, another facility where it is dyed in a certain colour, then shipped to another facility where it is integrated in the production of another component, and after many rounds like this, you have the final components that the product is made of. And don’t forget even the materials that the production machinery is made of or oiled with or repaired with. The final components are then usually shipped to a final production facility, where the individual parts are assembled. But that, too, doesn’t happen in front of your door, or even in the country where you reside.

From the production facility that assembles it, the item then continues to travel to various distribution centers around the world, burning fossil fuels for each kilometer it travels, until it reaches the store you buy it from or the online warehouse where it is stored until you click the “buy” icon.

Its final journey also counts.

Whether you buy the item online or in the store, it doesn’t just magically appear in your home. Either you drive it home or a delivery service drives to your place to deliver it. These kilometers count towards its transportation cost also. You own an EV? Good for you, but that doesn’t change the impact as much as you may like. The electricity that charges your EV needs to come from somewhere also. No energy source is without its own environmental impact, not even the “clean” ones, because the solar panels, dams, and wind turbines are made of “stuff” that was derived and transported, in a similar way.

When an item dies, our planet dies a little bit, too.

Whether the item breaks because of planned obsolescence, an accident, or old age, what do you do with an item that no longer works? If the answer is that you upcycle it, then the planet’s death is a little bit delayed, but ultimately every item that is no longer usable has to be disposed of somehow and somewhere. No recycling promise in the world can lift that weight off your conscience. In Canada only 9% of what you “recycle” actually gets a second life. If the item is made of plastic, it gets 2 more lives at most, but a plastic bottle isn’t turned into a plastic bottle, it is turned into something of lesser value. Aluminium can be recycled indefinitely, but that doesn’t mean that this happens. “Recyclable” never means that the item is actually “being recycled.” So, please remember this.

But even in the best-case scenario where the item is being recycled, this requires massive amounts of energy and as we’ve just discussed, energy has a massive environmental impact, no matter how it is being derived.

In the worst case scenario, the item is being burnt or dumped. This impacts ecosystems and wildlife across the world in many forms, because this burning and dumping doesn’t necessarily happen on our soil, which means that this adds another layer of transportation to the equation. Toxic waste is often a by-product of discarding materials, which adds another strain to the environment, sometimes for generations to come.

The Jobs Excuse

Whenever we talk about reducing consumption, it escalates into an argument of “less consumption equals less sales equals less jobs.” So, let’s clear this one up while we’re at it.

If jobs were the ultimate goal of a company (not profits), they wouldn’t outsource the labour to poor countries. And if you the little voice now argues that it gives jobs abroad, you may be heart-broken to hear that the production facilities of our corporations often destroy local economies in those countries entirely. So, jobs aren’t a factor.

What’s more: Our capitalist system was designed to finance unlimited growth through debt. This debt is eating our working class alive as we speak. And it isn’t large corporations that employ the most people in our developed world either. In fact, the small businesses that are being crushed by large corporations are currently employing 70% of the private working force in Canada, so when they fold up, so will our jobs. 

So in summary:

Buy only what you need, shop local, shop small.

The Solution: Join our WasteLess Society

Wasting Less leads to a happier planet, happier planet, and a happier wallet.

Wasting Less Saves Money

Sure, sometimes you really need an item. What we’re referring to when we talk about monetary savings are those wants and conveniences and impulse buys. Those you can usually wean yourself off of and save a lot of money in the long run.

Join Your Local Buy Nothing Group

If you’ve never heard of buy nothing groups, today is your lucky day! Chances are that whatever you need or want may be available from someone who no longer needs or wants theirs. Hence, you may even be able to get the item for free! This solves someone else’s problem and yours at the same time. Magic! 

Think Before You Buy

Before you add an item to your cart at the store, examine it carefully.

  • What is it made with?
  • Where was it produced?
  • How is it packaged?

Before you click that “buy” button online, ask yourself:

  • Do I really need it?
  • What will I do with it?
  • How will it get here?
  • What packaging will come in?
  • What uses do I have for this item AND its packaging?

It’s our mission is to help Canadians
waste less
by learning to truly reduce consumption and breaking free from wasteful habits!

Get Involved

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Phone: +1 (604)-500-8376

WasteLess Society
c/o Connie Reichelsdorfer
PO Box 55028
Southgate Mall PO
Nanaimo, BC V9R 6L0

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