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What is energy?
Energy is any source of power that can be used. We use energy to do things like:
Heating water, so that we can have hot showers and hot water for cooking.
Creating electricity, so that we can watch television, use computers, etc.
Drive cars, buses and trains.
What is the main source of energy we use?
Fossil fuels, which are used mainly for electricity and transport.
Do we have any other sources of energy?
Solar power, which is energy that comes from the heat of the sun.
Hydroelectric power, which is energy that comes from moving water.
Wind power, which is energy that comes from the wind.
Are all of these sources of energy good for the environment?
Solar power, hydroelectric power and wind power are all forms of renewable energy, which means they do not hurt the environment. Fossil fuels, however, are a form of non-renewable energy, so they harm the environment.
Are humans using energy wisely?
No, we are not.
We use fossil fuels much more than renewable energy sources, even though we are running out of fossil fuels and they are damaging the environment.
We waste electricity and water in our homes.
Millions of people in poor countries around the world do not have any energy to use, because people in richer countries are using too much.
What can you do to help?
Switch off lights when you leave a room in your house and donít need them anymore.
In summer, help plant trees around your home to give your house shade and make it cooler.
In winter, make sure the doors and windows are shut when the heating is on.
Whenever you can, walk or ride a bike rather than using a car.
Ask your parents if they could:
Use cold water only when washing clothes in the washing machine.
Buy energy-saving fluorescent light bulbs and energy-saving fridges, dishwashers, washing machines, etc.
Avoid buying over-packaged products, especially plastic packaging as this is made from fossil fuels.
Install a solar-powered water heater and water-saving shower heads.
If we all help to use less energy, the air we breathe will become cleaner for everyone.