global energy consumptionWe use a lot of energy worldwide. And while that isn’t a newsflash, global energy use is an issue that’s becoming increasingly important amid concerns about energy dependence, diminishing supplies and adverse environmental effects.

In the United States, we have the distinction of using more energy than other countries: twice the European average and five times the global average, to be precise. An infographic published by shows just how problematic our global energy consumption is—and what we can do to make a change.

Interested in how the U.S. uses energy? Here’s a breakdown:

37% - petroleum
25% - natural gas
21% - coal
9% - nuclear electric
8% - renewable energy

Throughout the U.S., our energy consumption has steadily climbed since the 1950s. As a result, our carbon dioxide emissions have gone up, too:

u.s. carbon dioxide emissions

The good news? Small steps can make a big difference in reversing some of the harmful effects of excess energy consumption. Consider these suggestions as outlined in the infographic:

Feeling the HeatFeeling the Heat infographic

Switch to CFLs
Converting just half of all lightbulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs could reduce carbon dioxide from lighting by 42.4 million tons a year.

Drive Less, Bike (or Walk) More

Driving a car 20 less miles each week can add up to a big CO2 emissions reduction: 107 million tons per year. Try hopping on a bike, walking or even carpooling to make your travel more efficient--and environmentally friendly.

Flip the Switch

Instead of leaving your computer running while it’s not being used, turn it off. If everyone in the U.S. followed suit, we’d reduce CO2 impact by 8.3 million tons per year.

Are you concerned about global energy consumption? What other tips would you offer to help offset or reduce CO2 emissions?

Image: dno1967b via Compfight cc