Sunday, October 5, 2008

Week Three: Wake up to Green Electricity

If stumbling around in the dark, stubbing toes, cursing loudly and spending hours upon hours fumbling blindly trying to find a matching pair of socks is considered good for the planet, call me David Suzuki.

With militant fervour I wander through the apartment flicking off lights, unplugging cell phone chargers, toasters, etc. You wouldn't want to be on a life support system in our house unless your mechanical lung had a hand crank — I'd unplug you faster than you could say "You're out of my will."

When it comes to obvious conservation techniques, we like to think we're doing our part.

Of course, we have a long way to go.

With just two windows in the apartment, both on the same side of the building, we keep fans on to keep air circulating. This contradicts energy conservation, and makes life even more exciting — not only is it dark, there's the loud apocolyptic noise of industrial strength fans to throw your senses into turmoil.
We tend to bang around, crashing even harder than the American housing market.
(And you thought it was because I cycle a lot that my helmet is always on my head.)

As you can see, the aim this week was to focus on our electricity useage.

Because there are just two of us, we have a small fridge — 8.8 cubic feet (in layman's terms that's three zucchinis, 12 apples, a jug of soy milk and two-and-a-half cases of Heineken). We also have an apartment size deep freeze, a computer, a t.v., vcr, dvd player and three lights we use regularly.

Following this week's reading, I started turning off the power cord to the t.v., vcr, and dvd when not in use, and unplugging the laptop at night.

We, like any new age, new wave, just-stumbled-out-of-a-dark-cave-and-stopped-burning-coal environmentalist, have changed our lightbulbs.

But I can't stop thinking who really cares?

Yes, electricity, especially that produced from coal-fired plants, can have an impact on carbon output and the environment. And yes, using only renewable energy like wind or solar is ideal.
But religiously unplugging a cell phone charger will save something like $0.25 worth of electricity a year.

Take that, global warming!

Carbon Buster Jon was kind enough to point out to me that the personal electronics sector is one of the fastest growing consumer areas in the world, so if each person unplugs, it amounts to a lot.

I guess it will make a difference. And it does make sense to me to me to be responsible for our energy and only use what we can generate ourselves or through sustainable means.

It seems like a decent goal to have.