August 11, 2009
That’s the technical term for streetlights that stay on all day. They’re not supposed to, of course, but occasionally they do. Usually the problem lies with the electronic ‘eye’ that switches them on and off: either it’s defective, or it’s covered by leaves or other debris that fool it into believing it’s dark.
But here’s a downer: a single streetlight burning 24/7 for two months in the summer can result in up to 80 kg of unnecessary greenhouse gas.*
The good news about dayburners is that when you spot one, you can do everyone a favour by reporting it to your utility so it can be fixed. A simple action with an earth-preserving result!
*Assumptions: a 100 watt bulb (the minimum streetlight bulb size) burning 15 extra hours daily for 60 days; and all power generated by coal.
In the news
A new report by the American Psychological Association concludes that policies to successfully fight climate change must overcome some basic human psychological barriers – like uncertainty, mistrust, denial, undervaluing risks (a factor smokers can relate to), lack of control and habit. http://www.reuters.com/article/mnCarbonEmissions/idUS190715377520090807
Most of us enjoy a summer barbecue – but there’s an environmental downside to a meat-heavy diet. More on the subject here: http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/rss/article/755515.
August 6, 2009
…I said to some friends who commented over dinner that their July power bill was much higher than their June bill. And a quick test with a portable power meter showed that that was indeed the case.
Summer is the time of humidity. And while it’s very important to keep humidity at bay to prevent the growth of mould, dehumidifiers – especially older ones – can consume a lot of energy. My own dehumidifier (an oldie) uses nearly 500 watts, or as much power as three dozen CFL bulbs. Ouch!
So what can you do?
1. manage your dehumidifier use: instead of turning it on in June and turning it off in September (as many of us do), set it to operate at a level that keeps humidity levels reasonable. Trying to get humidity levels to zero is like swimming against a river: it takes a lot of energy, and the river always wins eventually.
2. when buying a new dehumidifier, look for the ENERGY STAR symbol, a sign of top efficiency.
3. install a Humidex or similar device http://www.humidex.ca
In the news
Wal-Mart, often a target of environmentalists, has announced plans to require all suppliers to assign green ratings to their products. The move will enable consumers to know the carbon footprint of products before they buy, and choose their purchases accordingly. With Wal-Mart’s global buying power, the new policy has the potential to revolutionize the sustainability of the retail industry. Bravo Wal-Mart! http://www.packagingdigest.com/article/CA6671421.html
Ever hear of bike sharing or car sharing programs? Neat ways to stretch your dollars and do a good thing! http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/search/article/741168