In this season of leftovers, it’s worth being reminded of a common sense tip: you can save money and energy by opening your refrigerator as infrequently as possible and opening the door only as widely as necessary.
 
To help remember, imagine your fridge as being full of water.  It comes gushing out each time you open the door.  The more frequently and the wider you open the door, the more water that ends up on your floor.  
 
Cold air in your fridge is like that water: it’s heavier than warm air, so it comes tumbling out each time the fridge door opens.  And the more cold air that escapes, the more your fridge needs to work to replace it.  That costs energy and money.
 
So the next time you open your fridge, imagine that it’s full of water and act accordingly.  Your fridge will thank you by using less energy!
 
In the news:  
 
In a moving speech at the Copenhagen climate conference, Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed declared, “There are those who tell us that solving climate change is impossible.  There are those who tell us taking radical action is too difficult.  There are those who tell us to give up hope.  Well, I am here to tell you that we refuse to give up hope.  We refuse to be quiet.  We refuse to believe that a better world isn’t possible.”
 
To all readers of Green Ideas, my greetings for a joyous holiday season and a successful, green 2010.  Please refuse to believe that a better world isn’t possible – and start by changing your corner of it! 
 
In the vast, bleak coldness of this universe, Earth, our home, is no more than a pale blue dot – something to contemplate as you mull over your resolutions for 2010
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Several years ago, I worked with potato farmers – wise and pragmatic people.  In springtime, they would bring some snow into their potato storages.  Snow absorbs a lot of heat as it melts, so it kept the storage (and potatoes) cool, extending the life of the potatoes. 

Just as snow keeps those potato storages cool, it can help you save a bit of energy and money at home:

  • If you take snow or ice from outside and put it into your fridge, it will absorb heat as it melts, meaning your fridge comes on less.  (That’s how ‘iceboxes’ worked in the days before fridges.)
  • You can make ice cubes for free outside, giving your fridge’s freezer compartment a break.  (When you pause to think about it, it’s a bit odd that we use energy to make ice in winter…)

Take advantage of FREE snow and ice to save a bit of energy and money!

The long awaited Copenhagen Climate Change Conference kicked off yesterday. It’s a critical moment, one that will test our global community’s ability – and desire – to work together to solve a problem that will impact every single human on Earth.

This week, a few visuals worth watching:

From 1992, “The Girl Who Silenced the World” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQmz6Rbpnu0, a twelve year old’s powerful message to world leaders gathering for the Rio Earth Summit.

“The Story of Stuff” http://www.storyofstuff.com/, a frank look at where stuff comes from and where it ends up – worth thinking about during this ‘season of stuff’.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak to 500 young people about climate change. To me, their bright, young faces represent hope and promise for the future. For their sake and the sake of all youth everywhere, let’s hope our leaders gathering in Copenhagen get it right.

In the news

Check out this editorial http://www.thestar.com/news/sciencetech/environment/copenhagensummit/article/735124–star-joins-global-climate-crusade calling for action from world leaders on climate change, published yesterday by 56 newspapers around the world in 20 languages.

Sometimes short-term cheap comes with a much larger long-term cost. http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/magazine/article/873098