Three quick resolutions

December 28, 2010

At New Year’s, three straightforward resolutions for a better planet

At this time of new beginnings, here’s a challenge: three resolutions to make your 2011 the greenest, most sustainable ever!

1. Reduce: there are more of us than ever, consuming evermore, on a planet that’s not getting bigger.  The single best thing we can do is pause before we drive, buy or consume, and ask ourselves two simple questions.  Is this really necessary?  Is there a better way?

2. Collaborate: mutual aid and sharing of resources are just two of the many good reasons to know your neighbours.  But collaboration within our larger communities, real or on-line, can be a great way to address larger issues too.  Consider that Wikipedia, one of the world’s most popular websites, is a collaboration of volunteers lending their individual expertise to a collective good.  Now imagine the possibilities if that sort of approach were used to tackle our planet’s biggest challenges.

3. Get involved: pledge to make your views known to political leaders at all levels.  They can do more with the stroke of a pen than most of us can hope to do in a lifetime.

For more on these three resolutions – and some further imaginings of a better world – please check out my New Year’s column in the New Brunswick Telegraph Journal.

Just how much can those LED holiday lights save?

Most people know that LED holiday lights are more efficient – but just how much more efficient?  Consider this:

– an old-style incandescent outdoor light bulb uses about 7.5 watts

– a minilight bulb uses about .5 watts

– an LED bulb uses about .03 watts

Put differently, one kilowatt-hour of power would light:

– an old-style incandescent outdoor light bulb for 133 hours or 5.5 days

– a minilight bulb for 2000 hours or 83 days

– an LED bulb for 33,333 hours or nearly four years

LEDs can save you 95%+ on your holiday lighting costs.

So what to do?

– invest in LED holiday lights; they’ll pay you back quickly

– discard your old non-LED light sets; or use them indoors (safely away from anything flammable) so all that waste heat they produce can at least help heat your home; or replace the bulbs with LED bulbs, available at hardware stores