Tomorrow night (3/29), at 0900 GMT, 371 cities worldwide will celebrate "Earth Hour" by shutting down the power on major landmarks, and businesses and homeowners are encouraged to do the same. The purpose is to encourage people to be more aware of energy usage.
With the price of oil well over $100 per barrel, the US in an economic slowdown/recession, huge chunks of Antartic ice sheets breaking and collapsing, conservation is the ONLY rational choice. We must all do are part to help out and not be gluttonous energy pigs. Here are some suggestions I came across:
1. Cool it- If the thermostats in every house in America were lowered 1 degree Fahrenheit during the winter, the nation would save 230 million barrels of crude oil—enough to fill an oil tanker 400 times. (That’s the amount of oil being imported into the United States from Iraq each year.)
2. Shorter showers- If the 300 million United States citizens were to spend 1 minute less each day in the shower over their lifetimes, they would save 30 trillion gallons of water—8 times the total amount of snow and rain that falls over the entire lower 48 United States in a day.
3. Rake instead of blow- One hour of using a gas-operated leaf blower produces the same amount of greenhouse gases as a car driving 4,400 miles—that’s a round trip from Salt Lake City to New York City.
4. Paperless delivery- If every American switched to receiving just one bill as an electronic statement instead of a paper one, the one-time savings would be 217,800,000 sheets—enough to completely blanket the island of Key West in a single layer of paper.
5. Collect it- If every American collected 1 gallon of water once a week while waiting for the shower or bathwater to get hot (use it to water your houseplants!), the total saved would be 15.8 billion gallons of water a year—enough to fill the Reflecting Pool at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., 2,338 times.
6. Plan ahead- If one 20-mile trip per week was cut out (by combining errands) for every registered vehicle in the United States, 145 million fewer tons of greenhouse gases would be released into the air each year. That’s equal to the annual carbon dioxide emissions from 36 coal-fired power plants.
7. Dim it- One dimmer switch replacing a regular on/off switch in every U.S. house would save the electricity necessary to light 1.2 million homes—that’s every home in the state of Arkansas. (please no jokes about Arkansonians).
Tomorrow, turn off your lights for one hour (the plan is for 8 PM local time in the U.S.) and do your part to reduce your carbon footprint. You'll feel better about yourself, and maybe you'll realize that it's not so bad to do things by candlelight! Doesn't it blow your mind that human beings have only had electricity for about 120 years...the vast majority of the existence of humans has occurred sans electric power!! It is so hard to imagine...no TV, no computers, no iPODs, no cell phones, no microwaves. We certainly are spoiled, but I must admit, I do love my gadgets. Unfortunately, all of the electric powered goodies (computers, video games, etc) have most likely led to deterioration of interpersonal relationships. This is the unintended consequence of the advancement in technologies.