Saturday, June 23, 2012

"Life is easy, why do we make it so hard?"

Business Insider has a great story on a Massachusetts high school teacher who decides to see how much electricity he can save. What he does is so amazing that the power company suspects fraud because he reduced it so much. What was it that he did to make it possible to reduce his electricity consumption by two-thirds? Lots of cutting edge high tech stuff you think? No. really ordinary things like replacing lightbulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs and getting up to date appliances that are more efficient. These simple things are more cost effective and more efficient than glamorous fixes such as solar panels or green roofs. The article is really comprehensive but I'll summarize the high points, but it is worth a read and explains why the biggest bang for the buck is reducing electricity consumption since it's production is so inefficient. 
  • Lighting: replace incandescent light bulbs with CFLs
  • Kitchen Applicances: replace if older than 10 years old. Especially refrigerators. 
  • Heating: Avoid using electricity for heating of water and space if possible. Use individual thermostats to regular heating efficiently. 
  • Plug electronics into power strips and switch the strips off when not un use. 
  • Insulation and Sealing: you don't make your food and throw it out before eating it do you? Same with your heat.
If you live in California, be sure to check out PG&E's "High Efficiency Refrigerator Rebate Program" which will rebate up to $75 for replacing an old refrigerator with a new one.

Life comes in batches, and the same day the article came out, my friend Peter forwarded me a link to this TedX talk titled "Life is easy, why do we make it so hard?" that talks about how we have made life  more complicated by getting too smart for our own good ignoring what is in front of us for something that might be around the corner. 


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