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Posts Tagged ‘energy use’

Once a week, I am offering up a tip or action or idea that we can all engage with to work towards living in ways that allow for more health and wellbeing for all aspects of the planet.

This week the green thought is about refrigerators and freezers.

We can all take steps to make our refrigerators and freezers more efficient. Photo: House Integrals

Our refrigerators and freezers are on all the time and they use a lot of energy. In fact, since these appliances are some of the few household items that truly never turn off, they can account for as much as 7% of a households energy bill! And in many cases, these appliances are not running as efficiently as they can. Of course, to produce the energy to keep our foods cold requires the burning of fossil fuels which contributes to climate change.

The solution is to take care of our refrigerators and freezers. Here are a few suggestions. 1) Replacing older appliances with modern, energy-efficient models will quickly pay for themselves with lower energy bills. 2) Keeping about 4 inches between the back of the fridge and the wall means that air can circulate and dissipate the heat these units produce allowing them to run more efficiently. 3) Letting hot food cool down to room temperature before putting it in the refrigerator means that the fridge does not have to use the extra energy to cool warm food. 4) Defrosting freezers once a year will help them run more smoothly and also allow the space inside them to be used to maximum effect. 5) And, of course, keeping the fridge and freezer doors closed keeps the temperature inside cold, again prevents the appliances from using extra energy to re-cool after warm air slip in through open doors.

What do you think of these ideas? Do you have any other solution ideas?

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Once a week, I am offering up a tip or action or idea that we can all engage with to work towards living in ways that allow for more health and wellbeing for all aspects of the planet. Last week we talked about reusable coffee cups.

This week the green thought is about washing with cold water.

Washing dishes with cold water can save a lot of energy. Photo: reviewed.com

We all wash clothes. We all wash dishes. All this washing uses water, soaps, and energy. The energy is used to pump water, to run dish washers and washing machines, and to heat the water. And that last part is where we can all easily do a lot better! About 90% of energy used in washing cloths and dishes is used to heat the water. Just to heat the water! Using energy means burning fossil fuels which releases carbon dioxide which contributes to climate change.

An easy solution is to simply wash with cold water! I will admit that washing dishes by hand with cold water is not as comfortable as with warm water. But washing clothes and dishes with cold water works as well as with hot water. And it saves energy which reduces releases of carbon dioxide which avoids climate change.

What do you think of these ideas? Do you have any other solution ideas?

Thank you for visiting my blog! Please check back next week for another Green Thought Thursday!

If you are interested in other ways to connect with me, here are a few options:

Follow this blog!

View and subscribe to my YouTube channel – A Birding Naturalist

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Once a week, I am offering up a tip or action or idea that we can all engage with to help reduce waste, use less materials and energy, help conserve species or habitats, and/or generally work towards living in ways that allow for more health and wellbeing for all aspects of the planet.

A selection of LED light bulbs of various shapes and sizes. Photo: This Old House

This week the green thought is about using LED light bulbs. Generating light in our homes can take a fair bit of energy and that means it may produce a fair sized amount of greenhouse gases. Each incandescent light bulb produces approximately 4,500 lbs of CO2 each year. Fluorescent light bulbs are better but still produce around 1,051 lbs of CO2 each year. However, it incredibly useful to be able to flip a switch and have light fill our homes! So, we all need to figure out how to get the light we need, but with the smallest possible impact.

Luckily, LED light bulbs are a very good alternative to the other types of light bulb. They are widely available, come in many shapes and sizes, and have much lower energy costs to use producing just around 450 lbs of CO2 each year. By the way, LED stand for light-emitting diode which is a semiconductor diode that glows when a voltage is applied. Not only do LED light bulbs use only about 25% of the energy of other bulbs to produce the same amount of light, but they have a much longer lifespan. So, if we all switch to using LED light bulbs in our homes, it can have a very significant impact on energy use in the USA.

What do you think of these thoughts and the solutions? Is this a step you will take? Do you have any other solution ideas?

Thank you for visiting my blog! Please check back in next week for another Green Thought Thursday!

If you are interested in other ways to connect with me, here are a few options:

Follow this blog!

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Once a week, I am offering up a tip or action or idea that we can all engage with to help reduce waste, use less materials and energy, help conserve species or habitats, and/or generally work towards living in ways that allow for more health and wellbeing for all aspects of the planet.

So, this week the green thought is about how to use less water in the shower. Water requires a lot of energy to pump. It is also a very scarce resource (especially if you live somewhere that experience extreme drought conditions like I am in California). Using a lot of water when we shower uses up a lot of energy, and means burning fossil fuels which are the cause of global climate change. Using a lot of water when we shower also uses a lot of WATER!

Example of a low-flow showerhead in action (photo courtesy of Earth 911).

Two solutions come to mind for this issue. The obvious one is to take shorter showers. We can all challenge ourselves to shorten the time we spend in each shower that we take. Another great solution is to install a low-flow showerhead. These can be found for $10-$20 (and sometimes more) at your local hardware store and they will likely reduce the amount of water used in a shower by around 40%. If we all install low-flow showerheads there will be more water for fish in the rivers, trees in the forests, and in our taps for drinking!

Thank you for visiting my blog! Please check back in next week for another Green Thought Thursday!

If you are interested in other ways to connect with me, here are a few options:

Begin following this blog!

View and subscribe to my YouTube channel – A Birding Naturalist

Follow me on Instagram – abirdingnaturalist

Read Full Post »

Once a week, I am offering up a tip or action or idea that we can all engage with to help reduce waste, use less materials and energy, help conserve species or habitats, and/or generally work towards living in ways that allow for more health and wellbeing for all aspects of the planet.

So, this week the green thought is about how we do our laundry. Water requires a lot of energy to heat up in a washing machine. It also takes a lot of energy to run a dryer to get the water out of our cloths. This energy means burning fossil fuels which are the cause of global climate change. By finding way to use less energy we can all help reduce some of the impacts of climate change. We can also save some money since paying for all that energy can be expensive!

Clean laundry hang-drying (photo courtesy of Lowe’s).

Several solutions are pretty easy on this one! We can wash clothes in cold water. This removes all the energy needed to heat up the water. We can hang-dry our clothes, when we can. This removes all the energy needed to heat up the air and run the dryer. And when we can’t hang-dry our laundry, we can use dryer balls. This reduces the amount of time that a dryer has to run and so reduces the amount of energy needed in the drying process. So, by using less energy on laundry days we can all help address climate change and reduce our household expenses at the same time!

Thank you for visiting my blog! Please check back in next week for another Green Thought Thursday!

If you are interested in other ways to connect with me, here are a few options:

Begin following this blog!

View and subscribe to my YouTube channel – A Birding Naturalist

Follow me on Instagram – abirdingnaturalist

Read Full Post »