background preloader


Facebook Twitter

Archives: Blog - Sustainability Showcase. Ask Real Simple: Does Washing Clothes in Cold Water Really Get Them Clean? Q: My friend washes all her clothes in cold water to preserve the color. Do they really get clean this way? Faith StaffordBrooklyn, NY A. Yes. The consensus is that cold water is more than up to the challenge of washing everyday laundry. “Technological advances, in both machines and detergents (not just the cold-specific kind), have made cold-water washing a highly effective option,” says Colorado-based clothing-care expert Steve Boorstein. For example, protein stains (blood, sweat) can set in when washed in hot water, and hot water may shrink or wrinkle synthetic fabrics. Another argument for turning down the dial? Dangers of Fracking. Debunking The Hot Water Laundry Myth - Why Are Consumers So Superstitious & Stubborn? One load of laundry before midnight.

Image credit:Flickr, Average Jane New York Times has a great piece titled A Dash of Cold Water in which they explain that most consumers still do their laundry in hot water - even in socialist countries like Germany fer Gootsake. Root cause of this silly behavior seems to come down to superstition, with a dash of stubbornness and reluctance to vary from what Ma taught us thrown in for good measure.Stubborn habits about doing laundry extend well beyond refusing to wash in cold water and these habits are bad for our budgets as well as for the environment.

I have a list, presented below in rank order of importance. Refusal to use cold water.Ignoring the super-concentrated detergent sold in very small bottles (1 quart does 32+ loads) in favor of the detergent bottles and boxes that are made billboard-sized to grab our attention on the store shelf. There is a spectrum of legitimate foam need, however.

Dimmer Switch Guide. Dimmer switches are useful for setting a mood, creating lower light situations at night while still maintaining visibility, lowering energy costs, and just generally controlling the ambience and environment. However, not all light bulbs are compatible with dimmer switches and it can be confusing for homeowners. Previously, before improvements in lighting technology, any dimmer switch would dim a light bulb. This is no longer true and people need to know how to match light bulbs and dimmers to make them compatible. Dimming switches work by affecting the voltage and not the wattage. With the incorrect dimming switch, certain light bulbs will get the wrong voltage and create problems. People find light bulbs and dimmer switches at brick and mortar stores like home improvement centers, specialty lighting stores, and at online locations like eBay.

Types of Light Bulbs Light bulbs have a wattage and a voltage. Incandescent Light Bulbs Fluorescent Light Bulbs LED Light Bulbs Conclusion. Dimmer Switches for Energy Efficiency. Energy Conservation & Efficiency Tips. Energy Efficiency of Washing Machines. Energy efficiency tips to reduce your energy usage | Direct Energy Ontario. 42 Energy Efficiency Tips Here are 42 Energy Efficiency tips and hints to reduce your energy usage. Not only can these energy efficiency tips save you money, but they help the environment as well. Try a few. Air Conditioning Increase your air conditioner temperature by one degree. Heating Turn your furnace down slightly.

Hot Water Check your hot water temperature. 140° is sufficient for washing dishes and clothes. Laundry Wash full loads. Cooking Microwaves use substantially less energy than ovens. Fridge and Freezer Defrost your fridge regularly. Lighting Use energy-saving lightbulbs that can last up to ten times longer than a normal bulb and use significantly less energy. Insulation and Windows Install covers on letterboxes and/or keyholes to reduce indoor drafts.

Energy IQ | Energy Efficiency. Energy Links & Resources | Energy4me. Click on the “Show” link at the right of each category name to reveal a list of category links and resources. Category links and resources can be hidden by clicking the “Hide” link. To print this page with all resources showing, first click “Show” on all links. All Energy Sources Show» Energy Education Links for Kids Texas State Energy Conservation OfficeProvides links to a variety of energy education and game websites for kids. Energy Kids’ Page US Energy Information AdministrationHelps kids explore energy using fun facts and activities, plus information on famous people in energy. Energy Quest California Energy Commission Includes the energy story (all types of energy), science projects, games, a library, profiles of “super scientists,” teaching materials and many other resources [Flash plug-in required]. Energize Your Future ShellProvides energy information for students and educators and features games, activities and a glossary of industry terms.

Biofuels Show» What is biofuel? Coal Show» Energy saving big ideas - residential - EnergyAustralia. Sometimes, big changes are needed to really make a difference. While some of these changes might take time, they’ll offer longer term ways to reduce your energy usage. Simply select the area you’re interested in to find out the latest energy saving big ideas. Purchase light furniture Next time you buy furniture, consider choosing lighter colours. These will brighten your rooms and make them easier to light. Reduce downlight use Install fewer downlights to cut the amount of energy needed to light a room.

Having downlights may also reduce the insulation in your ceiling, making it harder to heat or cool the room. The kitchen Defrost and check the seals on your fridge and freezer Energy saving big ideas for the kitchen focus on your fridge and freezer. Make sure your oven, fridge and freezer are working effectively by checking their seals are fitted properly. Buy energy-efficient dishwashers A dishwasher with options such as rinse only, economy cycle and washing with cold water is best. Outside. Estimating Appliance and Home Electronic Energy Use. If you're trying to decide whether to invest in a more energy-efficient appliance or you'd like to determine your electricity loads, you may want to estimate appliance energy consumption.

Formula for Estimating Energy Consumption Use this formula to estimate an appliance's energy use: 1 kilowatt (kW) = 1,000 Watts Multiply this by the number of days you use the appliance during the year for the annual consumption in kWh per year. Estimating Annual Cost to Run an Appliance Multiply the annual consumption in kWh per year (that you calculated above) by your local utility's rate per kWh consumed to calculate the annual cost to run an appliance.

Examples: (200 Watts × 4 hours/day × 120 days/year) ÷ 1000 = 96 kWh × 11 cents/kWh = $10.56/year [(120 Watts + 150 Watts) × 4 hours/day × 365 days/year] ÷ 1000 = 394 kWh × 11 cents/kWh = $43.34/year Wattage You can usually find the wattage of most appliances stamped on the bottom or back of the appliance, or on its nameplate. Aquarium = 50–1210 Watts Fans. Fossil Fuels. The Institute for Energy Research conducts in-depth economic and policy research on energy and environmental issues. The follow studies provide an extensive analysis of fossil fuels as an energy resource, their impact on markets, and their importance in energy policy debates. Below these studies is an in-depth overview of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels—coal, petroleum (oil), and natural gas — are concentrated organic compounds found in the Earth’s crust. They are created from the remains of plants and animals that lived millions of years ago in the form of concentrated biomass.

According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), fossil fuels meet around 82 percent [i] of U.S. energy demand. Fossil fuels make modern life possible. These huge sources of energy work to generate steam, electricity and power transportation systems. Scattered records of the use of coal date to at least 1100 BC. Fossil Fuels Today: Oil, By the Barrel Coal, by the “Short Ton” Get Cool About Washing Laundry. Affordability Heating water accounts for 90% of the energy consumption of washing machines [PDF, 145 KB]. An ENERGY STAR®-approved washing machine will save water and energy. Cost savings By switching from hot to cold water for an average of three loads per week, you could save up to $27 per year on your energy bill.

Health & comfort Unlike dishwashers, washing machines can wash with great results in cold water. In fact, most fabrics last longer and fade less when washed cold and hung to dry. Environmental considerations In addition to minimizing energy use, protecting fresh water resources is a key concern. What you need to know Load the washer to capacity when possible. Taking it further Buy an ENERGY STAR front-loading washing machine. ENERGY STAR appliances usually cost more than others. If I only wash in cold water, will my clothes still get as clean? What about hard-to-remove stains? Global Warming 101. What is global warming? Think of a blanket, covering the Earth. When CO 2 and other heat-trapping emissions are released into the air, they act like a blanket, holding heat in our atmosphere and warming the planet. Overloading our atmosphere with carbon has far-reaching effects for people all around the world—more extreme storms, more severe droughts, deadly heat waves, rising sea levels, and more acidic oceans, which can affect the very base of the food chain.

What causes global warming? We do. The primary cause of global warming is human activity, most significantly the burning of fossil fuels to drive cars, generate electricity, and operate our homes and businesses. Tropical deforestation , also by human hands, is another major contributor. Who can reduce global warming? To address global warming, we need to significantly reduce the amount of heat-trapping emissions. But we can also help by calling for government and corporate decision makers to reduce the threat of global warming by: Global Warming: Confronting the Realities of Climate Change | Union of Concerned Scientists. Sea level rise is accelerating. The number of large wildfires is growing. Dangerous heat waves are becoming more common. Extreme storm events are increasing in many areas. More severe droughts are occurring in others. These are just some of the consequences of global warming, which are already having significant and harmful effects on our health, our environment, and our communities.

Unless we take immediate action to address global warming, these consequences will continue to intensify, grow ever more costly, and increasingly affect the entire planet — including you, your community, and your family. Global warming is happening now. The planet's temperature is rising. Every one of the past 37 years has been warmer than the 20th century average. Globally, the average surface temperature has increased more than one degree Fahrenheit since the late 1800s.

We are the cause. We are overloading our atmosphere with carbon dioxide, which traps heat and steadily drives up the planet’s temperature. Go carbon neutral | Reduce your carbon footprint | What you can do. Climate change is a serious problem, caused primarily by the carbon dioxide released from burning fossil fuels like oil, coal, and gas. But there are things we can do about it — like choosing to go carbon neutral.

Going carbon neutral is an easy way to take responsibility for the greenhouse gas emissions we create every time we drive our cars, take a plane, or turn on our computers. It's based on the principle that, since climate change is a global problem, an emission reduction made elsewhere has the same positive effect as one made locally. Sign up for our newsletter Here's how it works: if you add polluting emissions to the atmosphere, you can effectively subtract them by purchasing carbon offsets. Why Go Carbon Neutral? To solve the problem of climate change, we all need to take account of our personal carbon emissions and make continued efforts to reduce them ourselves.

Carbon offsets also offer flexibility, as you can choose to offset just one—or all—of your major emission sources. Green your apartment/condo > FortisBC. Green Your Home. Growth isn’t Possible. GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth. Have a small family « Population Matters. Many people today seek to live in a more sustainable and environmentally friendly manner. They travel less, or in ways that cause lower emissions. They use energy efficient methods to heat and power their homes. They recycle what they can and seek to minimise their food miles and food waste.

These are all to be welcomed, but they only reduce a person's impact to a limited extent and only for their lifetime. Your choice about how many children you have is much more important. Each additional child will have more impact on the environment and consume more resources. So, please consider how many children you have when you think about the sort of world in which you want them to live.

Gender equity – Women are still much more likely to bear the principal burden of childrearing. Quality of life – Children can be tiring and expensive in time and money. Quality of parenting – It simply is easier to be a better parent with a smaller family. Heating & Cooling. Home Appliance Energy Use. In the United States, over 20% of our total energy consumption is residential.

In fact, in the United States, we are the 7th largest per capita consumer of residential energy. Where is all of that energy going? Are you living with a "gas-guzzler"? Explore the application below to understand more about how we consume energy in our homes. Blue stars indicate ENERGY STAR models are available. Click on the green stars to find out how quickly an ENERGY STAR appliance can pay for itself.

About this data The data presented in this application was supplied and is derived from a number of sources, including: ENERGY STAR, a joint program of the U.S. Share Design Partner Pentagram, Lisa Strausfeld. Home Electronics. This is a consumer page on home electronics. For more resources, visit the consumer electronics topic page. The energy use of electronic equipment often goes unnoticed. But as it turns out, an estimated 10% to 15% of all electricity used in American homes can be attributed to the buzz of electronic devices.

The vast majority is consumed by home entertainment systems and home office equipment. Step 1. To minimize the energy used by home electronics, it is helpful to understand the true meaning of “on” and “off” as applied to electronics. Below is a table of common electronic equipment and the average energy used in each mode and per year (in order from most energy-intensive to least) Source: ECOS Consulting, 2006: Final Field Research Report for the California Energy Commission ↑ Top of Page There are several steps you can take now to minimize the energy used by the electronics in your home: Unplug It. Home Entertainment Equipment Computers and Home Office Equipment External Power Supplies. Home energy sources. Home Heating for the Hardy. Hooked on Growth» Blog » One-Child Thinking. How Do I Save Power? How to Cut Down on Energy Waste. How to Increase the Energy Efficiency of Your Home Lighting.

How to Wire a Dimmer to a Lamp. Infographic: The Climate Risks of Natural Gas. Is having a third child an eco-crime? - The Mommy Files. Know your kilowatt-hour, and what it means to you. Laundry Room & Basement | Green Homes. Letter from the SHIFT team - Sustainability Showcase. Lighting Controls. Magazine | Is it selfish to have more than two children? One Hundred Months. Population Matters » for a sustainable future. Reduce Your Electricity Use. Reduce Your Electricity Use. Residential - eWise - EnergyAustralia. Savers Guide. Saving Electricity. Scarcity, Overshoot & Collapse | Population Institute Canada. Science & Environment | Baby decisions - adding to the world's woes? Science, Democracy, and Community Decisions on Fracking. Science, Democracy, and Fracking: A Guide for Community Residents and Policy Makers Facing Decisions over Hydraulic Fracturing | Union of Concerned Scientists. The Best Way You Can Go Green: Have Fewer Children.

The Impossible Hamster Club. Tips | City Green Solutions. Tips: Heating and Cooling. Wake Up, Freak Out – then Get a Grip. Wake Up, Freak Out – then Get a Grip (script) Wall of Shame - Wasting Food Means Wasting Energy - Cockrell School of Engineering. Welcome | Transition Network. Welcome | Transition Network. What Individuals Can Do. What Is Fracking. Which home electrical appliances consume the most? Your energy savings.