Sunday, May 12, 2013

The "EnergySmart Fun Facts" and Other Assorted Rants

Now that the booklet stuff has been taken care of, I can finally begin to yammer about a few things that, maybe by some miracle, a few other people will find interesting.  This time, for the sake of propagating some of the research that I did earlier in the semester, I will share some nifty stuff regarding turning off light switches, recycling, and a few of the other responsibilities that come with living in modern houses (or nearly anywhere, for that matter).  This stuff was dubbed "EnergySmart Fun Facts," and was compiled from various websites that I poured over, so much of the credit does not go to me.  One of these days, this information may actually appear on some pamphlet or the like, although ORE's Pocket Guide to Energy Efficiency has a lot of these already.  Nonetheless, for your enjoyment (not to mention for the sake of irritating power companies), here they are.
EnergySmart “Fun Facts”

Light Bulbs:

- Incandescent light bulbs lose up to 95% of their energy to heat, with only around 5% being converted to light.

- Most incandescent bulbs last about 1000 hours, while florescent bulbs can last around 10,000 hours.

- One 60-watt light bulb uses enough energy in one hour to power a Super Nintendo for 6 hours.

- The amount of energy used by one 40-watt light bulb (in an hour) could power a CD player for around a half-hour
- Setting computers to "sleep mode" will save a great deal of energy, as a computer in sleep mode will use anywhere from 0-6 watts of power.

- Computers even use energy, ranging from 1-2 watts, when turned off

- Many LCD monitors use almost no power when not displaying an image or when turned off.

- Laptop computers use less than 1/3 the power of some desktops.

- Screensavers that display any images do not save power.

Water heaters:

- Water heating accounts for about 18% of the typical household energy bill

- Cold water requires no electricity, whereas the average water heater uses around 2500 watts of power.

- The wattage of a typical water heater is equal to about 250 clock radios all blaring at once.

- Every 10* reduction in water heater temperature saves about 3-5% of power.

- The amount of energy used by a typical water heater is more than the power output of 3 1-horsepower small engines.


- Recycling aluminum saves up to 95% of energy and air pollution as compared to making new materials from Bauxite.

- Plastic recycling results in a 70% energy savings.

- Recycling paper results in a 73% air pollution savings.

- Recycling Steel results in a 60% energy savings.

- Being a "recycling role model" has been statistically shown to increase the rate of recycling among friends and neighbors (probably coworkers as well).
In other words, doing some of this stuff doesn't operate in a vacuum.  Live by example.  Recycle by example too; it can't hurt.  Being such a damn fundamentalist about recycling, I could probably stand to learn how to not enforce this sort of stuff so much.  Really, if people can stop for a single second before they pitch stuff and think about what the hell they are doing, I would be willing to bet that all of the ridiculous stuff in people's garbage cans - not to mention all of the crazy stuff that me and a few other people found in the dumpster outside of Mears the other day, which ranged from a working microwave to some unopened beer (which we did not drink, in a victory for good judgment) - wouldn't be so unthinkingly and unceremoniously winged out of the figurative (and sometimes literal, in the case of a television set, courtesy of a couple of kids in Ute Hall) window.  So, I will leave you all to it, and please, think what you can make out of stuff before just mindlessly pitching things.  Look up some "scrap jewelry" or something, and it is clear that there are a bunch of cool things that you can make out of so-called "junk."  I realize that people can't hang on to everything, but, at the same time, some of the things that can be made from supposed "garbage" are truly amazing, and if more people did stuff like that, we would be in a completely different world right now, where people's garbage cans wouldn't spill all over the street, but where some of that stuff may be used to beautifully adorn their homes.

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