Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Lights in Motion...Computers Off

How are we doing with lights? Is it easy? Sometimes I become quite obsessed in turning them off. At other times it depresses me to have everything in the dark except for my quiet corner. And if you’re like me and are easily distracted – I go to get a glass of water and become seduced by some program on King Akhenaten on the History Channel (you think I’m joking) – lights in other rooms are easily forgotten. But Jane and I are trying and I think we have considerably cut back on light use.

The Thing to Know About Compact Florescent Light Bulbs (CFBs)
Kevin Hammond alerted me to the problems of turning your CFB (a.k.a. CFLs) on and off. He felt that considerable energy is used just by clicking a CFB on, so if you are a hyper light conservationist and like to turn the lights off when you go to the bathroom and on when you return, and off to get a snack and on when you return, etc., then you may want to stop doing that.

I did a bit of googling around and, according to the Lighting Design Lab, the general rule of thumb is to turn your CFBs off when you leave a room for more than 15 to 20 minutes. If you want to know more on this, click here.

Thanks Kevin!

ALERT: Another thing to be aware of is that CFBs contain small amounts of mercury. If the bulb breaks, use a wet rag to clean it up and put the pieces in a plastic bag. This is going to sound obvious, but don’t inhale. For more information on CFBs, please visit Earth Easy.

TO Do This Week

One more thing on lighting
If you own a home or even if you rent a flat in a house, I encourage you to investigate outdoor lighting motion detectors. If your landperson calls the shots, then let them know that by converting to motion detectors, they'll be saving money. Landpeople like to hear that. Throw in that it’s better for the environment. Always good to remind people about helping the environment – they start getting used to the idea. Our landlady is fantastic. We have a motion detector in our common hallway. This week, I’ll ask her about installing one outside. I’ll add that to my To Do List.

Ah yes. Ever wonder how much energy your computer and monitor are using? Ever think about the GHG emissions that are spewing into the atmosphere thanks to the thing we think we cannot do without?

Together, your computer and monitor are responsible for just under one tonne of GHG emissions per year. If you’re like me, you have a home and office computer. That alone is under two tonnes of GHG emissions. The One Tonne Challenge doesn’t cover that. Eh?

If you are stepping away from your computer for a bit, I strongly encourage you to turn off the monitor. The monitor is a huge sucker of energy. By turning it off, you will make a considerable dent in its energy consumption. Turn the monitor off or ask your technician (if you are so lucky) to set up a sleep mechanism. This will reduce its energy consumption by up to 95%. Turning off your computer when you are through with it does not hurt it. You will save over .44 tonnes of GHG emissions each year

Nature Canada
Climate Change Begins at Home

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