Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Taming your Stove and a Bit of Blathering

I’m trying to resist blathering on and on about issues to keep these installments as brief as possible.

I do enjoy blathering, so with that in mind I'll post my comments after the To Do bit. If you want to read my thoughts just scroll down. This week’s blatherings include my Earth Day capers and experiences in taming my fridge. And then I let Marjorie Chan blather on about recycling (it’s good blathering – brief! - and worth the scroll)….

TO Do This Week

Taming Your Stove/Oven
Not all of us can afford to run out and buy induction stoves, those classy looking appliances that are ultra efficient. Ninety percent of the energy generated from these stoves cooks your food. Compare that to gas burners where only 55% of the energy generated actually cooks food. The figure is 65% for electric ranges.

We can still increase efficiency of what we have, however. The most obvious is to reduce cooking on your stove and oven. It’s better to use a microwave, toaster oven, kettle or slow cooker, as they use up to 80% less energy than a stove.

What’s the Big Deal? While not as demanding of energy as refrigerators, stoves and ovens do use over 700 Kilowatts per year. Cooking makes up four percent of household GHG emissions. Refrigeration makes up nine percent.

Tips from Earth Easy:
• “Use the burner which is the closest match to pot size. Heat is lost and energy is wasted if burner size is larger than pot size.
• Use lids on pots and pans so you can cook at lower settings.
• Keep drip pans under conventional coil burners clean. Don't line drip pans with aluminum foil - they can reflect too much heat and damage the elements.
• Only preheat when baking.
• Check your oven temperature. Use a separate oven thermometer to ensure your oven control is accurate.
• Make sure the oven door seal is tight. Avoid opening oven door while baking - each time the door is opened, about 20% of the inside heat is lost.
• Turn oven off a few minutes before food is ready, and let oven heat finish the job.
• Gas stoves: electronic ignition (piezo) will use about 40% less gas than a pilot light.
• Pilot light and burner flame on gas stoves should be blue. If flame is yellow, ports need to be unclogged or adjusted. Ports can be cleared with pipe cleaners.
• Use the microwave. They use only 1/3 to 1/2 as much energy as conventional stoves.”

Earth Day
I squeezed in as many Earth Day events as I could on Saturday in between chores. I’m embarrassed to say that I drove to most of them. Honestly!

I drove to Computation to drop off our old computer. But hey, the car was handy. I did manage to walk to the Sierra Club’s Earth Day event at Budapest Park by the lake on Toronto’s west side only because it was in walking distance to where I live.

With time constraints, I hoped in the car to catch The End of Suburbia at the Bloor Cinema. The irony wasn’t lost on me that I drove to see a film about the peaking of world oil and subsequent decline calculated to take place at about 2013. The film is a very sobering look at our dependency on oil and what little has been done to prepare us for transitioning from fossil fuels to alternatives, from living far away from anything to living within walking distance to important amenities. If you live in an area that dictates jumping in a car to go to a corner store, you may want to think planning a lifestyle that is not so car dependent. Not so oil dependent really.

Judy, our landlady, is fantastic. She replaced the old refrigerator in our apartment with a LG GR 382R, which is Energy Star qualified. I hauled the fridge out to remove the sheet of cat hair that accumulated on the back plate. The plate looks pretty irremovable. I think I’ll just get a vacuum in there to suck up whatever I can through the holes on the grid.

As we use up large juice cartons, we’ll fill them with water and place them in the freezer to take up space. We’re not meat eaters and as a consequence much of our freezer is vacant despite our love for coffee, concentrated orange juice and soy & organic cow ice cream.

Note on Stand Alone Freezers – They use up on average 1,240 Kilowatts per year – that’s more than an older model fridge.

Marjorie Chan’s Recycling Tip
Marjorie Chan told me about, an international web of local groups swapping stuff for free over the Internet. Have something you want to give up? Check out the site and join a local group for free.

Join the March!!
Over 300,000 to date have signed up to stop global warming. Join us!


Canadian Office of Energy Efficiency

Earth Easy

Grist Magazine


Truth Out

No comments: