Environmentalism. It's a polarizing word; depending on who you
are, any number of images may come to mind - everything from a
well-informed citizen who fights to protect the air we breathe to a
smelly, unwashed hippie chained against a tree. In the end,
what you think in your own mind is your own business. Having
said that, a healthy, clean environment is beneficial to
everyone - without exception.
The good news is that you don't need to chain yourself to a tree or carry a protest
sign to make an impact. Actions as simple as picking
up litter along the side of the road and turning off un-used or
un-needed lights at home or at work can make a difference.
Seriously - if every person in the United States simply turned off
one unused 60 watt light bulb for 4 hours, everyday, over the course
of the year we would have to produce 21.9 million megawatt-hours
less of electricity1. That's alot. To put
that into perspective - that's roughly about one-sixth of the total
electrical power produced by oil in the United States.2
And that's just one light bulb. :) I'm a firm believer
in conservation. Innovation is fine, don't get me wrong, but
conservation will always win the day. If you don't need it on,
don't leave it on. That goes for lights, televisions, radios,
and computer screens. And - if you don't want to do it for the
environment - do it for your wallet. (and split the savings
with me - 50%-50%) :)
If your ambitions involve more than just flipping off a few
lights, there are any number of 'at home'
improvements that can make a positive impact; installing
high-efficiency lighting where it makes sense, insulating your hot
water heater, installing 'tankless' hot water heaters and improving
your home's insulation are all good examples. Another worthwhile project
that anyone can do is making a compost pile. Composting is a great way to have a
FREE soil enhancer at your disposal. Additionally, you'll be
reducing the volume of organic materials going to the landfill -
where they don't do much of anything...aside from take up space.
Composting is simple, it doesn't take much space and your neighbors
won't mind at all. Click
here to find out more.
1 - 60 watts x 4 hrs x 365 days x 250 million
people = 2.19 x 1013 watt-hours...divide by 1,000,000
watts/megawatt - there ya go.
2 - Based on FY2005 data collected by the US Dept. of Energy -