Sunday, February 22, 2009

One Household at a time

I finally just finished reading last week's Washington Post Magazine cover story "Can One Household Save the Planet?" by Liza Mundy, and I hope that people read it and realize it is harder than you might think to change behavior that has been engrained in us from childhood. But that it is also well worth it and imperative that we all make an effort to do the things that are in our control to help get energy consumption under control. If we start by doing these small daily things like change to CFL's, unplug un-needed vampire electricity drainers, and make our homes more energy efficient, they all start to have a daily impact, as more and more of us do it, but as we all start changing behaviors, energy conservation becomes closer to the front of our minds instead of in the back of our minds. And the change can become infectious, as we get friends, family, neighbors to start doing their part, and most important, we begin to instill these behaviors in our children from day one, and they will grow up and take up where we leave off.

See article here

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Paper or Plastic Part 2: New tax on bags proposed in DC

I heard this AM on the news that Washington DC is considering taxing all shoppers that get a paper or plastic bag at grocery, convenience and other stores in the District. The 5 cent tax would go to help clean up the very dirty Anacostia River. While I generally support this to a) help clean up our local waterways, and b) to help promote the use of re-usable bags, alot of people may not bring their re-usable bags with them for an un-planned small purchase at the local CVS or Rite Aide, buying another re-usable bag is just more waste, so would force many to pay the tax anyway.

How about getting some more R/D on better ways to make a bag for practical use that is not so harmful on the environment, and in the mean time, along with a modified tax on paper and plastic bags, offer a 2 or 3 cent recycling bounty for plastic bags collected, just as some states do for bottles and cans?

Article Here

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Night The Lights Went Out in Vegas

On March 28 at 8:30 PM, many cities across the country will turn out the lights in honor of Earth Hour, including Sin City. 74 cities in 62 countries will participate this year, but none are as symbolic as Las Vegas. For all its glamor and over-the-top night life, it is refreshing to hear that the strip will look very different on this day (at least for an hour).

We can all do our part as well, so on March 28, 8:30 PM, turn off those lights, and get a candle or two ready to join a symbolic hand across the world.

Article Here

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Energy Efficiency Google Style

Google has been saying for a while they want to help turn the world green and empower citizens to help do their part. Now comes news of a new prototype of a Google product called Google PowerMeter, where houses that are connected to energy grids via the Internet, can be monitored to determine how much energy the house is currently using and identify potential offenders of energy use when it is not needed. So you will be able to remotely determine if you left the lights or computer on when not home, and can also identify the biggest energy hogs in your household.

Every little bit counts!! Hopefully this will be something that can be used sooner than later, although it may depend on getting houses tied up to a smart energy grid to take advantage of the technology.