One of the initiatives I am launching using The Energy Framework is to enable individuals (as energy users and as purchasers) to understand true costs of each option all the way back to source.
Some choices are obvious:
• Using powered leaf-blowers, particularly on windy days, is staggeringly stupid - they should be raked and picked up as a resource.
• On even lawns use push mowers instead of powered mowers, plus get fit!
Other are less clear:
• Is a car that runs on primarily 'dirty' coal generated electricity really less polluting than a petroleum fueled car. "Well-to-wheel" analysis purports that to be the case.
• Is replacement of an inefficient appliance that could run well for many more years, with a more efficient appliance justified? How does one decide?
Knowing the true 'back to source' costs of appliances, electronics, transportation, heating, lighting, cooking etc.would make for better decisions.
Many actions an individual can take involve changing methods and habits, sometimes at the loss of a convenience, but often at a gain:
• A washing line instead of the dryers (a huge energy hog) - inconvenient, difficult during rainy times, but there is nothing finer than the smell of fresh wind-blown sheets - remember your childhood?
The 3 'Rs' continue to be valuable (Reduce-Reuse-Recycle) and there are new 'Rs' with even more impact; Refuse, with it's ironic double-meaning; Why does someone purchasing a carton of milk require it to be put in a plastic bag?
Another idea is to come up with a completely new use: Pause before you dispose of anything and ask if there is another way of using it (Re-Invent)- I recently discovered that those mini sock hooks that many pairs are sold with make perfect clothes-line hooks!
Beyond the individual level, but very relevant to end-use, is the Re-Capture concept: Cars passing over a 'traffic-calming' device in the UK generates electricity - dancers in a nightclub generate electric power via capture devices in the floor, as do people exercising in a Danish gym.
With awareness and consciousness of just how precious energy actually is we can all help turn this around.
posted 4 years ago
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