Earth Hour. Its a small savings of power, but a good reminder.

Posted: April 2, 2012 in hardware, technology
Tags: , ,

Earth Hour.

That hour last Saturday evening when a big part of the world bands together for a common cause to shut off lights and save energy.  (we played cards by candlelight and watched the dogs wander around the house confused since typically when the lights are out in the house, it’s either a power outage due to a storm, or it is time for sleeping.  We tried to explain it to them, but were just met with blank stares)

Sure it may only be an hour but the effect that keeps reverberating  is the hope that it gets everyone thinking about the conservation of energy the rest of the year.

During that hour, you try to shut off the obvious uses of electricity, things like lights and TV’s, but many of those things that we use all day long have already become more energy-efficient and don’t suck as much power as they used to.  Take LCD/LED tv’s for instance, energy smart appliances is another one.  Compact fluorescent light bulbs is another, or better yet LED light bulbs if you can afford them.  Even your furnace fan is more efficient than they used to be, typically smaller and more efficient blower motors than those of years past.  Whether we know it or not we have been using less power for a while now due to restrictions put in place by the government that forces manufacturers to reduce the energy consumption of their products.  We’ve all seen the “energy star” emblem or the words “energy saver” on packaging for everything from small appliances to entire homes.  Mostly due to the initiatives set in place by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE), which helped prompt the Office of Energy Efficiency (OEE) in Canada.  Buildings in Canada are subject to the Building codes of the province in which they are constructed and/or the National Building Code, which reference other codes and guidelines that have for some time enforced the conservation of energy and it is getting more strict with each revision.  Government mandates are a good thing sometimes.

That is why, when you hear about the savings of power for a city such as London Ontario being around 2%, it may seem like a small number, but that is because we are only dealing with the obvious energy consumers in our houses and buildings.  So when we do these earth hours, we are not getting off the grid, just easing the load a little by turning out lights, turning off tv’s and other screens, not using small appliances or running the dishwasher, etc., things that typically may not be consuming much to begin with, but it is a reminder to all of us to think about energy consumption and do what we can day-to-day to help ease that load.

We still need to keep fighting the good fight with Earth hour as a yearly reminder to reduce and conserve, to do what we can to keep our planet healthy.  We only get the one, there are no second chances, so treat her with care.

tcg

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