Last week’s quiz in the Slate/Treehugger Green Challenge focused on electricity. There was nothing in the quiz that we’re not doing already. Flourescent bulbs – check. Energy Star appliances (either already owned or we’ll get them when we replace things) – check. Unplugging electronics when not in use – check.
There were a few other items that I’ve forgotten, but there was nothing I could pledge to do that I’m not already doing, but while we were in Orange we got flourescent bulbs for my wife’s parents’ house and her grandmother’s house. Her grandmother seemed pleased that we were helping her do what Al Gore said we should.
Here are some other things you can do, according to the results page on my quiz:
- Exchanging three frequently used incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs saves about 150 pounds of CO2 a year per person.
- Unplugging your electronics when they’re not in use or using a power strip to shut them down saves about 500 pounds of CO2 a year per person.
- Unplugging external battery chargers for MP3 players, cell phones, and the like saves 213 pounds of CO2 a year per person.
- Replacing a conventional cordless phone with an Energy Star model saves 13 pounds of CO2 a year per person.
- Replacing a refrigerator that is more than 13 years old saves about 50 pounds of CO2 a year per person, and an average of 650 pounds of CO2 per person over the life of the appliance. Energy Star-rated refrigerators use about half as much energy as models manufactured before 1993. Each year, that comes to about the energy it takes to light the average household for nearly five months. So, if you’re leaving on an old fridge in your basement to store extra food from time to time, you’re adding to your carbon waistline.
So, this week we spread the gospel and reduced our carbon load by 1178 lbs or .12 cars. This brings the total reduction to 6970 lbs or 38% of my original total of 18274 lbs.