Week #34. Lighting and electricity.
Flicking off your light switches and power points. Seems pretty simple right? Well, it is. But do you understand the huge difference we can make to our planet if we all did this more often?
How is electricity made?
Electricity is a secondary energy source, created mostly by converting fossil fuels such as oil, coal, nuclear, and natural gas in power stations.
This process is effective to power our homes, schools and businesses, but there is a down side that is becoming more apparent with every passing year.
Through the combustion of fossil fuels listed above, that are used to generate heat needed to power steam turbines (power stations), also results in the production of carbon dioxide (CO2). electricity generation is responsible for approximately 40% of global CO2 emissions .
Why should we care?
Well without getting too technical, most scientists believe that CO2 is the primary heat-trapping, “greenhouse gas” responsible for global warming.
Electricity production is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. (29% in 1996, just ahead of transportation's 26%). And lighting uses about 25% of all electricity in the United States.
6,677 Million Metric Tonnes of CO2 equivalent is generated annually.
27% (1803 million metric tonnes of co2 equivalent) of greenhouse gas emissions in 2018 were caused by electricity, lighting and powered electronics.
And of that, 32% (577 million metric tonnes) were caused by residential and commercial practices.
Can this be avoided?
3 tonnes is the magic figure. We currently create 4.5 tonnes of CO2 per person each year, but we need to lessen that to 3 tonnes per person per year. This amount can be naturally sustained by the planet.
How do we do this?
There are some simple things we can all do to help lessen each of our footprints.
- turn off your lights when you don't need them
- change your globes to compact fluorescent bulbs
- discard any halogen torchieres you may have. They use 5-10 times more energy than a normal globe.
- consider installing motion sensors around your home or public areas of your business. For example, instead of leaving the toilet light on all day, a motion sensor for guests when entering is more cost and power effective.
- turn off your computer, other electronics
- use a thermostat for heating
- buy Energy Star appliances
Remember, a compact fluorescent bulb lasts ten times longer than an incandescent bulb and prevents 450-900 kilograms of carbon dioxide from heating the atmosphere. It can also prevent the emission of 4-8kgs of sulphur dioxide, which causes acid rain.
Every little choice makes a difference, so please choose thoughtfully.
For all of Aussie Bread Bags '52 small sustainable changes', click here.
Thanks to the below articles for the info for this blog: