Monday, 26 November 2007

Lit up Christmas

It is very difficult and disturbing to live in the real (and wasteful) world with energy saving eyes. Your blood boils at every corner and you launch disapproving glances towards every careless human being that leaves the toilet lights on. So imagine how difficult it is for me to walk around town during this festive season.
Every lamp post in the town I live in is covered in incandescent coloured light bulbs (the same one government is talking about phasing out in half a decade), there is a huge Christmas tree in the square covered in non-efficient fairy lights and very bright illuminated decorations hang from every available edge, doorway, lamppost, stall, window, etc.
I have also been trying hopelessly to find where the plugs are, switch things off and sabotage these watt-monsters of Christmas.
But I don't want to be a joy-killer. It's ok to use beautiful low-energy LED lights, consuming a few watts only, which can be put on a timer so they are not on all night. There are also scores of colourful decorations that look lovely with no need for background lighting. If you're one of those people who like to make your house visible from the moon at Christmas or make your neighbours green with envy, then how about some solar powered fairy lights?
Go for no lights or green lights so we can still be able to enjoy some snow in the winter.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Power Down!

Today I'll start a little series of posts on energy and saving it.
Lately everyone has been swamped by lots of energy savings tips, so I'll try to look at the practical side of doing what's necessary in these post-fourth assessment times.
I'm going to start with laptops and chargers.
Playing with my electricity meter, I found out that my Macbook when it's off but still plugged in uses 14W of electricity! Just having the charger plugged in with no computer attached to the other end uses the same amount. That also goes for mobile chargers. After it has fully charged your phone, that little plugged in device will continue to sap watt after watt.
Just picture the scene, you wake up, pull your phone of the end of the charger and jump on your bike to go to work, all happy about how environmentally friendly you are, oblivious to that little vampire you left plugged in that will spend idle hours sucking expensive and polluting power. Outrageous.
That's just silly waste of energy, cutting it out doesn't require skills, funding or much effort, but it requires creating a habit. So when you turn your laptop off at the end of the day, remember to switch the power charger off as well. Same goes for ipod, mobile and battery chargers.
"Switch off at the mains" should become the new energy saving mantra!
Come on, repeat with me: