Happy Earth Hour

30 03 2008

Last night, the city of Phoenix participated in the second annual Earth Hour. I had heard about the event last week, and I was glad to hear that more cities were participating this year. It was a little funny that our neighbors were very excited about the upcoming hour of darkness. I was sort of hoping to see a visible dimming of the nighttime glow around Phoenix. However, that did not occur, at least not from my vantage point so many miles from the center of Downtown Phoenix, where the 5 blocks of large buildings were turned off for the hour. While it this, and other events are great gestures of global awareness of global warming, I have to say that, for our household, every hour is Earth Hour.

This is a lot easier said than done as well since we are a technological family. We have three laptops running most of the time, as well as a plethora of disks for our own private networked world. Every device we have has some sort of power save mode so that our computers and networked peripherals can get along with the fewest watts possible. We also don’t watch TV that often, and only use only the minimum amount of lights necessary to see around the house at night. We don’t really light up the outside of the house, and it looks like no one lives here sometimes, but it’s energy and money saved.

Around the rest of the house, I replaced all the most frequently used light fixtures with flourescent bulb. We keep the stair lights on at night in case of an emergency trip to the bathroom. The original lights consumed 40 watts. The price of the two incandescent bulbs for the whole year was $23.36 Changing those two bulbs that are on 8 hours a night (sometimes more) for 365 days per year to CFLs (Compact Florescent Bulbs) costs $4.08 annually. Replacing only two light bulbs saved nearly $20/year of energy costs. Not only that, it saved 96 Kw of energy per year. If you spread that savings out to the whole house, the cost of the bulbs is taken care of in less than half a year. The rest is pure money and energy saved. Find out how much you can save by switching to CFLs.

So, while there are still those disbelievers in regards to the statement that man is causing global warming, they should still be cognizant of the fact that the Earth does not belong to them. If anyone, it belongs to our children, and their children. As such, everything you do now can have an impact on the type of world in which they live. The Earth’s resources seem infinite to so many who keep looking for resources like oil, but those resources will run out at some point. It’s up to us, the majority of normal people to start saving the world for our kids.