Friday, August 27, 2010

Life of an Ea-Pea, Episode 2: In The Dark

When I first moved to my new apartment back in June, it took roughly eight days to get my power hooked up because of an unforeseen complication. In that time I had no power at all and no lights. I remember one person asked me how I could live in the dark, and then jokingly quipped that surely I didn't plan to live by lighting candles every night. The truth is though, that's exactly how I survived. I did everything by sun light during the day, and by candle light at night.

When I finally did get my electricity connected, I felt that it would be a shame to pollute the environment so unnecessarily by relying on my lights like I used to do before this experience. While I do turn on my lights, now and then, for tasks that require acute vision (e.g., cutting thin slices of cheese, or finding my keys), for the most part I live entirely off of natural light sources.

Furthermore, I remembered from a couple of years back how a friend of mine used to unplug all of his non-essential electronics at night to help minimize "phantom drain" (electricity drawn by a device even when it's turned "off"). While my electronic possessions are minimal, I adapted this technique for my most energy intensive activity: blogging. I run my netbook on battery power until it is nearly empty, charge it up again, and then unplug the power cord from the wall and run the battery down again. I repeat as necessary, every day. At night, or when I leave my home, I unplug all the power cords in my house except for the cord for my refrigerator.

The purpose of my energy conservation techniques are two fold. A) Using less energy costs less money, and B) There's no such thing as "clean energy". Every kWh I don't use is one less kWh worth of carbon emitted into the atmosphere from the coal-based power plant used to produce the electricity in the first place.

One day soon I hope to have the money to have my apartment's carbon emissions offset by Bullfrog Power's "cleaner" energy. Until then I'll help save the planet by opening up the curtains on my window and unplugging my modem at night.

1 comment:

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