Trying to Stay Cool While the Earth Heats Up

August 3, 2010 at 3:10 pm Leave a comment

Recently I read an article in The Independent on the consequences of air conditioning called Air Conditioning: Cold Comfort and I came across this astonishing fact,

“Now, air conditioning guzzles 15 percent of total American energy consumption, higher than any other country, using the same amount of fossil fuel as the whole of Africa employs for all its energy needs.”

This fact is truly jaw dropping and brings into clear view the idea that we as Americans are using up more energy than any other society on the earth.  Now I am reminded of my high school science class when my teacher told me that we would need four earth’s if everyone lived the way that we do.

However, it is not all us.  The use of air conditioners tripled in China since 1997 and in the next twenty years the use of air conditioners in the UK is projected to increase by 50%.   Other countries like India and Korea are following suit.  And with temperatures rising this is only going to continue to be a problem.  Not only is our addition to air conditioning releasing greenhouse gases at an alarming rate but also the toxic chemicals in air conditioners are wrecking havoc on our landfills when we depose of them-not to mention taking up a lot of space.

While this is scary there is something we can do.  We are all part of a society that depends too much on air conditioners so it is good for us to lead by example.  Here are some tips:

* Use a programmable thermostat that way you can set your air conditioner to go off during the day when you are not home

*Set your air conditioner for 78 degrees when you are home and then turn it off during the night when it is cooler

*Shut off certain rooms that you are not using to the air conditioner- Simply close off the air ducts and the doors

*Open windows at night to get a breeze and close the blinds during the day to keep the sun out

*Plant lots of shade in your garden and yard to keep it cool

*Make use of fans instead of air conditioners

*Use your basements when it is hot out as they are much cooler than the above ground portion of your home

*Unplug your unused appliances and try to avoid using appliances that generate a lot of heat.  ex. dryers, ovens, etc.

These are just some of the suggestions we can all do to cut down on our air conditioner addition.  Go and get started; or if you don’t use an air conditioner good for you, try to help others do the same.

Be creative, Be happy, Be green

Anne


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Entry filed under: consequences, conservation, consumption, energy, sustainability, tips.

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