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Less is MORE

Sanat Sankrityayan 2010-09-10

Know what you need to know


• Many automatic devices can help in saving energy used in lighting. Consider employing infrared sensors, motion sensors, automatic timers, dimmers and solar cells wherever applicable, to switch on/off lighting circuits.
• As for as possible use task lighting, which focuses light where it’s needed. A reading lamp, for example, lights only reading material rather than the whole room.

• 90 percent of the energy consumed by an ordinary bulb (incandescent lamp) is given off as heat rather than visible light.

• Replace your electricity-guzzling ordinary bulbs (incandescent lamps) with more efficient types. Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) use up to 75 percent less electricity than incandescent lamps.

• A 15-watt CFL bulb produces the same amount of light as a 60-watt incandescent bulb.

• You can run a TV for six hours on the amount of electricity that is saved by recycling one aluminium can.

• Don’t leave the video game on pause, or the computer in sleep mode. Those electronics are still using energy, even when you aren’t using them. You can make it easy to turn off all those home electronics like TVs, DVD players, computers and more. Simply plug them into power strips, and then turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use.

• Dirty tube lights and bulbs reflect less light and can absorb 50 percent of the light; dust your tube lights and lamps.

• High-definition televisions are great, but keep in mind they use six times as much energy as a regular television.
• Use ceiling or table fan as first line of defence against summer heat. Ceiling fans, for instance, cost about 30 paise an hour to operate – much less than air conditioners (Rs 10.00 per hour).

• You can reduce air-conditioning energy use by 40 percent by shading your home’s windows and walls. Plant trees and shrubs to keep the day’s hottest sun off your house.

• One will use 3 to 5 percent less energy for each degree AC is set above 22°C (71.5°F), so set the thermostat of room AC at 25°C (77°F) to provide the most comfort at the least cost.

• Using ceiling or room fans allows you to set the thermostat higher because the air movement will cool the room.

• A good AC will cool and dehumidify a room in about 30 minutes, so use a timer and leave the unit off for some time.

• Keep doors to air-conditioned rooms closed as often as possible.

• Clean the AC filter every month. A dirty air filter reduces airflow and may damage the unit. Clean filters enable the unit to cool down quickly and use less energy.

• If room AC is older and needs repair, it’s likely to be very inefficient. It may work out cheaper on life cycle costing to buy a new energy-efficient air conditioner.
• Make sure that refrigerator is kept away from all sources of heat, including direct sunlight, radiators and appliances such as the oven, and cooking range. When it’s dark, place a lit flashlight inside the refrigerator and close the door. If light around the door is seen, the seals need to be replaced.

• Refrigerator motors and compressors generate heat, so allow enough space for continuous airflow around refrigerator. If the heat can’t escape, the refrigerator’s cooling system will work harder and use more energy.

• A full refrigerator is a fine thing, but be sure to allow adequate air circulation inside

• Think about what you need before opening refrigerator door. You’ll reduce the amount of time the door remains open.
• Reduce waste by using re-usable products. Reduce use of disposable cups, plates, glasses, nappies and razors which add to more non-biodegradable waste.

• Re-use whatever you can such as invitation cards, envelopes, old calendars etc.

• Repair broken items instead of throwing them.

• Recycle what cannot be reused. Paper, plastic, newspaper, glass and aluminium cans are a classic example of this.

• Refuse to accept plastic bags. Carry your own cloth bag or jute bag.

• Segregate waste. Garbage is best dealt with when it is sifted at source into biodegradable and non- bio-degradable.

• Bio-degradable waste can be easily composted. Compose it at home, at the community level, in a restaurant, a private nursing home to yield rich, natural fertilizer. It can be used for planting trees in gardens and lawns or it can yield energy (biogas and bio-methane) for generating electricity to be used in gas stove or factories. Recyclable waste can be given to the rag pickers. Toxic waste can be given to the MCD for safe and proper disposal. Almost 80% of our roadside garbage is bio-degradable which is not picked up by rag pickers because it cannot be recycled. If you reduce your household waste you can save 1200 pounds of CO2 annually.

—Compiled by Rajiv Chhibber

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