Unplug and Shamu?

I hope everyone had a great Earth Day. I am ready to get back in to the swing of things. I plan on giving a breakdown of whats been going on, and what the future plan is tomorrow.

On Friday, a few of us from Plug ‘N Save were able to volunteer our time with the California Center for Sustainable Energy’s Green Learning Adventure. We traveled to two locations; the first stop was at SeaWorld. My coworker Bennet had been scheduled to go, and I managed to wiggle my way in to the trip. I was able to spend some time working with employees sharing general electricity management tips.

After all the things we discussed at the event, I realized I needed to step my game up. I had talked about all the things you can do to reduce you bill, and then I thought if I did these things myself. Needless to say I had a lot of room for improvement. When I spent a minute thinking about all the things that use energy even when they are not powering something, and compared that to the things I knew I had plugged in, I saw an easy fix. After the event, I decided to walk around SeaWorld and see what it was all about. It was my first trip, so I went to see Shamu!

mini Shamu doing a little helicopter spin

It was awesome. I sat in the ‘soak zone’ and, well, got soaked. I felt like a little kid, but it was awesome. During the show they really do an amazing job incorporating conservation and preservation awareness. During some points I got chills. It was inspiring, what can I say. They do what they do, and they do it well.

But back to electricity. I started getting the cords organized in my room; I consolidated the cords to two places and in power strips, one for my desk and the other at my entertainment center. This will not only save me some pennies, but it cleaned up the spaces. I wanted to do this at work too. We use a lot more electrical appliances and tools, so I wanted to see what I could get in to a power strip. I decided to start with my desk.

Custom power strip, snazzy set up.

I got all of my computer and phone components plugged in to one power strip. Todd and I share a desk, so I got a few things of his to fit in there too, it worked out well. When i leave work, i can just reach under my desk and flip the switch.

Now, I’m going to spout off some of the general info we were discussing at the SeaWorld event.

The typical American home has about 50  appliances that consume power all day, which represents between five to eight percent of a household’s total electricity use per year. This is approximately 65 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity each year, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (www.energy.ca.go). This lost energy represents the electricity generated in the U.S. by about 35 power plants, or 95 billion pounds of carbon dioxide released into the air.

By turning off power strips hooked up to computers, internet modems, and copiers, each household could save around $100 a year . Turning off your computer monitor during the day, even with your computer still on, can save much more energy than a screensaver and remember to unplug telephone, toothbrush, PDA, and portable tool chargers from the wall when not in use (www.energy.ca.gov).

I mentioned that there were two stops. I stayed at SeaWorld, and Bennet moved on with the Green Learning Adventure to pick up Todd. They headed inland to an event at a recreation center. I’m going to have Todd write a quick bit about what they did… because I don’t really know.

I got some ideas from a few college friends recently too, and with the graduation season coming up,we will be looking at ways to celebrate with our theme in mind.

-Dan Conroy, Colin Johnson

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Filed under 30 ways in 30 days, Carbon Footprint, Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency, Philanthropy

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