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UMD Sustainability

Earth Has No Time (Or Energy) To Waste

April 10, 2017Cassandra OrtbergEducation, Energy, Featured, Sustainable Living, WaterComments Off on Earth Has No Time (Or Energy) To Waste

April at the Office of Sustainability means Earth Month. This year we are using the theme “Earth Has No Time To Waste”. Throughout the month, we will be highlighting some of the different ways that we as a campus and you as an individual can reduce waste in food, energy, and in general. Each week, we will be giving out prizes to help you accomplish your waste reduction goals. All you have to do is add your photo of your favorite place on earth to Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, tag us and use the hashtag #myfavoriteplace17. So stay tuned and don’t forget to show us your favorite place on Earth for Earth Month!

This week is energy waste reduction week! To get you thinking about energy, here are four unique and kind of crazy facts about energy along with tips on how to reduce your energy waste.

Fact #1: Conducting 100 searches on Google uses the same amount of energy as a 60-watt light bulb burning for 28 minutes. This might not sound like much but think about this, Google accounts for roughly 0.013% of the world’s energy use. That would be enough energy to supply constant power to 200,000 homes!

What can you do about it? I’ll bet you’ve never heard of Blackle. Blackle.com is a search engine that is powered by Google with one big difference, almost everything is black! Any device will use more energy to display a white screen than it would to display a black screen. Blackle.com works just like Google so it’s an easy transition to make Blackle.com your home screen or default web browser, plus, you save energy every time you search!

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Fact #2: In each light bulb, only 10% of the energy is actually used to produce light, the other 90% of the energy creates heat.

What can you do about it? Use CFLs or LEDs instead of old incandescent bulbs. They might be a little more expensive but they will pay themselves back faster than most energy efficient projects. You could save up to $70 in annual energy costs by replacing your 5 most frequently used light bulbs with ENERGY STAR certified bulbs!

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Fact #3: Approximately 30% of the energy used in buildings is used inefficiently or unnecessarily… 30%!!!

What can you do about it? Use energy efficient appliances/lighting, be conscious of how much you are using (turn off lights when you leave a room, take shorter showers, etc.), and beware of the phantom! The phantom load that is. Many electronics and appliances draw energy even if they are turned off. Using power strips or just remembering to unplug instead of just turning off will save energy.

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Fact #4: Enough usable sunlight reaches earth’s surface in 1.5 hours to satisfy the world’s energy demands for an entire year.

What can you do about it? You don’t have to put up your own solar array to help promote solar power. You can get involved with groups like the UMD SUN Delegationfocus on solar power for class projects, or take classes that discuss renewable energy.

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Spend a little time thinking about your energy use this week. You might realize that there are a lot of easy ways to reduce how much you use!

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UMD Sustainability
The UMD Sustainability website is administered by the University of Minnesota Duluth's Office of Sustainability.
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