General ramblings

Live Better, Save Energy

April 5, 2014

I blogged a few weeks ago, before the Great Energy Race started (was there a time when I wasn’t so obsessed with all things with energy..?!) about the Guardian’s Live Better site on their online paper.
It is fabulous. Each month, they are focussing on a different aspect of sustainable living. Last month was all about food waste, and this month, serendipitously, is all about…Saving Energy!

They have put together this awesome infographic (I love that word, so descriptive!) which kind of sums up the whole Great Energy Race in one pretty picture, and is the kind of thing I would undoubtedly have produced if I had more time, talent and money. Thankfully, I didn’t need to, as they have done all the hard work, and I am sharing it with you now!

Reducing your energy use - infographic

Image from the Guardian

There are some awesome stats on there-some a little bit scary, and others a little bit inspirational. I am going to repeat a couple of them as they are so mind blowing, and bear repeating:

  • If every household in the UK turned down their thermostat by just one teeny tiny, not even noticeable degree, we would cut our carbon emissions by the same amount as the total amount of carbon emitted by Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo combined.
    Wow! What are we waiting for? Let’s do it! And tell our friends, and family and neighbours, and FB people and the postman, and and and!!
  • If everyone only ever boiled the amount of water they needed, we would collectively save enough energy to light half the streets of the UK.
    Seriously, come on people. We can do this!!

As part of the Energy Saving month, so far they have:

  • Challenged journalist Tim Dowling to cut his energy usage in half. You can follow his progress on the live blog, and pick up all kinds of hints and tips
  • Done a pretty thorough piece on the wonderful-ness of LEDs
  • And they are also challenging us all to get involved and take our very own challenge each month, and this time, the goal is to save 10% on our energy bills. I think they must have been following the blog, as they have a list of energy saving hints and tips here, and I think we have pretty much nailed them all 😉

So if me telling you to save energy and bombarding you with ‘fascinating’ information wasn’t enough, now the very good, very clever types at the Guardian are telling you to do it too, so it really is time to get on it!
Sign up for the challenge, follow them on Twitter (@GdnLiveBetter) and get saving!

 

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  • Reply sarahn April 14, 2014 at 3:21 am

    Unrelated, but here’s a link to what I was talking about during your energy saving: http://www.ausgrid.com.au/coolsaver

    • Reply Jen April 15, 2014 at 7:15 pm

      Looks great!

  • Reply banksjay April 5, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    It’s all very interesting and inspirational. It would be great if you collected more energy saving tips (from more articles) and published that all in one article. You are really enthusiastic so that will be probably no problem for you. People always appreciate having a lot of information at one place.

    • Reply Jen April 6, 2014 at 10:08 am

      Thankyou. Will have a look at doing a summary post!

  • Reply sandyfaithking April 5, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    I’m interested to know where they got some of their information from. When I did my OU course on the Environment last year, it estimated that individual households were responsible for 80% of the UK’s carbon footprint. Maybe it depends how this is worked out as it’s far from straightforward (unfortunately).

    • Reply Jen April 6, 2014 at 10:09 am

      Wow, 80%!! The figures I found I think were about 35%, but I can’t remember where I got them from! as you say, far from straightforwards.

      • Reply sandyfaithking April 6, 2014 at 12:33 pm

        Perhaps it was because, unlike the government’s carbon footprint calculator, the OU had its own carbon footprint calculator (shame it’s not for general use as I found it very interesting) and within that they included the ways in which we spend our money, and the ways in which we shop for food and household items, so it was quite a lot more complex. I think it must have taken into account the footprint generated by the goods and services we choose to buy. It wouldn’t make sense otherwise why the two figures are so different. I’ll have to dig out my textbooks and see if I can locate the source of the information. 🙂

  • Reply Vivienne Downes April 5, 2014 at 7:55 am

    It’s amazing what can be achieved but when money was tight after being widowed I cut my energy bills by half just turned everything off & thought before I used anything I needed to use.

    • Reply Jen April 5, 2014 at 10:03 am

      Wow, in half! That’s amazing, and also a little bit scary. Have you managed to stay at that level, or have you relaxed a bit now?

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