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Video: Saving Energy around the Water Cooler

Looking for ways to save energy in the workplace? Water coolers/heaters are ubiquitous in offices around the world. Nearly all of them are left on all night long when there’s no point in keeping the hot water hot and the cold water cold. Until recently, your humble Chelsea Green was guilty of this wasteful practice. Well, you know us—we just couldn’t pass up an opportunity to quickly and cheaply green the place up even further. In this video, Jonathan Teller-Elsberg explains how he installed an automatic power timer to save energy and reduce cost. After we’d filmed this segment, a fellow grasshopper pointed out that plug-in automatic timers consume a small amount of electricity themselves—suggesting that we might actually end up with a net loss of energy savings. Well, we wouldn’t want to suggest to our readers they take one step forward and two steps back in the race to reduce carbon emissions. With this in mind, Jonathan used his handy-dandy Kill-A-Watt electricity usage monitor and found that, even with the timer sipping electricity constantly, we still end up with a net energy savings. Here’s Jonathan:
The cooler uses roughly 0.58 kWh of electricity per night (see “Thoughts inspired by the release of our other co-latest Green Guide: Greening Your Office”). So our gross savings using the automatic on/off timer are 0.58 kWh per day. Meanwhile, the timer uses roughly 0.024 kWh per day. That gives us a net savings each day of roughly 0.556 kWh. The financial payback time for the timer is probably something like 4 months. After that, it’s all savings, all the time.
Of course, Jonathan tells me, the financial payback time depends on how much energy the timer is saving you—the bigger the energy hog, the faster the payback time.
Be sure to check out GreenTweet TV for more energy saving green tips.


The Limits to Growth and Greece: Systemic or Financial Collapse?

Could it be that the ongoing Greek collapse is a symptom of the more general collapse that the Limits to Growth model generates for the first two decades of the 21st century? Author Ugo Bardi (Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral Wealth is Plundering the Planet) examines the correlation between what is unfolding between Greece […] Read More..

Wild Edibles: 5 Tips for Beginner Foragers

Ever spotted a dandelion growing in your backyard and wondered, can I eat that? According to wild plants expert Katrina Blair, the answer is a resounding yes. And there are plenty of other commonly found weeds that fall into this category as well. In her book The Wild Wisdom of Weeds, Blair introduces readers to […] Read More..

10 Books to Celebrate the International Year of Soils

Beneath our feet lies a resource that is critical to our future. It’s the first thing we think about when it comes to farming and gardening – and yet, one of the last things considered when thinking about the long-term preservation of our earth. It’s the basis for healthy food production, is a crucial tool […] Read More..

5 Shareable Strategies for Creating Climate Action

Frustrated about climate change? You’re not alone. Most people in our society find themselves somewhere on the spectrum of depressed about our climate situation to flat-out denying that it exists. In fact, the more information about global warming that piles up, the less we seem to do to combat it. What is the reason for this […] Read More..

A Permaculture Approach to Managing Hedge Bindweed

As Permaculture Month continues, we are making our expert authors available to answer your burning permaculture questions. If you have a question to submit, fill out this form. In the below Q&A, Tao Orion, author of the new book Beyond the War on Invasive Species, discusses how she approaches weed management. Orion believes invasive species are good ecological […] Read More..