Ways we are wasteful quick links!
To start this off, I must say that I am a scavenger...a pretty serious one! A bottom feeder if you will. The nice thing about living in the US of A is that there is always plenty of perfectly good junk thrown out for me to feast upon! It is absloutely amazing what people throw away these days just because it's out of style, old, or that they just don't like it! I mean anything from construction materials, to electronics, clothing...just about anything you can image built, I have, at sometime, probably pulled it out of a trash heap!
Citizens of the United States though are not just wasteful in throwing
out useful product, but are totally wasteful in just simple habits. Here
are a few that really bug me, will save tremendous amounts, and offer hardly
any change in lifestyle:
We have been in a pretty serious drought lately on the east coast, which means water conservation measures had to be enacted to make sure there is enough to go around. The biggest waste of water though has been watering lawns and greenery. The worst part about it is that the locality forces you to use treated, disinfected potable water to throw on the ground! First of all, I think watering lawns is a real waste, Planting vegitation that grows better with less water is a more thoughtful approach. Many sprinkler systems are not even turned off around here during rainy days! This is totally unacceptable. Someone at the business can see that it is raining, and should take two minutes to walk in the utility room, and close the valve! Besides, technology has developed rainfall sensors that will shut down a sprinkler system during rain anyways!
Just simply drive down the main drag through your hometown late at night,
and ponder how much wattage all those parking lot lamps are consuming!
Keep in mind, it's late at night, and the businesses are closed! Not only
does turning the fixtures off and on when they are actually needed save
tremendous amounts of energy, the choice of light fixture makes a big difference
too. Lighting up your neighbor's property, or just simply shooting
the light off into space means that light is not doing you any good!
Choose a good fixture with a good reflector that directs the light where
you really need it...and TURN IT OFF WHEN IT'S NOT IN USE!! While exterior
illumination can make a location more secure, there is an myth that the
more light you have, the more security you have,this is simply not true.
Excessive brightness creates pockets of darkness just outside of the lights'
reach, and you pass a point of diminishing returns.
Chesterfield county's commercial lighting requirements
Examples of bad lighting!
notice how most of the light is NOT lighting the intended subjects, and is just simply making glare and illuminating locations that aren't
supposed to be lit!
Examples of good lighting
These buildings do not cast any light into outer space, nor do they create glare. The light is going to it's intended location. Now if we could only get these places to turn them off after they are not needed (notice there is not any foot traffic on the sidewalk!!!)
Check the International Dark Sky Association
more information on light pollution!
The Lodging industry is perhaps one of the businesses that is the most wasteful of any. I mean, how often do you change the sheets at home? Well, hotels do it every night, even if the same person is sleeping in the room! Imagine the energy consumption from washing just one set of bedsheets at home, now imagine the energy consumption from washing 200 or more sheets and towels every day!
One of my favorite magazines is "Home
Power Magazine" which shows how many people have contributed to saving
power, and generating their own. It is written in such a way to show
that you can use commonly avaliable resources to be more efficent, how
to change your energy consumption habits, and how to build energy efficent,
and energy producing equipment with a slant toward the home hobbiest, not
just trying to sell equipment.
I am sure glad that some people have the generosity to give their only
slightly worn or out of style clothing to charities like Goodwill
industries and the Salvation
Army, becasue that is where I do all my shopping! Of course,
these organizations do much more for society than just re-sell clothing
that people give them. They are absloutley huge charity organizations
that help the poor and needy worldwide. They only survive through
the donations of others though!