Monday, March 16th, 2009

Energy Consumption: Less is More

Jane AdamsAt a recent public forum I attended, Brian Moran, a candidate running for the office of Governor of Virginia, was the guest speaker. He talked about the issues he felt needed to be addressed should he lead the Commonwealth. In general, he touched on the areas of education, health care, transportation and green energy.

On the issue of green energy, he talked, like many others, about how moving towards green energy projects of wind and solar would create more jobs. The projects would harness the natural resources at our disposal. These projects would take time to build out… and so forth.

What I found lacking, and not just with Mr. Moran but with other public officials as well when they get onto this topic, is that no one really addresses the conservation of energy resources. No one talks about what we as individuals or companies can and should do while we wait for these green energy systems to become mass commercialized. Maybe its too obvious.

We should all be conserving resources. Rather than using a clothes dryer, use a drying rack or laundry line outside. Turn off lights when you leave a room. Don’t leave a T.V. on if no one is watching it. Set thermostats lower. Plant a tree to shade your home. Use public transportation, walk or bike if you can. Recycle and reuse whenever possible. Less is more.

Robin Kent, managing director of Tangram Technology Ltd., gave a well-received presentation at the Sustain ’08 plastics business summit last November about how plastics companies can significantly reduce their energy consumption. (Here’s a video clip from his session.)

So while I wait for a wind farm or solar station to come to my neighborhood, I will continue to set my thermostat lower, hang my laundry outside, recycle and reuse whatever I can and conserve for the future.

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