October 10, 2009
8 Reasons to Conserve Energy
1. Resource Depletion. Fossil fuels and uranium are nonrenewable resources. When we run out, we run out.
2. Resource Extraction Harm. Uranium and coal mining are hazardous to miners' health and the environment. Navajo and African uranium miners have extremely high cancer death rates.
3. Local Air Pollution. From auto emmissions, coal-power plants, and wood and leaf burning kills about 55,000 people a year from asthma, emphysema, etc. While large particle matter has been reduced and pollution is now less visible, microscopic small particle matter is very dangerous, because it penetrates deeper into the lungs.
4. Climate Change. Increased heat deaths, droughts, floods, severe storms, land loss, spreading tropical diseases, and species loss are mainly caused from coal and gas CO2 emissions, methane, and CFCs.
5. Acid Rain. Coal power plants and vehicles emit sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrous oxides (NOx). These travel beyond the local area and are harmful to the health throughout whole regions. When SO2 and NOx water vapor mix under certain conditions, sulfuric acid and nitric acid, known as acid rain, are formed. This is very harmful to the lungs. It kills fish in lakes, corrodes property (buildings, monuments, cars, etc.), harms the soil (releasing toxins), and harms trees and crops.
6. Stratospheric Ozone Depletion. Nitrous Oxide (NO2), mainly from car driving, depletes the oxone layer, which sheilds against UV radiation that makes life on earth possible. Recent studies suggest future ozone hole expansion from NO2 emmissions, from car driving, synthetic fertilizers, and coal burning.
7. Save Money. Most energy efficiency measures save money in the long run, without lowering our comfort level or living standard. Compact fluorescent bulbs, for instance, reduce electricity use by 75%; they last about 10 times longer and save $40-$50 over their lifetime. Many energy efficiency and conservation measures are better investments than the stock market or bank interest.
8. Improve Health. Some energy conservation measures improve your health, such as walking and bicycling to offset car-driving. Eating lower on the food-chain is good for your health, and requires less energy and water than animal foods of the same nutrient value. Raw produce has important cancer and disease fighting enzymes that are destroyed in the cooking process, and requires less energy to prepare.
10 Ways to Conserve Energy in the Kitchen.
I'm a Master Naturalist and an outdoor enthusiast -- mostly kayaking, and I live on a Peninsula in the Chesapeake Bay. I'm the author of The Nature Fan, Nature Fan Activists, Green Earth Almanac, and Amanda's Geographic. Formerly, I ran the nationally syndicated column "National Green Activism" for The Examiner, and I was a key factor in the success of many campaigns. Make sure you don't miss a post, and subscribe by email! Thanks for reading.