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Friday, August 3, 2007

Holiday Reading, Carbon Busting

I’ve never been one for achieving anything of note on my holidays despite my good intentions and the rather extensive list of things I should do. This year my ambition level is no better than usual but I did mange to read The Carbon Buster’s Home Energy Handbook and found it to be an excellent resource for understanding which purchasing decisions and lifestyle changes can have the most impact for both ones pocket book and the environment.

For each topic it shows (based on an assumed norm) how much carbon and how many dollars you can save depending on the choices you make. It talks about such things as efficiency ratings and various technologies for vehicles, fridges, freezers, stoves, the comparative frugality of different lighting styles, heating and cooling tips and a score of other carbon cutting differences you can make. The Home Energy Handbook also gives you payback times for money invested in various carbon saving techniques and products, as well as a lifetime savings based on the estimated lifespan of various products. For example a move to a front load washing machine from a top loader would have the following savings

5- year savings $334, 3,300 lbs CO2 , 540 kWh of power, 13000 cu.ft of natural gas and 37,000 gallons of water
Life time savings- based on washing machine lasting 11 years. (My last one survived well past 20 years) $734 and 7,200 lbs of CO2

Payback 9.2 years

The savings numbers double if your hot water is electrically heated.

As a resource to help you judge which changes to make based on total impact and cost effectiveness, this book is a definate buy at under $11. For those who are unconvinced on the climate argument the book proves the dollar argument, producing less carbon pays off financially. It does not matter if you do the right thing for the wrong reason, everyone benefits and with energy costs on a long spiral up and shortages possible this will only become more relevant in the future.Recommend this Post

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