Monday, March 12, 2012

Simple Suggestion #115... Unplug

I've never really been a fan of Daylight Savings Time, mainly because of that lost hour of sleep every spring, and all the dopey car accidents and confusion it creates for human beings on Sunday/Monday morning. I don't know about you, but I find that just one hour's change in schedule really messes me up. I feel dopey for a full week afterward, like I've got seven days worth of jetlag or something. No wonder I'm not a huge fan of plane travel. This week, I'm more like the great African explorer's porters who, after four days of break-neck speed safari-ing, sat down and refused to budge an inch, insisting upon time for their souls to catch up with their bodies.

Of course, DST has a few bonuses to offer us (though if we waited a few weeks, we'd have the same benefits without having to give up a precious hour of sleep) -- the first being more daylight sooner, the second, gaining that hour back next fall, and the third being the ability to use less electricity when it comes to lighting our homes in the evenings.

I know, I know, electricity isn't something we give much thought, except when it comes time to pay the bills. But it's also something we shouldn't take for granted, something to be conserved as much as possible, especially since so much of ours in Alberta comes from fossil fuel sources that increase the carbon in our atmosphere and cause climate change. Any time we can do things without using electricity is bonus time for the human race. (And using windpower is always a positive option, too... check out http://www.bullfrogpower.com/.)

So, as much as I hate losing that hour of sleep, I like living without lights in the evenings. And we carry it further, by unplugging as much as possible, and looking for every other possible way to reduce our use of electricity. Like, for example, this:


A handy-dandy power bar. We have power bars attached to our computers and modems (where they also prevent power surges that can destroy hardware), our TV and related devices, and our microwave. Any item that has those little "user friendly" lights to indicate that they're in working order can be an electricity vampire, sucking energy from our home. Snap off the power bar switch, and their vampire habits aren't eating electricity unnecessarily -- especially our annoying microwave, which keeps flashing the words PRESS CLEAR CLEAR CLEAR HAVE A NICE COOKING TIME. Honestly, who came up with that brilliant message?

We'd like to think that future generations will have enough energy to live happily in the future, so that's why we try to live without electricity as much as possible... which brings me to another reminder. Earth Hour 2012 arrives at 8:30 on March 31st. How are you planning to live it, and carry it through to the rest of the year? For ideas, check www.earthhour.org.

P.S. Looking for more Simple Suggestions? Try here.

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