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Ten Surprising Facts About the Energy We Use

The days of cheap oil energy have come to an end. What once was simple and cheap (i.e. driving to vacation) has become difficult and expensive (i.e. …driving to vacation). The skyrocketing cost (and limited supply) of energy has forced us to re-examine the energy we use in our daily lives. Below is a quick list of 10 facts about our energy usage that may surprise you.

The following has been adapted for the web from Energy: Use Less—Save More by Jon Clift and Amanda Cuthbert.

  1. Americans consume 26% of the world’s energy.

  2. 18% of total emissions comes from operating our homes.

  3. Heating and cooling account for about 56% of the energy use in a typical home.

  4. We spend 10% of our electricity bills on lighting.

  5. Our demand for energy grows by about 3% per year.

  6. At any one time in most households an average of 8 appliances are left on stand-by. (Stand-by is an appliance’s “off” setting, but the appliance continues to use about 85% of the energy it uses while on—often so that it can listen for signals from remote controls.)

  7. Energy-efficient washing machines use about 1/3 less electricity than older machines.

  8. Washing clothes at 140 degrees (F) uses almost twice the energy as a 104 degree (F) wash.

  9. 90% of the energy used by traditional bulbs is wasted in producing heat.

  10. About 25% of all the energy we use to heat our homes escapes through single-glazed windows.

A few of these facts may seem depressing, but the truth is that each one represents a great opportunity for reducing our energy usage, the greenhouse gases we create, and the cost of our electric bill. See Energy: Use Less—Save More by Jon Clift and Amanda Cuthbert for great energy saving strategies.

Get Ready, Get Resilient

Are you resilient? How about we put your answer to the test, literally. Now, we know that assessment is always an important, albeit imperfect, subjective, and incomplete tool. In order to understand one’s skill in living a resilient lifestyle, Ben Falk, author of the award-winning The Resilient Farm and Homestead, developed the following assessment tool. […] Read More

Happy Holidays from Chelsea Green Publishing!

Today we kick off our Holiday Sale — with 35% off every purchase at our online bookstore. Simply use the code CGS16 at checkout from now until the end of the year. Along with this great discount, we are offering free shipping on any order over $100*. Are there homesteaders or organic gardeners on your […] Read More

The 5 Rules of Lean Thinking

Are you ready to co-create the future? These 5 Rules of Lean Thinking are a useful tool as we set out to collectively invent a post-market future. Surviving the Future is a story drawn from the fertile ground of the late David Fleming’s extraordinary Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive […] Read More

Imagination, Purpose & Flexibility: Creating an Independent Farmstead – Q&A (part 1)

Twenty years ago, the land that authors Shawn and Beth Dougherty purchased and have come to name the Sow’s Ear was deemed “not suitable for agriculture” by the state of Ohio. Today, their family raises and grows 90% of their own food. Such self-sufficiency is largely the result of basing their farming practices around intensive […] Read More

Using Permaculture Principles to Design Resilient Cities

The Permaculture City begins in the garden but takes what we have learned there and applies it to a much broader range of human experience; we’re not just gardening plants but people, neighborhoods, and even cultures. Author Toby Hemenway (Gaia’s Garden) lays out how permaculture design can help towndwellers solve the challenges of meeting our […] Read More
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