Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Video: Saving Energy around the Water Cooler

Looking for ways to save energy in the workplace? Water coolers/heaters are ubiquitous in offices around the world. Nearly all of them are left on all night long when there’s no point in keeping the hot water hot and the cold water cold. Until recently, your humble Chelsea Green was guilty of this wasteful practice. Well, you know us—we just couldn’t pass up an opportunity to quickly and cheaply green the place up even further. In this video, Jonathan Teller-Elsberg explains how he installed an automatic power timer to save energy and reduce cost. After we’d filmed this segment, a fellow grasshopper pointed out that plug-in automatic timers consume a small amount of electricity themselves—suggesting that we might actually end up with a net loss of energy savings. Well, we wouldn’t want to suggest to our readers they take one step forward and two steps back in the race to reduce carbon emissions. With this in mind, Jonathan used his handy-dandy Kill-A-Watt electricity usage monitor and found that, even with the timer sipping electricity constantly, we still end up with a net energy savings. Here’s Jonathan:
The cooler uses roughly 0.58 kWh of electricity per night (see “Thoughts inspired by the release of our other co-latest Green Guide: Greening Your Office”). So our gross savings using the automatic on/off timer are 0.58 kWh per day. Meanwhile, the timer uses roughly 0.024 kWh per day. That gives us a net savings each day of roughly 0.556 kWh. The financial payback time for the timer is probably something like 4 months. After that, it’s all savings, all the time.
Of course, Jonathan tells me, the financial payback time depends on how much energy the timer is saving you—the bigger the energy hog, the faster the payback time.
Be sure to check out GreenTweet TV for more energy saving green tips.


The Miracle of Farming: Toward a Bio-Abundant Future

Charles and Perrine Hervé-Gruyer’s Le Ferme du Bec Hellouin is a celebrated model of innovative, ecological agriculture in Europe, connected to national and international organizations addressing food security, heralded by celebrity chefs as well as the Slow Food movement, and featured in the inspiring César and COLCOA award-winning documentary film, Demain (Tomorrow).In this excerpt from their […] Read More

Three Principles to Survive the Future

What guiding principles will you need to not just survive the future, but imagine a better one? 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 It. That hardback consists of four hundred and four interlinked dictionary entries, […] Read More

Sow Seeds: Stop Walking Around Doing Nothing

“In the last one hundred years, 94 percent of seed varieties available at the turn of the century in America and considered a part of the human commons have been lost.”That’s one of the key takeaways in award-winning author and activist Janisse Ray’s book, The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food. In her book, Ray […] Read More

True or false? Figs contain dead wasps

They are trees of life and trees of knowledge. They are wish-fulfillers … rainforest royalty … more precious than gold. They are the fig trees, and they have affected humanity in profound but little-known ways. Gods, Wasps and Stranglers tells their amazing story.Fig trees fed our pre-human ancestors, influenced diverse cultures and played key roles […] Read More

Eight Seed-Saving Myths

You don’t have to move to Svalbard, Norway in order to have access to a seed bank.Author and plant breeder Carol Deppe believes that every gardener should have her own seed bank. Even if you aren’t a seed saver, you should have your own seed bank. Even if you never experience any disaster beyond the […] Read More
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