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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.

New French edition of The Resilient Farm and Homestead available

Great news for French-speaking fans of Ben Falk’s The Resilient Farm and Homestead: An Innovative Permaculture and Whole Systems Design Approach. The French language translation is now available from Imagine Un Colibri, from French booksellers, and on Falk’s book is a technical manual that details the strategies he and his team have developed for […] Read More

Prepare! Keep a Grab-n-Go Survival Kit Handy

Are you prepared in the event of a sudden emergency? Blizzard, earthquake, insurrection after the inauguration? We know a lot of people are wondering what’s coming next in the US, as well as the world, given terrorism, politics, and global warming, among other threats. In this excerpt from When Technology Fails, a popular book on […] Read More

A Bloggin’ We Shall Go: Your Favorite Blog Posts from 2016

Ah, 2016 – where did the time fly? It seems like only earlier this year we were excited about designing swales and getting to know more about no-till farming, and we ended up focusing on the heart, ketogenic diets and seeking a bio-abundant future. While the top 7 blog posts of the year don’t exactly […] Read More

Yes, America We Can Make It … Really

Uncertainty got you down? The political world may seem like it’s crumbling around us, but this we know: We can make it, America. Literally, we can make things. Houses. Gardens. Food. Below we’ve selected some of our classic how-to and DIY books (and some new favorites) to help you sustain your self, family, and community. […] Read More

Chelsea Green on Instagram: Our Most Popular Photos of 2016

What a year for Chelsea Green on Instagram! We began the year with 500 followers and are now fast approaching 4,000 photo-loving brewers, gardeners, cheesemakers, permaculturists, foodies, seed-savers, homesteaders, foragers, and more. Our most popular posts of 2016 say a lot about what makes you happy: mushrooms, innovative garden designs and techniques, tiny cabins, and […] Read More