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Unusual Things to Help the Environment
Have a party! Keeping a house at a comfortable temperature on days of extreme temperature takes a moderate amount of energy. If instead of having three houses that each contained two people you had one house with six people and two houses with the heater or air-conditioner turned off then the energy use would be reduced.
In winter a house with a large party may not need any heating. Each adult dissipates an average of 100W of heat . 30 adults will dissipate about 3KW – equivalent to an electric heater used for heating a room, in my experience it’s not uncommon to open windows during a winter party to cool the house down.
In summer it’s often impossible to use an air-conditioner for a medium size party. A medium size air-conditioner can remove 3KW of heat so if there are 20 people plus some cooking or 30 people without any cooking then the house will be cooler if the windows are left open.
The most energy efficient parties would be family events, as they generally involve moving all the people from several houses into a single house.
I have previously written about the benefits of using water evaporation to assist a car air-conditioner (which reduces a/c use as well as making the car cooler) and of using ice to cool a room to avoid buying a larger a/c .
Please try and think of the most unusual ways of helping the environment and let me know by comments or by a post on your own blog. Overall it’s most effective to use more fuel efficient cars, set your home thermostat to a temperature which is closer to the outside temperature, and to recycle as much as possible and reduce needless consumption. But if you are interested in science then it’s more fun to discover unusual ways of doing things even if they don’t do as much good overall.
Having twice-yearly “Environment Parties” on the hottest day of summer and the coldest day of winter would also be a good way of spreading the idea that we need to do something about environmental problems.