Saving Energy and Simplifying Life – Throwing Away One Unwanted Thing At a Time

After looking around, I found several devices in my house and at office that I could have easily done without. In fact the cost of having these devices around exceeds the benefit they offer.

For example, consider that label maker.

Agreed it saves you writing a few words. But you have to make sure it is filled with paper tape, ink, battery. If any of these is missing, you have to run to nearest Staples and get it. Isn’t it just way too much complication? Would things not be simple if you just had a few sheets of printed labels and use hand written labels instead?

Second thing is that wall plug in that spreads scent. Is it really required? Can’t we just use a room freshner spray once in a while?

Third thing is automatic pencil sharpner. We buy instruments like these to save moving our hands and fingers, and at the end of the day we spend 45 minutes on treadmill.
So is the case for number four,electric stapler.

Fifth – we have microwave to heat up anything we want within a minute. Then why have a coffee pot on forever?
I have mentioned somewhere else on my blogspot. If people stop printing directions, and write them down instead, there will be a lot of saving of paper and electricity.

For just one or two floors – avoid using escalator. provide energy consumption data

Instead of driving around to find parking spot, take the one you find quickest – hawl around the groceries. Make an exception if you are tired of course, but do this when you can. Slow driving is extremely fuel consuming.

I see a detailed blog post coming on parking spot. I can take pic from google earth and show how much distance will be traveled less and how much fuel will be saved.

Some reference links are as follows.

~ by Kedar on July 24, 2007.

8 Responses to “Saving Energy and Simplifying Life – Throwing Away One Unwanted Thing At a Time”

  1. Excellent points. From my own experience, I have found that the appliance that goes completely unnoticed is the coffee maker. About a month ago I looked up the specifications of my coffee maker which is a fancy piece with lots of features – the power ratings made my jaw drop all the way. It was rated at 1.5 KW, which if you consider, is more than the total consumption of all appliances in my entire apartment – including the refrigerator, but not the AC unit.

    Then I checked up the average power consumption of coffee makers and they all ranged from 700 W to 1.5 KW. In the past I have been guilty of keeping it on throughout the day, but after I learnt about its energy hogging side, I use the microwave to reheat. It would save me nearly $10-15 per month!

  2. Nice post. I think this demonstrates that it’s our fundamental values that need to change in order for us to make these changes in our life.

    Suddenly saving energy is more important to you than having a label maker or finding the perfect parking spot. Your values are changes — and writing about it helps changes the values of others.


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  5. Your heart’s in the right place, but I disagree with your analysis. most of the things you bring up do not have significant power consumption: the energy used by the pencil sharpener is insignificant with the energy used in the construction of the pencil or the sharpener itself.

    You ask if the air fresheners are necessary, then suggest using a hand spray instead – the energy used in the manufacture of the spray would exceed the energy used in the spray mechanism by an order of magnitude or more. I instead ask, why do we need a supply of pong in the first place. Fresh air is air with no smell at all.

    If you seriously want to address energy use, you need to pick the biggest users first: heating, transportation and manufacture.

    Stop heating your house to 75F, 65F is perfectly comfortable if you wear a sweater. This will save far more energy than the label maker.

    You suggest people don’t drive around the car park looking for a place, I suggest you don’t drive at all. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to do shopping without a car, even in places like silicon valley (where I live). Get on your bike.

    Finally, stop buying stuff you don’t need. Plastic is essentially pure energy and buying it then throwing it away is consuming that energy. Aluminum cans are solid electricity – recycle them, or use reusable containers.

  6. Addendum: The power rating on the nameplate of an appliance is the maximum power used, not the average. 1.5kW for 20 seconds is less energy than a 10W CFL left on for a whole hour. To measure the actual energy usage, use a kill-a-watt or similar device.

  7. Hello John,

    I am arguing against things like pencil sharpner precisely for the same reason you are mentioning. The energy consumed in making it and keeping it working is not worth it.

    About your power consumption point, you are right as well. I need to revise my figures downwards a bit. Most of the time the average rating is about 20-30% lower than the max rating. So that needs to be factored in. But in making my calculations most of the time I make conservative assumptions. Thus most likely the adjusted figures will still be fairly close to real consumption.

    Thanks for the comment.

  8. Hi I am from Malaysia. I wish I could get around without driving but too bad in my country it is not so possible.
    Because most of the places are not equipped with public transport facilities.
    I could not try out cycling either because the roads are designed in such a way that is not safe for cyclist.
    So the best thing is to stay home watch TV instead of moving around.

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