By John Gerace, PhD, PE
There are plenty of things you can do to demonstrate better energy efficiency. Everyone
knows the big ones such as recycle and turn off the lights. But there are other small things
that can really add up. They may seem odd or like slight inconveniences, but the small
magnitude of the inconvenience will completely disappear once it becomes a part of your
The first thing is to unplug all chargers when you are done with them. Many people
have their cell phone, camera, or MP3 chargers in the same spot, always ready to go
for convenience purposes as we are all always rushing out the door. However, leaving
something just simply plugged in can drain electricity and at the same time serves no
Another thing would be to car pool or take public transportation. These are likewise
inconveniences to many people, especially on days when they are running late. However,
sticking to a schedule like this may actually make you more punctual and aware of your
time. It also can be much cheaper for you. Your car will last longer and your fuel bill will
go way down.
You should also start recycling the little bits of plastic you may not even realize can be
recycled. For example, many people just throw away the plastic trays from TV dinners.
This is hugely impractical, since they can be easily rinsed out and recycled.
Many people throw away lots of little bits of paper like sticky notes, or bits of plastic,
like from a candy wrapper. This plastic is merely going to sit in a land fill. Why not put
it to good use? These things all add up, so we need to be smart about them. If everyone
merely took a step back and looked at what they were really wasting–and knew the life
of an object after it was thrown away–people would save so much more in terms of
recycling and reusing