Warner Pacific College
A reality facing all of us is that there is not enough oil, at our current consumption rate, to keep the world’s economy going. The cost of filling up our vehicles at the pump has increased by more than 30% in the past two years and people are worried because our nation is so dependent on the rest of the world for oil. Everyone has a responsibility to make sure we have the energy we need for future generations while at the same time protecting our environment.
Everyone wants to save energy and reduce their bills. There are many things we can do around our house to lessen the energy we consume and, which if practiced, will save us money. Change the air filters in your furnace. A clogged air filter will make your furnace run roughly and may damage it. Do not close air registers in unused rooms. Forced-air furnaces are meant to heat a certain amount of square footage. Closing the register is pointless as the furnace does not know that the register is closed and the air has got to go somewhere. In addition, the cold air from the room will actually cool the rest of the house down. Some appliances, if left plugged in, will continue to draw power even if they are turned off. Either unplug them or get a power strip where you can cut power to the circuit and stop the draw of electricity. Use only the normal cycle on your dishwasher as it will clean the dishes just as well as the heavy cycle. Applying these simple practices around your home can save energy (Energy Refuge.com 2009).
Many of us leave our computers running continuously. The rule is that it uses less energy to keep it running than it does to shut them down because the majority of the power they consume is during start-up. This may not be so true now. The new Microsoft Windows 7 has a much faster boot time so it will be easier now to turn your computer off since it can be re-started much quicker (AlternativeEnergy.com 2010).
We must all work to harness the renewable resources available to us so we can reduce the cost of energy, pollution, and our dependence on foreign oil. Engineers and scientists are working in the private sector as well as the public sector to find new ways to use renewable energy that are more cost effective and dependable. Some of the technologies being worked on are, solar energy, Biofuels like biodiesel, straight vegetable oil, wind power, Hydrogen fuel, Hybrid and Electric Cars, Geothermal and mini hydroelectric (TLA 2008).
Computer hardware manufacturer Logitech is soon to release a new solar powered wireless keyboard for your computer. This will free you from the hassles of changing batteries and eliminate the environmental concerns of disposing of the battery. Various small inventions such as these can and will make a difference in our environment and help conserve our limited natural resources.
Opponents contend that there are too many technological challenges to overcome before alternative energy can replace even a small portion of fossil fuel energy. Currently they are correct but we must continue to research and develop these new technologies so future generations will be able to survive and live in a clean environment. Arjun Makhijani, PhD, President of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research stated “With the right combination of technologies, it is likely that even the use of coal can be phased out, along with nuclear electricity.” That is a powerful statement and one we should all hope will be true
Alternative Energy.com (2010). Solar-Powered Keyboards. Retrieved November 19, 2010 from
AlternativeEnergy.com (2010). Win 7 Saves Energy. Retrieved November 17, 2010 from http://www.alternativeenergy.com/
EnergyRefuge.com (2009). Do You Make These Energy Mistakes? Retrieved November 17, 2010 from http://www.energyrefuge.com/archives/do-you-make-these-energy-mistakes.htm
ProCon.org (2007). Can alternative energy effectively replace fossil fuels? Retrieved November 19, 2010 from
TLA, Inc (2008). My Energy Friends - Alternative Energy - Renewable Energy. Retrieved November 18, 2010 from http://www.myenergyfriends.com/