[N]ot-very-glamorous changes like [compact fluorescents lightbulbs] as well as obsessively sealing and insulating your home will save more than, in the words of one expert, “greenie weenie” additions like green roofs and solar panels.
The whole article is worth reading. But in case you’re too busy, here’s the point in a nutshell: if you really want to reduce the environmental impact of your home, do all the simple, boring things first. Seal up holes with caulk, insulate, and buy efficient lights and appliances. It’s not sexy, it’s not trendy, but it’s important.
Once you’re done with all the boring (but cost effective) stuff, you can think about the nifty high-tech energy solutions, like solar panels. (Or, perhaps you’ll do even more good by helping your neighbors do the simple stuff, too.)
The computer industry has worked to create PCs and devices that can “suspend” or “hibernate” using very little to no power. For example Windows Vista will default to power savings mode – in a few years most PCs will now go into sleep power states when not in use. Since there are thousands of computer makers (OEMs), 100,000’s of devices and third party written drivers, the coordination efforts involved are significant and take years. This is another of those unglamorous, “little things” that make a big difference.
Good point, Arie. There are lots of appliances that suck more power, total, when they’re off than when they’re on. See more here.
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