Monday, July 23, 2007

We need to change

Lets consider change, and the affect a small action might have on our environment and eventually the globe.

I'm sure you have read about Blackle.com, the black screen search engine created by Australian company Heap Media. Yes, it was Heap not Google that put this small effort together in an attempt to reduce the amount of megawatts a pc uses from day to day while using Google.

The initial discovery of this site is awesome, but there seems to be a catch. The Blackle site was inspired by Mark Ontkush's hypothesis that if Google used a black background instead of white they could help save 750 megawatts hours of energy over the period of a year. (What is a watt hour exactly, I was wondering.)

Unfortunately, and if you believe the entry about Blackle on Wikipedia, then its a bit of a let down to think that this energy saving will only work if you are using a CRT monitor. And, that if you use an LCD monitor you might as well stay away from the site because you could use even more energy to display a black web page.

So, where does this leave us? Heap Media says that having a black Google as our homepage will at least remind us that we need to be more energy conscience, on a daily basis.

I could not agree more.

Leave the tech spec behind for a moment and forget whether you are using a CRT or an LCD or an LED display, or what ever comes next. What can we change on a daily basis to help conserve energy and the environment, so that or climate and environment stops changing?

World Wildlife (WWF) has a list
Market Watch posted a list
This one is easy to read

In South Africa we have had an electricity crisis because our national supplier did not quite get the forecast for our energy requirements right. With millions and millions of new cellphones, pcs, digital cameras, kettles, geysers, you-name-it, South Africans have put a bigger strain on their national grid than was forecast. And now we suffer irregular blackouts. We need to change. And we need to do it more than once a month or a few times a year.

Blackle is a great idea and wonderful sentiment, but we need more of these daily reminders and carbon zero commitments as individuals and as supporters of big corporates.

What do you do?

1 comment:

David said...

Start with the small things.

Unplug your cellphone charger when you're not actually charging your phone. Same goes for any other wall wart.

Switch your telly off at the wall, don't put it on standby. I know, this f**ks up the clock on your VCR, but these devices use almost as much energy in standby mode as they do when turned on.

Turn off the light when you leave the room. You don't need it on if you're not there to see.

Put on a jersey instead of flicking on the heater.

This one is for me: got a server? It doesn't need a monitor. Unplug it, it's drawing current.