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Which new energy-saving actions would you like to try this month?

Have a meat-free day once a week: According to CliamtePath, "One person converting to a vegetarian diet would decrease their carbon footprint by about 1.5 tons per year, but don't worry , it's not an all or nothing proposition. Reducing meat consumption by just 20 percent (a day and a half per week without meat) would be the equivalent of switching from a pretty good sized standard sedan to a hybrid. It's also good for your health!"

Find Out More:

Check out the Environmental Working Group's guide to climate and health for meat eaters:
http://www.ewg.org/meateatersguide/

About the Numbers:

How much energy could you save going meat free once day a week? 

  • If you do this for one month: 32 pounds of CO2.
  • If you do this for one year: 384 pounds CO2.

If everyone in Corvallis did this for a year we would save 798 metric tons of CO2, which is equivalent to:

  • Annual greenhouse gas emissions from 166 passenger vehicles.  
  • CO2 emissions from the electricity use of 110 homes for one year. 
  • Carbon sequestered by 20,470 tree seedlings grown for 10 years. 
  • Greenhouse gas emissions avoided by recycling 299 tons of waste instead of sending it to the landfill.

* According to EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator

Here is how we calculated that: 

To estimate how much energy you could save by going meat free once a week, let’s assume you reduce your carbon footprint by about 1.5 tons per year if you become a vegetarian.

  • Calculating pounds (lbs) CO2: There are 2,000 pounds in a ton, so you would save about 3,000 lbs CO2 in a year (1.5 tons x 2,000 lbs in 1 ton = 3,000 lbs CO2) or about 8 lbs CO2 a day (3,000 lbs CO2 per year / 365 days per year = 8.2 lbs). If you had a vegetarian day once a week for a month, you would save about 32 lbs of CO2 (8 lbs CO2 saved per day x 4 vegetarian days this month = 32 lbs CO2 saved per month). 

Air-Dry Hands: You can dry your hands without using any energy if you give them a quick wipe on your pants or skirt. But if that technique doesn’t work for you, push the button on the electric dryer instead of reaching for a paper towel. Electric dryers are a lot more energy efficient than paper towels—even towels made from recycled paper. The average paper towel dispenser produces about 4.6 tons of CO2 emissions over five years.

Find Out More:

Benefits of air drying hands

About the Numbers:

How much energy could you save by not using paper towels to dry your hands?

  • If you do this for one month : 0.76 pounds CO2
  • If you do this for one year : 9.12 pounds CO2

If everyone in Corvallis did this for a year we would save 226 tons of CO2 , which is equivalent to:

  • Annual greenhouse gas emissions from 44.3 passenger vehicles.
  • CO2 emissions from the electricity use of 28.2 homes for one year.
  • Carbon sequestered by 5,795 tree seedlings grown for 10 years.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions avoided by recycling 78.7 tons of waste instead of sending it to the landfill.

* According to EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator.

Here is how we calculated that:

To estimate how much energy you could save by not using a paper towel to dry your hands, let’s assume a paper towel takes 9.716 watts to produce. Let’s also assume that you air-dry your hands twice each day instead of using paper towels. (If you do this action for the Take Charge program and tell us how it went at the end of the month, we’ll ask you to estimate how many times you avoided using a paper towel so we can give you a better estimate of how much energy you saved.)

  • Calculating kilowatts : 1,000 watts are equal to 1 kilowatt, so you use 0.0097 kilowatts per paper towel (9.716 watts / 1,000 watts = 0.0097 kilowatts).
  • Calculating kilowatt hours (kWh): Using 1 kilowatt for 1 hour is equal to 1 kWh. We are assuming you avoid using two paper towels per day, which is equal to 0.0194 kWh (0.0097 kWh x 2 paper towels = 0.0194 kWh).
  • Calculating pounds (lbs.) of CO2: On average, 1.37 lbs. of CO2 are emitted for every kWh used, so every day you avoid using 2 paper towels you are saving 0.027 lbs. of CO2 (0.0194 kWh x 1.37 lbs. of CO2 = 0.027 lbs. of CO2). If you did this every day for a month, you’d save 0.76 lbs. CO2.

Reusable Bags: Over one million plastic bags are consumed worldwide every single minute, and each one of those bags can take up to 1,000 years to degrade in a landfill. Reusable cloth bags make a great substitute, and they carry heavy loads a lot better than disposable bags.

Find Out More:

Benefits of using a reusable bag

About the Numbers:

How much energy could you save by using cloth bags instead of plastic or paper?

  • If you do this for one month : 1.35 pounds CO2 if you previously used plastic bags or 7.8 pounds CO2 if you previously used paper bags.
  • If you do this for one year : 16.2 pounds CO2 (plastic) to 93.6 pounds CO2 (paper).

 

If everyone in Corvallis did this for a year we would save 1,360 metric tons of CO2 , which is equivalent to:

  • Annual greenhouse gas emissions from 267 passenger vehicles.
  • CO2 emissions from the electricity use of 170 homes for one year.
  • Carbon sequestered by 34,872 tree seedlings grown for 10 years.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions avoided by recycling 474 tons of waste instead of sending it to the landfill.

* According to EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator.

Here is how we calculated that:

To estimate how much energy you could save by using a reusable bag, let’s assume you use about 27 bags per month. The energy savings for paper and plastic bags is quite different, so we’ll calculate the energy savings for each. (If you do this action for the Take Charge program and tell us how it went at the end of the month, we’ll ask you if you usually use plastic or paper bags, or a combination of both kinds of bags, to give you a better estimate of how much energy you saved.)

Calculating Energy in Plastic Bags

  • Calculating British Thermal Units (BTUs): It takes about 455 BTUs to produce one plastic bag.
  • Calculating Therms : There are 100,000 BTUs in 1 therm, so it takes about 0.0045 therms to produce one plastic bag (455 BTUs / 100,000 BTU per therm = 0.0045 therms per plastic bag).
  • Calculating pounds (lbs.) of CO2 : About 11.7 lbs. of CO2 are emitted for every therm used, so each plastic bag requires about 0.05 lbs. CO2 to produce (0.0045 therms x 11.7 lbs. CO2 = 0.05 lbs. CO2). If you use 27 cloth bags per month instead of plastic bags, you would save about 1.35 lbs. CO2 (0.05 lbs. CO2 x 27 bags = 1.35 lbs. CO2).

Calculating Energy in Paper Bags

  • Calculating British Thermal Units (BTUs): It takes about 2,511 BTUs to produce one paper bag.
  • Calculating Therms : There are 100,000 BTUs in 1 therm, so it takes about 0.025 therms to produce one paper bag (2,511 BTUs / 100,000 BTU per therm = 0.025 therms per plastic bag).
  • Calculating pounds (lbs.) of CO2 : About 11.7 lbs. of CO2 are emitted for every therm used, so each paper bag requires about 0.29 lbs. CO2 to produce (0.025 therms x 11.7 lbs. CO2 = 0.29 lbs. CO2). If you use 27 cloth bags per month instead of paper bags, you would save about 7.8 lbs. CO 2 (0.29 lbs. CO2 x 27 bags = 7.8 lbs. CO2).

Compost this month: Instead of throwing organic garbage away to decay in a landfill, composting can turn it into nutrient-rich plant food. Allied Waste estimates that 20% of the garbage we throw away is food that could be composted. Composting in Corvallis is easy. You can put your leftover food scraps in your yard debris cart if you have one or order a home composter from Allied Waste.

Find Out More:

  • Check out the Allied Waste page on composting to see what to compost and how.

  • Want to learn about composting at home? Check out this How to Compost Wiki with great photos. 

About the Numbers:

How much energy could you save by starting to compost?

  • If you do this for one month: 28 pounds CO2

  • If you do this for one year: 336 pounds CO2      

If everyone in Corvallis did this for a year we would save 8,400 metric tons of CO2, which is equivalent to:

  • Annual greenhouse gas emissions from 1,750 passenger vehicles. 
  • CO2 emissions from the electricity use of 1,257 homes for one year.
  • Carbon sequestered by 215,385 tree seedlings grown for 10 years.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions avoided by recycling 3,146 tons of waste instead of sending it to the landfill.

* According to EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator.

Here is how we calculated that:

To estimate how much energy you could save by composting, let’s assume that you are like the average American who creates 4.43 pounds of garbage per day and that you start composting about one quarter of your garbage, or about one pound per day. We’ll also assume that each pound of trash produces the equivalent of 0.94 pounds of CO2in the form of methane.

  • Calculating pounds (lbs) of compost: If you compost one pound per day, you would compost about 30 pounds per month (1 lbs compost per day x 30 days = 30 lbs compost).
  • Calculating lbs of CO2: On average, 0.94 lbs of CO2 are produced for every pound of trash you throw away, so you would avoid creating about 28 lbs of CO2 per month (0.94 lbs CO2 per lb of garbage x 30 lbs of garbage avoided = 28 lbs of CO2).

Switch to Online Bills: An easy way to save time, trees, and energy is to pay your bills online.  According to PG&E, their customers saved 7,300 trees and avoided producing 340 tons of waste paper by paying online in 2009.  Most banks let you use their online bill paying service for free, so check out your bank's website for more information.

Find Out More:

Here are some benefits on switching to online bills. 

About the Numbers:

How much energy could you save by switching to online bills? 

  • If you do this for one month: 1 pound of CO2 per bill.
  • If you do this for one year: 12 pounds of CO2 per bill.

If everyone in Corvallis did this for a year we would save 300 metric tons of CO2, which is equivalent to:

  • Annual greenhouse gas emissions from 62 passenger vehicles.  
  • CO2 emissions from the electricity use of 45 homes for one year. 
  • Carbon sequestered by 7,692 tree seedlings grown for 10 years. 
  • Greenhouse gas emissions avoided by recycling 112 tons of waste instead of sending it to the landfill.

* According to EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator

Here is how we calculated that: 

To estimate how much energy you could save by switching to online bills, let’s assume you switch to three online bills this month. Let’s also assume that the average bill is three sheets of paper and takes 204,000 joules to produce a single sheet of paper. (If you do this action for the Take Charge program and tell us how it went at the end of the month, we’ll ask how many bills you switched so we can give you a better estimate of how much energy you saved.)

  • Calculating kilowatt-hours (kWh): 204,000 joules per sheet of paper is equal to 0.057 kWh, so each monthly bill uses 0.171 kWh (0.057 kWh x 3 sheets of paper = 0.171 kWh per month per bill). Three bills would save 0.513 kWh (0.171 kWh per bill x 3 bills = 0.513 kWh).
  • Calculating pounds (lbs) of CO2: About 1.54 lbs of CO2 are emitted for every kWh, so you would save 0.79 lbs of CO2 for switching to 3 online bills (0.513 kWh x 1.54 lbs of CO2 = 0.79 lbs of CO2, which we’ll round to 1).

Unplug Electronics: The average home has forty electronic devices constantly draining power, amounting to about 10% of all residential electricity use.  Instead of turning off electronic devices, unplug them when you aren’t using them to save energy.

Find Out More:

  • Check out the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory page on standby power.

About the Numbers:

How much energy could you save by unplugging electronics? 

  • If you do this for one month: 150 pounds CO2
  • If you do this for one year: 1,800 pounds CO2

If everyone in Corvallis did this for a year we would save 45,000 metric tons of CO2, which is equivalent to:

  • Annual greenhouse gas emissions from 9,375 passenger vehicles.  
  • CO2 emissions from the electricity use of 6,737 homes for one year. 
  • Carbon sequestered by 1,153,846 tree seedlings grown for 10 years. 
  • Greenhouse gas emissions avoided by recycling 16,854 tons of waste instead of sending it to the landfill.

* According to EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator

Here is how we calculated that:

To estimate how much energy you could save by unplugging electronics, let’s assume that your house is about average and uses 11,500 kWh annually for all electricity. Let’s also assume that you could save 10% of that electricity by unplugging electronics when you aren’t using them. 

  • Calculating kilowatt-hours (kWh): Based on the average of 11,500 kWh per year, you would use 960 kWh per month (11,500 kWh / 12 months = 960 kWh).  If you save 10% of that energy by unplug electronics when not in use, you’d save 96 kWh per month (960 kWh x 10% = 96 kWh). 
  • Calculating pounds (lbs) of CO2: About 1.54 lbs of CO2 are emitted for every kWh used, so unplugging electronics would save 150 lbs of CO2 per month (1.54 lbs of CO2 x 96 kWh = 147.84 lbs of CO2 per month, which we’ll round up to 150 lbs).

Use Reusable Mug: Using a reusable mug instead of a single-use paper coffee cup can save up to 98% of the energy, 99% of the water pollution, and 86% of the solid waste disposable cups make.  Many Corvallis coffee shops offer a 10 to 25 cent discount when you bring in your own mug.  Check out the list under 'Find out More' to see what discounts are offered where.

Find Out More:

Discounts for Reusable Mugs In Corvallis

  • Beanery (2541 NW Monroe St and 500 SW 2nd St): $0.25 discount
  • Starbucks (425 SW Madison Ave, 2305 NW Kings Blvd, 1705 NW 9th St): $0.10 discount
  • Interzone Cafe (1563 NW Monroe St): $0.10 discount
  • Oregon Legacy Coffee (100 NW 2nd St): $0.25 discount

 

On Campus Discounts for Reusable Mugs

  • Bites Convenience in the OSU Memorial Union:  $0.10 discount
  • Java Stop in the OSU Memorial Union: $0.10 discount
  • EBGB's in the OSU Marketplace West: $0.25 discount
  • Java II in the OSU Library: $0.10
  • E-Café in the Kelly Building at OSU: $0.10 discount
  • Arnold Country Store in the Arnold Center at OSU: $0.25 discount

About the Numbers:

How much energy could you save by using a reusable coffee mug?

  • If you do this for one month: 1.2 lbs of CO2
  • If you do this for one year: 14.4 lbs of CO2

 

If everyone in Corvallis did this for a year we would save 360 metric tons of CO2, which is equivalent to:

  • Annual greenhouse gas emissions from 75 passenger vehicles. 
  • CO2 emissions from the electricity use of 54 homes for one year.
  • Carbon sequestered by 9,231 tree seedlings grown for 10 years.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions avoided by recycling 135 tons of waste instead of sending it to the landfill.

* According to EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator.

Here is how we calculated that:

To estimate how much energy you could save by using a reusable coffee mug, let’s assume you use a reusable mug twice per week, for a total of 8 times in a month. (If you do this action for the Take Charge program and tell us how it went at the end of the month, we’ll ask you to estimate how many times you used a reusable mug to better estimate of how much energy you saved.)

  • Calculating joules: It takes about 0.55 million joules to produce a medium (16-ounce) paper cup. To convert joules into pounds of carbon, we’ll assume that the manufacturing facility used half natural gas, which we’ll calculate in therms, and half electric energy, which we’ll calculate in kilowatt-hours (0.55 million joules to produce a 16-ounce paper cup / 2 =      275,000 joules per type of energy used).      
  • Calculating therms: There are 105,505,600 joules in 1 therm, so it takes about 0.0026 therms to produce a 16-ounce paper cup (275,000 joules per cup/105,506,000 joules per therm = 0.0026 therms per plastic bottle).
  • Calculating kilowatt-hours (kWh): There are 3,600,000 joules in 1 kWh, so it takes about 0.076 kWh to produce a 16-ounce paper cup (275,000 joules per cup/ 3,600,000 joules kWh = 0.076 kWh per cup).
  • Calculating pounds (lbs) of CO2: About 11.7 lbs of CO2 are emitted for every therm used, so each paper cup requires 0.0304 lbs CO2 (11.7 lbs CO2 x 0.0026 therms = 0.0304 lbs CO2). Additionally, about 1.54 lbs of CO2 are emitted for      every kWh, so each paper cup creates about 0.117 lbs CO2 (1.54 lbs CO2 x 0.076 kWh = 0.117 lbs CO2). In total, each      paper cup requires about 0.147 lbs CO2 to produce (0.0304 lbs      CO2 from therms + 0.117 lbs CO2 from kWh = 0.147 lbs CO2 saved). If you use a reusable coffee cup 8 times per month, you would save about 1.2 lbs CO2 per month (0.147 lbs CO2 x 8 cups = 1.18 lbs CO2 per month which we will round to 1.2).

Use Reusable Water Bottle: Use a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated on the go instead of buying bottle after bottle of expensive water.  Drinking tap water from a reusable water bottle uses 85% less energy and produces 79% less greenhouse gases, even after taking into account dishwashing.

Find Out More:

About the Numbers:

How much energy could you save by using a refillable water bottle? 

  • If you do this for one month: 12 lb of CO2.
  • If you do this for one year: 144 lbs of CO2.

If everyone in Corvallis did this for a year we would save 3,600 metric tons of CO2, which is equivalent to:

  • Annual greenhouse gas emissions from 750 passenger vehicles.  
  • CO2 emissions from the electricity use of 539 homes for one year. 
  • Carbon sequestered by 92,308 tree seedlings grown for 10 years. 
  • Greenhouse gas emissions avoided by recycling 1,348 tons of waste instead of sending it to the landfill.

* According to EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator

Here is how we calculated that: 

To estimate how much energy you could save by using a refillable water bottle, let’s assume you refill your own bottle twice per week instead of purchasing bottled water, for a total of 8 times in a month. It takes about 5.6 mega joules to produce a one-liter plastic water bottle. (If you do this action for the Take Charge program and tell us how it went at the end of the month, we’ll ask you to estimate how many times your used a refillable bottle to better estimate of how much energy you saved.) 

  • Calculating joules: It takes about 5.6 million joules to produce a one-liter plastic water bottle.  To convert joules into pounds of carbon, we’ll assume that the manufacturing facility used half natural gas (which we’ll calculate in therms) and half electric energy (which we’ll calculate in kilowatt hours) in the manufacturing process (5.6 million joules to produce one liter plastic water bottle / 2 = 2.8 million joules per type of energy used).  
  • Calculating therms:  There are 105,506,000 joules in 1 therm, so it takes about 0.027 therms to produce one plastic bottle (2,800,000 joules per bottle /105,506,000 joules per therm = 0.027 therms per plastic bottle). 
  • Calculating kilowatt-hour (kWh): There are 3,600,000 joules in 1 kWh, so it takes about 0.78 kWh to produce one plastic bottle (2,800,000 joules per bottle/ 3,600,000 joules kWh = 0.78 kWh per plastic bottle). 
  • Calculating pounds (lbs) of CO2: About 11.7 lbs of CO2 are emitted for every therm used, so each plastic bottle creates 0.3159 lbs CO2 (11.7 lbs CO2 x 0.027 therms = 0.3159 lbs CO2). Additionally, about 1.54 lbs of CO2 are emitted for every kWh, so each plastic bottle creates about 1.2012 lbs CO2 (1.54 lbs CO2 x 0.78 kWh = 1.2012 lbs CO2). In total, each plastic bottle requires about 1.5 lbs CO2 to produce (0.3159 lbs CO2 from therms + 1.2012 lbs CO2 from kWh = 1.5172 lbs CO2 saved, which we’ll round to 1.5 lbs). If you use a reusable water bottle 8 times per month, you would save about 12 lbs CO2 per month (1.5 lbs CO2 x 8 bottles = 12 lbs CO2 per month).

Have a Waste-Free Month: If we put all of the solid waste collected in the U.S. in a line of average garbage trucks, that line of trucks could cross the country, extending from New York City to Los Angeles, more than 100 times. Having a waste-free month is a major challenge! It will take a lot of careful shopping and creative reuse to get to zero garbage. On average Americans create 4.43 pounds of garbage per person per day, and we recycle or compost 1.51 pounds of that waste.

Find Out More:

  • While you are trying your waste free month, you could save money by switching to a less frequent garbage pick up service.Call Allied Waste (541) 754-0444 or visit them online to find out more.

About the Numbers:

How much energy could you save by having a waste-free month?

  • If you do this for one month: 83 pounds CO2
  • If you do this for one year: 996 pounds CO2

If everyone in Corvallis did this for a year we would save 24,900 metric tons of CO2, which is equivalent to:

  • Annual greenhouse gas emissions from 5,187 passenger vehicles. 
  • CO2 emissions from the electricity use of 3,728 homes for one year.
  • Carbon sequestered by 638,462 tree seedlings grown for 10 years.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions avoided by recycling 9,326 tons of waste instead of sending it to the landfill.

* According to EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator.


Here is how we calculated that:

To estimate how much energy you could save by having a waste free month, let’s assume you are like the average American who creates 4.43 pounds of garbage per day and recycles or composts 1.51 pounds of that waste. We’ll also assume that each pound of trash produces the equivalent of 0.94 pounds of CO2in the form of methane.

  • Calculating pounds (lbs) of garbage: If you usually throw away 2.92 lbs of garbage per day (4.43 lbs waste – 1.51 lbs recycling or compost = 2.92 lbs garbage), then you would avoid throwing away about 87.6 pounds of garbage a month (2.92 lbs garbage a day x 30 days in a month = 87.6 lbs garbage per month).
  • Calculating pounds (lbs) of CO2: On average, 0.94 lbs of CO2 are produced for every pound of trash you throw away, so you would avoid creating about 83 lbs of CO2 per month (0.94 lbs CO2 per lb of garbage x 88 lbs of garbage avoided = 82.72 lbs of CO2, which we’ll round up to 83 lbs).

Reduce the amount of garbage you throw away by half: If we put all of the solid waste collected in the U.S. in a line of average garbage trucks, that line of trucks could cross the country, extending from New York City to Los Angeles, more than 100 times.

Find Out More:

  • While you are reducing the amount of garbage you throw away, you could save money by switching to a less frequent garbage pick up service.  Call Allied Waste (541) 754-0444 or visit them online to find out more.

About the Numbers:

How much energy could you save by reducing the amount of garbage you throw away by half? 

  • If you do this for one month: 41 pounds CO2
  • If you do this for one year: 492 pounds CO2 

If everyone in Corvallis did this for a year we would save 12,300 metric tons of CO2, which is equivalent to:

  • Annual greenhouse gas emissions from 2,563 passenger vehicles.  
  • CO2 emissions from the electricity use of 1,841 homes for one year. 
  • Carbon sequestered by 10,082 tree seedlings grown for 10 years. 
  • Greenhouse gas emissions avoided by recycling 4,607 tons of waste instead of sending it to the landfill.

                                                                                          * According to EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator

Here is how we calculated that: 

To estimate how much energy you could save by reducing the amount of garbage you throw away by half, we’ll assume the average American creates 4.43 pounds of garbage per person per day and recycles or composts 1.51 pounds of that waste, which works out to be a total of 2.92 lbs of garbage per person per day (4.43 lbs – 1.51 lbs = 2.92 lbs). We’ll also assume that each pound of trash produces the equivalent of 0.94 pounds of CO2 in the form of methane.

  • Calculating pounds (lbs) of garbage: If you usually throw away 2.92 lbs of garbage per day and you reduced your garbage by half, you would throw away 1.46 pounds of garbage a day. At the end of a month, you would avoid throwing away 43.8 pounds of garbage (1.46 lbs garbage a day x 30 days in a month = 43.8 lbs garbage per month).
  • Calculating pounds (lbs) of CO2: On average, 0.94 lbs of CO2 equivalent in the form of methane are produced for every pound of trash you throw away, so you would avoid creating about 41 lbs of CO2 per month (0.94 lbs CO2 per lb of garbage x 43.8 lbs of garbage avoided = 41.172 lbs of CO2, which we’ll round to 41 lbs).

Turn Off Lights: Lighting is about 14% of the average electricity bill.  Cut down on waste by turning off the lights whenever you’re not using a room.

 

Find Out More:

More information coming soon. 

About the Numbers:

How much energy could you save by turning off the lights?

  • If you do this for one month: 3 lbs of CO2 per light
  • If you do this for one year: 36 lbs of CO2 per light

 

If everyone in Corvallis did this for a year we would save 900 metric tons of CO2, which is equivalent to:

  • Annual greenhouse gas emissions from 187 passenger vehicles. 
  • CO2 emissions from the electricity use of 135 homes for one year.
  • Carbon sequestered by 23,077 tree seedlings grown for 10 years.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions avoided by recycling 337 tons of waste instead of sending it to the landfill.

* According to EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator.

Here is how we calculated that:

To estimate how much energy you could save by turning off lights, let’s assume that you use 15-watt compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs and turn them off each day for four hours when you would normally leave them on. (If you do this action for the Take Charge program and tell us how it went at the end of the month, we’ll ask you what kind of light bulbs you use and how many you tuned off to give you a better estimate of how much energy you saved.)

  • Calculating kilowatts (kW): 1,000 watts is equal to 1 kilowatt, so a 15-watt light bulb is equal to 0.015 kW (15 watts / 1,000 watts per kW = 0.015 kW).
  • Calculating kilowatt-hours (kWh): Using 1 kilowatt for 1 hour is equal to 1 kWh, so 15 watts for four hours per day is equal to 0.06 kWh per day (0.015 kW x 4 hour per day = 0.06 kWh per day).  Turning off the lights for one month would result in 1.8 kWh savings per month (0.06 kilowatts x 30 days per month = 1.8 kWh per month).
  • Calculating lbs of CO2: About 1.54 lbs of CO2 are emitted for every kWh used, so you would save 2.8 lbs of CO2 per month (1.54 lbs CO2 x 1.8 kWh per month = 2.8 lbs CO2, which we’ll round to 3 lbs).

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