Nature holds the key (you knew that).

Today, I attended a Capitol Hill briefing on Energy Efficiency. Ok, I’m the director of this 4-part series, produced by Discover magazine, the National Science Foundation, and professional engineering societies IEEE and ASME. More information to follow but one of my biggest take-aways I’d like to share with you is this:

Nature has all the answers.  Install more (energy efficient) windows in your home and you’ll displace 30-60% of your lighting costs/footprint (and isn’t natural lighting so much prettier than those ugly florescent bulbs?); open those windows and displace 20-40% of your cooling; and displace 20-40% of your heating w/the solar energy. Plant trees and the energy efficiency increases. How? Trees shed their leaves just in time for you and your household to soak up the sun. And they bud new leaves before you need their cooling again.* Nature is so…natural 🙂

*from Vivian Loftness, FAIA, CMU

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  • Compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs are not the great panacea they are touted to be! They are filled with mercrury (vapor). This is another example of the “double-edged sword” aspect of technology we are not always accounting for. How many of the public know this and dispose of their CFL bulbs properly? What about the environmental hazard defective or improperly disposed of CFL bulbs poses? The price of such technology is responsibility and the public needs to educated in both the disadvantages as well as the advantages of developing technology or we can’t make responsible decisions- IMHO!

  • Compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs are not the great panacea they are touted to be! They are filled with mercrury (vapor). This is another example of the “double-edged sword” aspect of technology we are not always accounting for. How many of the public know this and dispose of their CFL bulbs properly? What about the environmental hazard defective or improperly disposed of CFL bulbs poses? The price of such technology is responsibility and the public needs to educated in both the disadvantages as well as the advantages of developing technology or we can’t make responsible decisions- IMHO!

  • Natural solutions are the best way to handle man-made problems- we just need to find the appropriate ones and implement them!

  • Natural solutions are the best way to handle man-made problems- we just need to find the appropriate ones and implement them!

  • Occam

    Paul….don’t be such a Debbie Downer, dude! 🙂 Just like people think recycling six sheets of paper in their office everyday makes up for their SUV, they want to think CFLs also make them green.

  • Occam

    Paul….don’t be such a Debbie Downer, dude! 🙂 Just like people think recycling six sheets of paper in their office everyday makes up for their SUV, they want to think CFLs also make them green.