gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


Archive for the ‘Environment’

1 pound of CO2

May 17, 2008 @ 15:20 By: gordon Category: Environment, Meta

I see by the Green Website widget that there have been enough visits to my blog since I installed the widget a few months ago to offset 1 pound of carbon dioxide incurred by the operation of my blog.  Cool!

Happy Earth Day!

April 22, 2008 @ 17:53 By: gordon Category: Current affairs, Environment

Today is the 28th Earth Day. Ok, some people would argue that every day is Earth Day, but that’s not the point.

Or is it?


Earth Hour in Ottawa: a post-mortem

March 31, 2008 @ 13:53 By: gordon Category: Current affairs, Environment

So, Earth Hour has come and gone.  Electricity utilities reported that consumption during the hour in Ontario dropped by 5%.  Ottawa’s power consumption.

In Ottawa, Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC), the government’s landlord, turned off architectural lighting and signage on most government buildings, including the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill and many businesses and individuals participated.  According to Ottawa Hydro, electricity consumption in Ottawa dropped by 4%, a significant drop given that lighting only accounts for about 14% of the electricity used in the city.


What are you doing for Earth Hour 2008?

March 28, 2008 @ 15:14 By: gordon Category: Current affairs, Environment

image The second annual Earth Hour takes place at 8pm local time tomorrow (March 29th). The idea is that people turn, companies and cities turn off their lights for an hour to help inspire people to take action on climate change. It started in Sydney, Australia last year with something like 2.2 million people and 2100 businesses in Sydney turning off their lights for an hour on March 31st. Since then, it has become a global movement with more than a quarter of a million people and a large number of companies and cities committing to turning off their lights for an hour.

Locally, the City of Ottawa has joined the Earth Hour movement. Personally, I’m going to turn off my lights for the hour.

What are you going to do? If you’re not doing anything, why not?

Earth Hour 2008

March 12, 2008 @ 23:48 By: gordon Category: Environment

Last year on March 31st, the city of Sidney, Australia turned off its lights for an hour. According to their website, this reduced Sidney’s energy consumption by 10.2% for an hour, or the equivalent of 48 000 cars being taken off the roads for one year.

This year, on March 29th, there’s a big campaign to get cities, companies and individuals to commit to turning off the lights for an hour at 8pm local time. The list of cities includes Ottawa, Toronto, Tel Aviv, and San Francisco to name a few. I couldn’t find Las Vegas, a city with millions of lights on the list. Hopefully they’ll be able to convince them to sign up because that’s one city in particular that could make a big difference if they turned off their signs for an hour.

OC Transpo’s anti-idling policy

January 10, 2008 @ 17:01 By: gordon Category: Environment

A couple of days ago I wrote a short entry about Ottawa’s anti-idling by-law that’s now being enforced. According to a story by the CBC, OC Transpo has an anti-idling policy that’s stricter than the by-law in that it requires drivers to shut off their engines if it’s warmer than -5 C out. A reporter went to a transit station on a day when it was 7 C and observed 15 buses, of which 13 sat empty with their engines running for an average of 9 minutes, which violates OC Transpo’s policy. Apparently, there are ramifications for drivers who don’t respect the policy, though OC Transpo did not specify what they were in the story. Hopefully, the media coverage will be enough to pressure OC Transpo to enforce their policy more rigourously because this is both bad for the environment and wasteful of our money.

Kudos to the 2 drivers who did respect the policy — you set a good example for the others.

Blogging gets greener

January 10, 2008 @ 00:58 By: gordon Category: Environment, Meta

One of the recently released widget plugins for WordPress lead me to a site called CO2Stats.com. Basically, you get a little scrap of code to insert into your blog (or any other type of website for that matter). When people visit your site, they cause a contribution to be made to renewable energy projects that help offset the CO2 they estimate running your blog causes to be emitted. The people at CO2Stats did some calculations and determined that the global average rate of carbon emissions due to the electricity consumption of a single personal computer interacting with a server is 17 mg of CO2/second. That is then used in a calculation involving the number and duration of visits to a website to calculate the total emissions for a site. The offsets are funded by advertising sponsors who are committed to making the Internet a little more environmentally friendly.

An entry in the Boston Herald Green World blog has an interview with the people behind CO2Stats.