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By Vadin Sudarsan

TV Trouble
Most people have a TV, but did you know that TVs are one of the biggest energy wasters in the common household? They use, on average, 182 kWh a year! That is about of the average persons electricity consumption!

Authors View
People always tell you about Global warming and Climate change, but what do these things actually mean? In all honesty, I believe that, when most people talk about such topics, they dont really have any connection to them. I was one of those people, but over the course of this year, I have come to realize that climate change is a huge issue, but, more importantly, that every little thing we can do can add up to make a huge difference on the world around us.


MAY 2013

The most important thing about global warming is this. Whether humans are responsible for the bulk of climate change is going to be left to the scientists, but it's all of our responsibility to leave this planet

Global Warming

What is Global Warming? in better shape for the future generations than we found it. -Mike
Global warming is the melting of the polar ice caps due to an increase on greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. These greenhouse gasses come from livestock, cars, airplanes, and many other things, but the bulk of it comes from the burning of coal, oil, and natural gas to make electricity.

Greenhouse Gasses?
Greenhouse gasses are gasses that trap heat, like carbon dioxide, methane, and argon. These gasses are most abundant in the Ozone layer, a layer in the atmosphere, which keeps heat in for earth - like a blanket. However, growing amounts of there gasses are causing the earth to overheat, like if you What Can We Do? wear a too-thick blanket. There are many things we can do to help stop global warming. There are the obvious things like not burning trash and using your car less. However, we can go deeper into that. If you merely throw your trash away, you are going to let it slowly decompose and eventually let the harmful gasses and substances escape eventually. However, if you recycle trash, you can prevent that from ever happening. Another thing is that, instead of using your car less, you should carpool with friends, so that you use only one car for 5-7 people, instead of two, effectively cutting down emissions by 300% or more! However, the best thing that you can do, and I have been working on this, is to save electricity. Sure its all good and dandy when you ride with a few friends, or even take the bus, but if you go home, switch on the a/c and the telly, and go and sit on the couch with your laptop, you are wasting electricity, which came, most likely, from burning coal or fossil fuels, which create emissions.


MAY 2013

The Task Ahead

Cutting down my power usage was a big task for my family, and me, as I needed to be able to communicate effectively with my parents and sisters to help me. It took a while to convince my sister to cut down on PC, and my baby sister to cut down on TV, as the TV was HUGE with her. Another issue was deciding what to get rid of, what to cut down on, and what to keep as it is. The things we knew we should cut down on were TV, PC usage, and lighting. Some things that we could cut down on a little were fan usage (sometimes the fan is left on in rooms when there is no one there), desk lamp usage (used a night-light sometimes, which is not necessary) and stereo usage (mainly for audiobooks playing all night). However, one thing that I think that our family uses a nice amount of is the a/c, as we only use one hour a night per room (3 rooms) and on the temperature 23C. That was one thing we needed to maintain, but not cut down or get rid of completely. The last thing we need to monitor is to not replace old habits for new ones. This may sound silly, but it is a serious concern. For example, If I used less PC, my TV usage could go up. This is an issue in the task ahead. As you can see, the task ahead is not easy, but it is a necessary step in preventing global warming.


MAY 2013

How We Did It
Cutting The Astro
As mentioned before, one of my familys most pressing wastages was the TV. Before, it was used 10 hours+ a day, but it is now is used only 4-6 hours a day maximum. How did we do this? The biggest contributing factor was cutting the Astro connection, which stopped my baby sister from watching cartoons 6 hours a day. She watches only 2 hours a day now, and the usage is way down.

Using Reading Lights

Our family loves reading, so to help tie in reading with saving electricity we got reading lights. These help us conserve electricity by not having to use the big lights in our bedrooms, and are small, using energy saving bulbs (20watts). Another perk is that you dont have to get up and turn off the light after reading, as youre all tired.

Turning Down Contrast

As you might know, my family and I are big fans of screened technology. With Ipads, TVs Laptops, PCs and more, we have slowly tuned down the contrast to help save the environment, as well as our eyesight. Its a win-win for contrast lowering!

Sleepy time
When I go to sleep, I listen to audiobooks and relaxing music (aka HEAVY METAL). However, the problem was turning it off after I fell asleep. The solution was downloading a program called sleepy time, which can turn off my mac after a selected amount of time. This helps me turn off my computer and saves power.


MAY 2013

After attempting to reduce our electricity usage for 8 months, we have our numbers. They are recorded on the table below, and on the graph. Now, we must find out how many months it will take for my family and I to reach 300kWh of electricity usage per month. We will be using slope to help us. The equation we will use will be y=mx+b. First, we will find the slope using the two points that go through the fitted line on the graph. These two points are (0,648) and (4,635). Now, we will find the slope using rise/run differences. My kWh Used (Table)

Our Numbers

Months Since September September (0) October (1) November (2) December (3) January (4) February (5) March (6) April (7)

KWh Used
648 640 659 631 635 630 636 612

648 635 13 = = 3.5 04 4

This means that -3.5 is the variation constant, or m, meaning that, each month, my electricity usage goes down by 3.5 on average. Now, we will use that in our equation. So far, our equation looks like this: y=-3.5x+b. What is b? Well, b is the y intercept. To work out what it is, we will use substitution with the coordinates (4,635) for x and y.

635 = 3.5(4) + 635 = 13 + +13 + 13 648 =

As you can see, after you work out the value of b, it is the same as the first y value, 648, as it is the y intercept, and the first value is at 0 months, making them at the same point.

Finally, we will do the last calculation. Our equation now looks like this: y=-3.5x+648. Now, we want to find out how long it will take us to get to 300kWh. We will need do replace y with 300 in the 300 = 3.5 + 648 648 648 348 = 3.5 + 0 348 3.5 = 3.5 3.5 99.43 = equation, as on the graph, y is kWh. This shows that it will take my family will take 99.43 (about 99 and a half) months to get our electricity usage down to 300kWh a month, assuming we go at our constant rate of change. Thats a lot!




According to the data, it will take my family almost 100 months to get to 300kWh of electricity usage! Thats more that 8 years! I think that I can speed it up, however, it I can keep being conservative about my usage and keep the greater good of the environment. These 8 months are just the little baby steps leading up to true climate crisis prevention.