Energy Diet

At the core of the 360º Energy Diet lies the assumption that we all have areas where we could cut back on energy use, no matter how “green” we think we are.

This week on Twitter, National Geographic asked: What is the worst example of energy waste you’ve seen? Tweet us your answer #energydiet

And boy, did you answer, confirming that there is just as much, if not more, energy waste out there than we might guess. Here’s a selection of responses.

Multiple Votes For…

  • Phonebooks: “The energy and resources that go into making a billion telephone books every three months that people never use.” — SciFiActionMage
  • Commercial Building Lighting: “When big companies finish for the day and leave many lighting on all night, how much energy would be saved if lights turned off[?]” — Cookis_Paradise
  • Las Vegas: “Probably Las Vegas. Or maybe Christmas lights.” —ABonisoli
  • Professional Racing: “Any event involving vehicle racing (cars, motorcycles etc), MASSIVE waste.” — LisaME1968
  • Leaving Things On and/or Idling: “Why it is okay to leave computer running night and day, cable boxes on 24/7, coffeemakers with a clock?!” —fresh_fresh
  • Getting Specific

    “A stretch hummer limo taking bigwigs to a nighttime monster-truck show at a 100,000 seat stadium that had ~2000 attendance” —Mullis_for_Tift

    “Every year, thousands of people in Alaska idle their cars in the parking lot for 45+ minutes while grocery shopping.” —kenrpapp

    “Dentist with plasma TV running all day facing the window showing gum disease. no pedestrian traffic that this would target.” —Hokies23

    “[People] hosing down streets in h2o scarce MidEast countries to ‘keep dust down.’ That & way the they wash cars.” — faresghneim

    “Two single rich people living half a yr in a huge palatial home that uses more energy than a family of 5 in a small home.” — Roxibis

    “A high school where I occasionally sub teach..they have large TVs which play all day ‘in case’ there is an announcement.” —DuL0r4x

    “I live in Doha. I see tens of skyscrapers, every floor lit day & night. those buildings aren’t even rented out yet!” —Sunshine_Pangli

    “Energy waste? How about decorated houses with hundreds and hundreds of Christmas lights, left on all night long?” —JacalynKruse

    “Ski Dubai will give you winter all year long in the middle of the desert” —lukastimulak

    “Using my gas oven to toast a single piece of bread” —seanmpiper

    Most Amusing

    “Electric/battery powered tooth brushes…how lazy are we becoming. Seriously.” —AshleyGoode

    “A movie we saw in my #sustainability class showed a woman with an electric hand lotion warmer. 🙁 ” —nat_attack2010

    Worst energy waste: breakfast burnt at the gym after a day squatting in the office. A lot of resources went into that meal… —intoAngmar

    “This!!!” — baid0

    “Friend leaving her TV on for her dog during a 12-hour shift every day!!” —meltiesel

    “giving birth!! :D*” —ArtVolumeOne

    “What about printing a picture from an e-mail and ask me to scan it later to have on the computer??!!!!” —parbamenactica

    “twitter” —thejaredhilton

    You can see more of your answers below. Please comment with other responses below or on Twitter using #energydiet.


    1. naturesperfect
      December 12, 2011, 1:54 pm

      it’s organo-phosphates, they’re nerve gasses, and they take out you immune system, as well as other things OF PEOPLE, AND ANIMALS, and when that happens, YOU LOSE ALL YOU LIFE GIVING ENERGY so god only knows what it doing to the microbes, and soil, AND THE WORLD, and, ?they? are all tryin t’wipe it out with thier pest’icides and poisons, ie birds fall from sky you tube vid, just? a thought, it’s the organo-phosphates you k’now, they’re nerve gasses ?in dilute form? but they do not dissapear, they dissapate, and just like blackcurrant dripping into a bath, it gets worse, not better AND NO AMOUNT OF TREES CAN SORT THAT ONE OUT, , i have lots of info, aka aprilnoodles owen, fbm

    2. Amelia
      December 12, 2011, 1:54 pm

      Automatic sprinklers that water while it’s raining

    3. Dwight E. Howell
      December 12, 2011, 8:29 pm

      Instant on in most electronics when the warm up time is barely noticeable.

    4. Mark Poole
      Nashville, TN
      January 13, 2012, 3:20 pm

      Parents dropping off & picking up kids at school, while school buses arrive mostly empty. Drive by any school in the morning and see hundreds of SUV’s with one parent & one child. Waste of oil and congests morning commute.

    5. Christina Nunez
      January 13, 2012, 3:27 pm

      Good one Mark, I’ve seen that a fair amount here in the DC area too…