September 23, 2008: This year’s Earth Overshoot Day.

Friday, October 17, 2008

From Mpowering Madison:

September 23, 2008 marked this year’s Earth Overshoot Day. According to the Global Footprint Network (GFN) Earth Overshoot Day marks the day when humanity begins living beyond our ecological means. Globally, we now require the equivalent of 1.4 planets to support our lifestyles. But if everyone in the world lived like a resident of the United States we would need 5.4 Earths to sustain us! Who is behind these measurements? The GFN Advisory counsel includes David Suzuki, Wangari Maathai and Karl-Henrik Robèrt among many other respected and brilliant minds.

We are almost a month past this year’s overshoot day, yet we still have 2 month of consuming energy left in 2008. What are you doing to decrease your personal footprint? Start where you are! Change one more behavior this month. Think you already “do everything”? Take your efficiency knowledge to work or class and inspire others. Besides, October is Energy Awareness Month so don’t be afraid to repeat yourself!

Lead by example:

Replace the bulbs in desk lamps with Energy Star qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs. These light bulbs use about 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer. Energy Star qualified lamps and light fixtures also are available for even more energy savings.

Use a power strip as a central "turn off" point when you are done using office equipment to completely disconnect the power supply. Even when turned off, electronic and IT equipment often use a small amount of electricity when plugged in.

Remember to turn off your lights when leaving conference rooms, classrooms and your work space, especially at the end of the day.

Use Energy Star qualified battery chargers or power adapters which, on average, use 30-35 percent less energy than conventional models. Don't forget to unplug battery chargers or power adapters when equipment is fully charged or disconnected from the charger.

Download reminder cards for your office or classroom and find more info from Energy Star.