Energy in Action

Here’s a fun thing to try – make a log of your daily energy usage. Seriously, give it a whirl – take a day and write down when you turn on and off lights, what devices you use and charge and when, when you drive and how far you go, how you cook dinner, what devices are on, blinking, thinking, watching you like an apple in the dark while you sleep…

We did it at STOWER for a couple days this week, just to see what kind of energy we use and when. The results are pretty wild:

  • Something is always on – our phones, our lights and radios, computers, cars.
  • About 22 hours of an average day are spent with energy-consuming devices. This includes the fan I can’t sleep without or the ocean sounds coming from a bedside clock radio. Even while we sleep, it’s watts like crazy.
  • We charge our phones about two times a day. That’s a 5W charge – if half the people in the US charged their phones simultaneously, we’d need a 795 MW power plant just to charge phones. That’s more power than the biggest solar project in the world, and not taking into account DC/AC/DC conversion losses.

I – an environmentally-conscious American concerned about GHG emissions, drought, and poverty alleviation – consume a pretty good amount of energy, many many watts, about 92% of the time. Holy smokes.

But that’s not the exciting thing! What really surprised us is what we were doing the 8% of the time we were not using energy.

We were running.

We were riding bikes.

We were outside.

STOWER began with the idea of making energy portable, reliable, and clean, to take a picture or send a text from a mountain or lake somewhere far away from an office building. But after our energy experiment, it seems like our mission is even bigger – there’s no cleaner watt than the one you don’t need, and the more we’re outside the less watts we use.

So pack up your camera, grab your Fire Charger and hit the dirt, trees, mountains this summer. Get outside, enjoy it – it might be the best way to save it after all.

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