Gym Generator

I got kicked out of Cal Courts this morning because the power went out and they didn’t think they’d be able to restore it for 20 minutes or more. It made me think again about what it would take to tie all the machines at a gym in to an electricity generating and storage system. All that kinetic energy going to waste.

Of course, at 8:30 on a Sunday morning, there weren’t enough people at the gym to create enough energy to run a flashlight, let alone get the lights back on. And I suppose that’s the real problem. We still don’t have economical and efficient energy storage systems (batteries) to make this, and most other alternative energy systems cost effective.  It seems like we really ought to be throwing a lot of resources at energy storage systems.

Ironic Recycling

We’ve been doing recycling for several years. I’m pretty happy that itt’s reduced our garbage output by more than half. I go down to the Eureka recycling center every other week. They’ve recently made it simpler and faster by reducing the amount of sorting you have to do considerably.

What’s funny, or sad, depending on my mood, is the number of huge SUVs that roll in to the transfer station to recycle struggling to squeeze in to a parking space in order to unload their few tubs of recycling materials.

I know we can’t all be in perfect alignment with green living precepts, but there is something increasingly egregious about these huge vehicles lumbering around in face of  climate change, raising gas prices and the political and security hazards that dependency on imported oil imposes on us.

The Internet Helps Save Energy

In spite of the what seems like huge sucking sounds coming from massive server farms and data centers soaking up electricity it appears, according to a new study, that the “net” affect of the growth of the Internet is a savings in energy usage.

“Indeed, all America’s servers – the computers that direct traffic on the Internet – and the systems that cool them use about 1.2 percent of the nation’s electricity, according to a study last year.”

“But it turns out that for every kilowatt-hour of electricity used by information and communications technologies, the US saves at least 10 times that amount, the new ACEEE report found.”

Good news! One more reason to invest in improved broadband infrastructure. Doing so will help energy efficiency thus reduce our impact on global warming and reduce our dependency on imported oil. Let the bit torrents begin!