Welcome to the blog of the Broad Curriculum course Living Sustainably: A complete guide to surviving a changing planet. This course is run by Professor Nick Gray of the Centre for the Environment at Trinity College Dublin.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Could you live a day without energy?


For most of us in the modern world electricity/gas/oil power various activities that we need and/or enjoy throughout our days, from the hot shower in the morning to the midday cappuccino. If you strip back the day, how many things that we do in fact require no energy?

Personally, walking to college seems like the most eco-friendly part of my day. I wake up with the heating already on, turn on the lights, eat something from a refrigerator, shower, dry my hair, boil the kettle, turn on some music, take the lift and that’s all before I leave the house!

Therefore I propose a challenge for myself and who ever reads this to go a day without electricity. Just one day, 24 hours. Cold showers, non-perishable food and cycling may be required of the day! A man named Colin Beavan aka ‘No Impact Man’ went a whole year without electricity in New York City. With its hotter than hell summers and sub zero winters this was not an easy task. His documentary and story has inspired me to think ‘what if?’. I could never reach the feat of a whole year like Colin, not to sound pessimistic, but a day is possible. I admit I am too accustomed to the modern world and its frivolous yet enjoyable aspects, such as that midday cappuccino. Though energy was required to make the clothes we wear, produce the food we eat and build the bed in which we sleep, the aim of a no impact day is to lessen the load of current energy used and thus to get us thinking green! Link


Jessica Maddock

1 comment:

  1. Hi Nick.
    I had the same idea and discovered your challenge a few months ago while looking for ideas on the internet. Since then, I have been trying to convince my wife (who until then used to call herself a 'green' person) to accept the challenge - no point doing it on my own when there's four of us in the house, right? Especially since we both work from home a lot of the time. It’s been incredibly hard to convince her. I had to explain the whys, the hows, go into tiny practical details… All this just to plan a day : that’s like 1 days out of 365, i.e. 0.002% energy reduction over a year, at most. Oh, and we still haven’t pinned down a date.
    Pierre (who has not given up yet)

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