Saturday, April 04, 2009

Beyond Earth Hour

After the much publicized Earth Hour – 8.30pm to 9.30pm, March 28, 2009, Malaysians and Singaporeans should be more aware of the environmental issues. Now it’s time to look beyond the Earth Hour.

The March 2009 issue of National Geographic Magazine features an article with the title Saving energy: It starts at home. The article gives the carbon dioxide emission level from household items in the America. Here are some figures…

Pounds of CO2 emitted per item each year in the U.S.:

  • Indoor lighting: 2,270
  • Room AC: 872
  • Central AC: 4,067
  • Ceiling fan: 115
  • Gas furnace: 6,967
  • Oil furnace: 14,380
  • Washer: 153
  • Electric dryer: 1,521
  • Television: 548
  • Refrigerator: 1,191
  • Electric water heater: 3,586
  • Desktop PC: 321
  • Monitor: 116
  • Laptop PC: 98
  • One car: 11,903

At first glance, CO2 emission level by air-conditioner seems low. However, bear in mind that many American homes are heated by furnace in winter. In Malaysia and Singapore, where weather is hot year round, the corresponding figures should be higher.

On the other hand, Malaysian commuters drive smaller vehicles and over shorter distances compared to their American counterparts, so they should generate smaller amount of CO2. Singaporean commuters often use public transport so their figure should be even smaller.

Desktop PC – including monitor – generates a lot more CO2 than laptops. Fortunately, desktops PCs are – as someone puts it – so 20th century that more and more consumers have switched to mobile ones.

Question: How much can you cut down on your CO2 emission?


  1. well not sure about that
    but having that the journey in Malaysia is shorter but the jam is massive so don forget about the time spent being stuck on road while the aircond is still running!

    anyway, why do you think I prefer female than male!? "-_-

  2. Interesting that air travel does not make the list considering the hype about carbon emission from flying.

    Thanks for sharing the info.

  3. Lisa
    I have worked in Southern California before. The traffic gridlock is as bad as here.

    P/S You wrote in a post that you like to look at pretty girls.

    Pollution from air travel depends on trip and can't be generalized. I will write about air travel possibly next week. Please stay tuned.

  4. Thanks for the breakdown, khengsiong. Its a good benchmark.

    Read somewhere that as a rule of thumb, anything that generates heat (refrigerator, aircon, heater, iron) takes up a high proportion of electricity.

  5. I am not sure. But I just joined the crowd.

  6. thanks for the data sharing.

    i think as a malaysian, we should cut down on air cond and water heater emission at home. In fact, i am using none of them at home, haha!

  7. hmmm... *counting and counting* :P

  8. shingo
    US is the world's biggest CO2 producer. We should use Germany or Japan as the benchmark.

    Hmm... joining the crowd without knowing what you did?

    I also don't use air-con, but without water heater it's tough -_-"

    Not easy to go green, huh?

  9. I don't believe in the global warming as the mass media reports it so I have never measured my "emissions"

  10. JL
    Oh... you're probably too young to experience it...

  11. shd let my boss read the last part! ^_^

  12. 迷迭香
    Your company still use desktops?

  13. But i thought China is the largest? Anyway thanks for sharing. :D