Why Own When You Can Borrow?The Ottawa Public Library has books, DVD, internet-connected computers, and all that, of course. Taking advantage of those is greener than buying your own (especially if it's a book or DVD you're only going to read/watch once). But thanks to a grant from the City of Ottawa Community Environmental Grants Program, the library also has made 75 Kill-A-Watt meters available freely. I think all public libraries should do the same!
For those of you not familiar with what a Kill-A-Watt is, it's a small electronic device that you can plug into a power outlet, and then when you plug an appliance into it, you get a reading of how much electricity is used. What you can measure, you can improve.
This feedback on your energy consumption can allow you to cut your energy use in the same way that fuel economy feedback in a car usually helps the driver save gas. You could even discover that some electronics drain quite a bit of power even when they are nominally turned off, or that some old appliance is so inefficient that it is costing you more in electricity than it's worth.
The only sad thing is that almost all Kill-A-Watts at the Ottawa Public Library are checked-in. Maybe Ottawa residents don't know about them?
If you're in Ottawa and reading this, come on, give it a try. And if you're somewhere else, suggest to your library to acquire some Kill-A-Watts, even if only a couple.
OPL Photo: Flickr, CC
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