Where does your energy come from and where is your energy going?

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 6:30 PM





Our energy systems work so well most of us are completely out of touch with what it really takes to make it happen or even where the energy comes from in the first place. An eleven year old was asked, “Where does electricity come from?” and he paused and said, “I don’t know!”
The process has become so conveniently effortless and reliable that we never really see, question, or understand the hidden process and it is expensive! According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis in 2010 the average American household spent $2200 in one year on electricity alone. For those making a minimum wage of $7.25 (Rhode Island), 303 hours a year will have to be dedicated to pay for electricity.
Let’s dial in and take a closer look at how we sustain our own personal lives in ways that on the outside seems beneficial and the right thing to do. After all everyone else seems to be doing the same things.
Take employment for example, in 1960 8 in 10 American children had just one working parent. In 2012 only 3 in 10 children had a stay at home parent. Both of those working parents, if working full time, are committing 4000 precious hours away from home and the people we love just pay for the stuff to make it all work!
Those same parents are so exhausted that 50 million of them take themselves and their children out to eat fast food everyday. Lucky for us we have 160,000 fast food restaurants to choose from. According to the Center for Disease Control 35% of American adults are obese and 17% of American children are too! Chronic Obesity has a heavy price tag on our bodies and the health care systems in place truly cannot sustain the growing epidemic any longer.
Statistic Brain says 40% of us are not saving for retirement and 25% of us have no savings at all. Sadly, many of us are not self-sustaining, however, the good news is this - with small incremental steps and dedication to making a change we can rethink this whole thing and empower ourselves to do it differently.
Recognizing that most of us fall prey to these statistics because we do not have the time or make the time to do it differently is a great place to start. That means we are aware! Mindfulness breads desire and commitment to design a personal life cycle awareness plan that is fulfilling and sustaining. 

Here are three easy ways to begin!

Live green. 
The average family spends about $2,200 a year on energy bills. 
Save your hard earned money by doing a home energy audit using the free calculator developed by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Program.



Plant a garden. 
On average, families can get up to a $500 return on their investment in gardening, after seeds and equipment are subtracted, says the National Gardening Association
Don’t have a backyard? Not to worry just try a container or window box garden.




Dust off your cookbooks.

The average family spends close to half of its food budget on meals away from home, remember they are too tired to cook. 
Shift your perspective and recognize tired or not that’s a lot of dough! Cooking at home can save you hundreds of dollars a year.


And while you make a change or two 

have fun doing it!






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