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Green Deeds: Defining Energy Efficiency

Updated on October 18, 2018
Some of us want an answer to the question, "Who gets to define energy efficiency?"
Some of us want an answer to the question, "Who gets to define energy efficiency?" | Source

A Green Theme Definition is Needed for Energy Efficiency

The massive organization that my husband works for requires him to serve on a committee dedicated to promoting green theme cooperation between departments and among individual employees.

Ranging from those who suck in whatever they are fed to those who are willing to pitch the baby with the bathwater to those mature enough to rationally consider the topics with a willingness to question the party line, he and his co-workers are hand-picked from various divisions--and they are all wondering about energy definitions.

Our household has dubbed these meetings “Dad’s green meets” and the stories that come out of them can be quite humorous, partly because of my husband’s incredulity at the fact that truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. There are times that all he can do is shake his head at the lack of common sense being displayed.

Insight into the different personalities that these green meetings bring together can be interesting. As he watches the telling expressions in his fellow employees eyes it’s obvious that the self-absorbed leader considers herself a trendsetter and is oblivious to the resignation other employees muster for that hour of green deed instruction.

Efficient energy use is up to us.
Efficient energy use is up to us. | Source

What Defines Energy Efficiency? Who Gets to Decide?

The meetings are tedious. My husband's grasp of how cutbacks have burdened many of the committee members with heavy workloads explains their attitudes as well as why he sits close to the exit doors.

His knowledge of an expansion that is being hazarded because the needed resources are diminishing explains both the frustration with the time and money spent on the green meets and the reason my husband wonders how long this will go on.

This company’s green czar reflects the general attitude of top leaders in the green movement. She speaks as if no one else could possibly be aware of the so-called information that she spews and, no matter how blazingly fatuous, she is confident that its accuracy increases with her rabidity.

Define Energy Efficiency And Balance The Risks

She is willing to sensationalize her especial information but she can display a knack for moderating her presentations as an effort to appeal to the more sensible in her grip. Making it clear that she would bully the committee into silence by increasing the length of the meetings, she isn’t one whit worried that she looks like she is trying to justify her job.

Not realizing the difference between real people with real jobs who are seasoned by life experiences that taught them to look before they leap and the college students her team interacts with, she rambles on. Untaught, inexperienced, idealogical, and eager for anything that sounds innovative to their itching ears the youngest eat up her impossible-to-prove points no matter how irrational they may be.

Anyone who questions her positions can expect to be subtly mocked in a way that leaves them feeling almost threatened (but that’s for another hub). In work-life time the knowledgeable and experienced attend the meetings, keep their composure, and take the abuse to keep their jobs.

Yet, in their personal environments they do their research and consider all the ramifications before making a green star purchase based on a declaration that an item is energy efficient, durable, or recyclable. In other words, they look at the whole picture.

Think About Defining Energy Efficiency

Consider, for example, appliances that are promoted by green theme advocates.

Smart shoppers might find reports that various units are reliable, efficiently built and built for efficiency, only to discover that when a problem develops customer service is not good in any language, service personnel are an endangered resource, and rare parts are difficult to obtain.

One has to ask whether the main goal behind the label “energy efficient” is to get some people to hang their laundry out to dry before they go to work in the mornings.

LED Project

The delays that may have to be endured just to communicate a problem to let’s say, um, Korea, finding out whether parts are going to be available in the U.S., and coping with the cost of foreign parts should give consumers pause for thought.

Considering issues about whether shipping the thing across the world is worth the energy utilized and scrutinizing whether contaminates are created by such shipments causes a responsible shopper to rethink just what going green means.

Another question that screams to be asked is whether the sustainability factor behind such situations might actually be more about keeping companies in business than promoting energy efficient consumer goods?

Careful thought about real life helps clarify the need to define green. It seems like a no-brainer that people will burn down more houses with candlelight if we are forced to stop using incandescents in home light fixtures fitted with dimmers for romance with a safety factor.

It may be that when people realize that CFLs will not dim might they simply use more batteries for flickering ambiance, and if so, how does that define green?

Businesses have found that industrial fluorescents such as T-5 and T-8 do not work well in cold locations. If your brow is not now furrowed over the curiousness of using poor lighting in industrial settings, think safety in warehouses, workshops, parks, entertainment centers, medical facilities, and streets.

We need a novel motto regarding energy efficient lighting. How about, “Think, people, think!”

Going Green? Define Energy Efficiency Please!

While no one argues with the basic concept of recycling, some have noted that the amount of energy used to recycle a cazillion plus water bottles each summer is counter-productive.

A few such questions are being asked and addressed, but other questions leave the thinking person wondering about the costs and consequences of much that is being prized and awarded in the green scene as energy efficient.

The mercury containing CFLs that are being foisted on us require special equipment to recycle them because they are a health hazard. Viva mercurial Haz-Mat home equipment?

And don't you just wonder if China’s Haz-Mat procedures are protecting their people who are producing the little buggars? Then again, some are just asking if maybe it’s really true that, indeed, going green is a concept in need of an actual definition.

What's Your Take on a Definition of Energy Efficiency?

Submit a Comment
  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR


    4 years ago from the short journey

    Peggy W:

    Thanks kindly, both for stopping in to read this old post. Though much has changed since it was written, giving the topic some thought is still important. This perspective isn't very popular but more people own it than are willing to admit it publicly. Recently a friend that I had evidently made an assumption about surprised me with her frankness about how the people who want the world to go green only want it for others. They don't want it for themselves. I told her that was insightful.

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 

    4 years ago from Houston, Texas

    This well written hub deserves more attention than it is getting. Will tweet and share this time and hope that more people really give this some well thought out consideration. Making a one time purchase of an insulated thermos and carrying that with water instead of drinking water out of those disposable plastic containers...just THINK what that alone would save! The light bulbs...most are made in China and as you pointed out (not even including the danger from the mercury, etc.) the shipping of them and those costs...crazy! Examples could go on and on!

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago from the short journey

    Common sense... think a hub on just that would help? :)

    What you write is very true, yet bigger than all of that. I think it's more about control and that a lot of the people who are caught up in the green movement don't realize that they are just pawns who are being used for something bigger than they realize.

    How's that for a conspiracy theorist concept? :)

    Thanks bunches for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  • Dolores Monet profile image

    Dolores Monet 

    9 years ago from East Coast, United States

    RT - the green concept that I prefer is one based on thrift and common sense. I think there is a lot of noise based on the green movement, a lot of people just trying to make money by claiming their product is 'green.' Cutting down on garbage, turning down the heat, and not leaving your house lit up like a church, as they used to say, can save money and the environment without falling into some kind of 'green' ad scam.

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago from the short journey

    I also wonder what will happen when an earthquake breaks an apartment building full of the mercury filled bulbs to pieces...will we cordon off an entire city until a piece of legislation settles the question of what to do with all the loose mercury flying around? The issues are so obvious that I have come to wonder if all of this is as simple as short-sightedness. Thanks bunches for stopping by. I am learning hubbing a little along.

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 

    9 years ago from Houston, Texas

    I can't believe that I am the first to respond. You are so correct in the gist of this hub. Going green is a great concept...but the details in results are sometimes far different from the intent not to mention the costs.

    Believe me, I am all for doing what I can to help save the environment...but we need to be smart about executing our efforts.


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