Monday, April 22, 2013

Michael Caduto: The Power of One

Definition: The Power of One — Every single positive action taken by each individual adds up to create a huge impact. For example, if every home in the United States replaced just one incandescent light bulb with an energy-efficient (CFL or LED) bulb, it would have the same effect as taking 800,000 cars off the road — reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 9 billion pounds each year. Every action we take to cut down on energy use and generate renewable energy combines with the actions of others to produce a positive synergistic effect. 
Green Giants are perfect examples of “the power of one." They are kids who have taken action, worked hard, and made a difference for the good of the Earth and the environment. Kevin Huo, pictured above, is one of many Green Giants who are featured throughout Michael Caduto’s Catch the Wind, Harness the Sun

Drying Clothes “On Line” Wrings Out Big Energy Savings
You can make other changes around the house that are good for the environment. For example, washing clothes in cold water and hanging them outdoors to dry (a Green practice that could be called drying clothes “on-line”) uses much less energy. These practices produce only one-tenth of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide than using a hot-water wash cycle and a traditional clothes dryer. Let’s do the math to understand why.

There are 106 million households in the United States. Each load of wash done with a conventional wash cycle and clothes dryer uses enough energy to generate about 7 pounds (3.2 kg) of carbon dioxide. So how much carbon dioxide is generated every time all of the households in the country wash and dry one load of clothes?

Here is the math:
106 million households x 7 pounds (3.2 kg) of carbon dioxide per load = 742 million pounds (337 million kilograms) of carbon dioxide per load of laundry. (One pound of carbon dioxide has a volume of 8.2 cubic feet, which is about the capacity of a supersize clothes dryer!)

If every household washed one load of clothes each week with cold water, and then air-dried those clothes on a clothesline, this would reduce the amount of carbon dioxide produced for those loads by 90 percent. That means that nationwide, 668 million fewer pounds (303 million kg) of carbon dioxide would enter the atmosphere.

Now that’s letting a lot of gas out of the carbon bubble!

Read the full article published in Connect (page 14):

This post was written by Michael J. Caduto, author of Catch the Wind, Harness the Sun © 2011 by Michael J. Caduto. All rights reserved.

Other posts from Michael Caduto:
Don’t Be an Energy Hog, Replace Your Bulbs!
Princess Firefly’s Lovers — A Traditional Tale from Japan

Author Michael J. Caduto is the creator and coauthor of the international best-selling Keepers of the Earth series and Native American Gardening. He also wrote Earth Tales from Around the World, Pond and Brook, Riparia’s River, and many other books on the power of nature. His awards include the Aesop Prize, the NAPPA Gold Award, the Storytelling World Award, and the American Library Association’s “Best Book for Young Adults.” Michael lives in Vermont. Visit him at

Click below to play the YouTube video for CATCH THE WIND, HARNESS THE SUN!

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