Air conditioners A passage from Laudato si ‘, paragraph 55, cites the increasing use of air conditioners as an example of “harmful consumer habits”. More than a condemnation of the object, it is an example of how, in the search for an “immediate profit”, the markets stimulate the demand for objects whose abuse can cause damage. In the case of air conditioners, the contraindications are not few.

A small plant produces 40% of the domestic CO2 emissions of a single. Even considering the low consumption models (heat pump, with inverter) the energy required to lower the temperature by one degree is up to 4 times higher than what it takes to raise it by one degree.

It is no coincidence that for several years the peaks in energy consumption have been touching in summer, no longer in winter. The warmer climate pushes us to use air conditioners more, which however cause CO2 levels to rise and moreover emit heat outside. A vicious circle. In short, no condemnation to air conditioners, but moderation is necessary in many cases. (Massimo Calvi)
4) Lights

How many lights do we use when we are at home? It is one of the questions that Pope Francis invites to ask. The theme is that of energy saving. Using only the light we need, and not wasting it, means having to produce less energy, use less energy resources and, as the world energy mix still sees a large prevalence of fossil sources, produce less CO2 emissions.

It is not just a matter of turning off lamps and chandeliers when you go out, but of taking those small precautions that can make big differences: the use of LED bulbs, which reduce energy consumption by up to 90%; or power strips with switch, which can simultaneously turn off many devices that use electricity (television, stereo system, computer).

Of course, if 100% renewable energy is used at home or in the company, things can change a bit. But the cleanest energy of all is that which is not consumed: it also has a unit of measurement, the negawatt. (Andrea Di Turi)5) Water

Water, the Pope underlined in the encyclical, is a precious but limited commodity and more and more people risk not having enough of it. In recent decades, world water consumption has increased almost tenfold: 70% is used for agricultural use, 20% for industry, 10% for domestic use.

In Western countries, a person uses 162 liters per day, of which 80 for personal hygiene and 24 for nutrition, when according to various studies 50 would be enough. When using washing machines and dishwashers, it would be enough to prefer the ecological cycle or the short one, but always fully loaded, as well as buying models that need less water: even 100 liters can be saved for washing machines.

When washing the car it is better to use a full bucket instead of running water: we will save about 130 liters of drinking water each time. To wash fruit and vegetables, you can fill a bowl with water and a little baking soda. While taking a shower instead of a bath means another saving of 50 liters at a time. (Paolo M. Alfieri)


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