UVa | A R C H 2013

Energy Systems | From the Body to the World

In class, we have been studying energy and the systems that connect our daily lives with it.  To investigate this, I analyzed a four hour period during a typical day at home on Long Island, NY.  I woke up, took a shower, had breakfast, watched TV, drove my brother to school and went to the gym.  In such a short period of time and a seemingly simple set of actions, I actually used several different forms of energy.  It is clear from my diagram, that I, along with most americans, rely heavily on the power grid and coal plants to receive my electricity.  I also use a car more than I probably need to, increasing my use of fossil fuels.

There are many ways in which I can reduce my impact of energy use.  I can open windows instead of using an air conditioning system.  I could also reduce my car use and fossil fuel consumption by walking my brother to school or take public transportation and running around the block instead of going to the gym, which would also reduce my use of electricity.  I could also reduce the transportation of my food by buying locally produced goods.  I think the biggest step that could be made to reduce my impact would be to seek other energy sources for electricity other than coal.  By using wind and solar energy, it would reduce the burden placed on the power grid and be a cleaner source of electricity. 


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