Anorak News | Arianna Huffington Turns Green

Arianna Huffington Turns Green

by | 2nd, April 2009

ARIANNA Huffington, publisher of the Huffington Post is:

“Greening My House: Power Strips, White Light Lamps, Compost Jars, and Logs Made of Coffee Grounds”

Huffington “the Blackberry-toting, Bush-baiting Queen of the Blogosphere” is green? Huffington who took her surname from a marriage to Michael Huffington, the, er, oil billionaire?

It’s not too late. She tells us:

Yes, I had a pair of Priuses in the driveway (my girls call them “the Prii”), and the recycling bins are filled and dutifully rolled out the curb once a week — but I wanted a top to bottom assessment of things.

The pious Prius: Boost Your Carbon Emissons With Green Flex Fuel. Al Gore’s got one, too.

Among the changes we made:

— Replaced conventional light bulbs with energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs, which use one-third the electricity and can last 10 times as long. As Matthew Morris from Deep Green pointed out, “If everyone in America replaced just one regular bulb with a CFL, it would be the equivalent of taking 1 million cars off the road.” And we replaced the floor lamps next to my desk and on our editors’ desks with lamps and CFL bulbs that throw off a cool white light as opposed to yellow, and reduce eye strain caused by prolonged reading and writing. At first, it was really strange, and I was ready to go back to my beloved yellow light. But I persevered — and now I love them.

Kristallnacht: Panic Buying As Last Lights Go Out In Britian

— Installed power strips in the office and kitchen. Many appliances, including TVs, computers, and phone chargers still use electricity even when not turned on. Indeed, 5 percent of the electricity used in America is drawn by appliances that aren’t powered up. For instance, the printer in my office uses 55 watts in standby mode, the copy machine uses 46 watts in standby, and the fax machine uses 10 watts in standby. Leaving these machines on overnight and when they are not in regular use can waste over 700 kilowatt hours a year (which is more than the average California household uses in a month). The easiest way to avoid this is to plug these appliances into a power strip that can quickly be turned off at the end of the day and back on in the morning.

Best power down first, though.

— Installed digital thermostats. Heating and cooling, on average, accounts for half of our homes’ energy use. These thermostats allow us to consistently set the temperature at the most efficient levels (According to Deep Green Living: “for every degree you raise or lower the temperature for 8 hours, you’ll save one percent on your heating or cooling bill.”)

Keep the heating on, but a bit lower; keep the air-con on, but not too low.

— Replaced the wood-burning logs in my fireplace with logs made of compressed coffee grounds. You get warmth… and a contact caffeine buzz. (Okay, just kidding about the buzz, but the logs really do work.)

Coffee. Calculating Your Water Footprint.

— Started a composting jar in the kitchen. Making this change brought back many memories of my mother, who never liked to let anything go to waste. The uses she could find for a lemon rind!

— Made the switch from a conventional dry cleaner using the eco-unfriendly perc process to a green dry cleaning service that uses non-toxic alternatives.


The Deep Green team also reminded me and my family of some of the simple changes we can make in our daily habits that can have a big impact, including:

Being more aware of our water use by not leaving the water running when brushing our teeth or rinsing the dishes, taking shorter showers (that’s really a tough one for me), and making sure we only run the dishwasher and washing machines when they have full loads.

Making sure to keep our cars’ tires inflated to the right pressure (improves gas mileage by 3 percent) and that the air filters are clean (replacing a clogged air filter can improve mileage by as much as 10 percent).

And something really, really obvious — turning off the lights when we leave the room — which I now do much more frequently because I finally understand how significant the cumulative energy savings can be.

Well, if the woman who runs the biggest blog in the world – available via the power of electricity – can be green so can you…

Posted: 2nd, April 2009 | In: Reviews Comment | TrackBack | Permalink