Friday 6 June 2014

Environment, Living & Science: Locky's Own Energy Saving Tips With Simple Science!!!

This is bad, you see that one glass is filled with water?
Image from Locky's English Playground

There are so many ways to save energy out there which you can easily find on the internet, well, I have some really useful yet unusual ones to share!

Splashing water on dirty dishes
Image from dreamstime
First of all, say you have some vegetables to wash and soak, and you have some dishes you need to wash eventually, you can use those washing and soaking water to splash away some of the lipids on the dirty dishes, making it much easier for washing later on. Same theory goes to washing your hands in the sink, the water will be "reused" in the same way. But you must do it right.

Only the top water  is being replaced by new splashes
Image from Google
Most people will arrange them tidily like I did in the very first photo above, actually, this is not the best way to do it. Yes, it does look better but if your glasses and bowls are standing upright, but once the containers are filled with water, the lipids are going nowhere with subsequent splashes, only the top part of the water will be replaced, therefore, most of the grease is at the bottom, leaving that glass in the very first photo milky after several splashes.

This is good, tilt all containers
Image from Locky's English Playground

What you should do is to tilt all dishes sideways or at an angle, so that when you splash recycle water onto them, the lipids are allowed to leave the containers and go down the drain.

Desalination of
Image from
Second, now you boiled those vegetables, leaving the hot boiling water in the wok, don't pour them away just yet! If you have unfinished food you want to reheat from the previous night, you can use the water for steaming, since steams are essentially very clean, otherwise, there would not be any desalination of sea water into drinking water.

Have some cold soup to heat up?
Image from Locky's English Playground
Third, once the steaming is done, if you still have cold soup in the fridge, just place that soup container in the hot water and cover it with a wok lid, after 5 minutes or so, your soup will be completely reheated and be suitable for drinking!

Four, of course now that the hot water has done its job, you can use it for another splash, hot water removes lipids fast.

Too wet? Too hot? Close the windows and hang your clothes!
Image from Locky's English Playground
The summer in Hong Kong is really hot and very humid, so it is very difficult to dry washed clothes completely. Some people have a tumble dryer at home and so they prefer to use them because they are quick and time-saving. The downside is your gas / electric bill gets higher. My blog readers know that I am a big fan of solar energy, though I do not have solar panels at home, I do harness free power from the sun all the time.

The solution is, hang your clothes on the window frames to dry, since the morning sun at my home is scorching hot, it can protect my furniture from getting "sunburn" and keep my home cool. This is because evaporation is in fact an endothermic process, meaning that it takes energy (radiation in this case) to turn water into vapour, thus cooling down the surrounding. But again! You must do it right!

Image from Hartnell College Biology Tutorials

The right way to do it is keep the windows closed after you have used the air-con the night before! That is because you want to create a humidity difference. If you have opened the windows for a long time, say overnight, before hanging your clothes, the air inside your home and outside the windows are just as wet, drying your wet clothes under the sun still works but will be less efficient because there is a lack of humidity difference. By keeping the windows closed after you used air-con the night before, the air indoor remains relatively much dryer than the air outdoor, thus creating a humidity concentration gradient and preventing diffusion. With the windows closed, diffusion thus happens between the wet clothes and the dryer air indoor, thus increasing the efficiency of clothes drying under the sun.

Image from Locky's English Playground
Last but not least, we all know how horrible the electricity bill can look in summer, if you want to enjoy some air-conditioning while keeping the bill low, try switching on the air-con for awhile at a slightly colder temperature than room temperature, say 23°C for 5 minutes, once you feel the air is cool enough, switch off the air-con and use a fan to move the cold air instead. You will feel comfortable for at least an hour and will cut the cost by 90%!

I work out 90% because you saved 55 minutes of electricity for the air-con per hour, thus 55mins /60 mins x 100% = 91.7%, deducting 55 mins of fan, so it is roughly 90% of electricity saved!

After an hour, you can switch on the air-con again and repeat the same process.

Hope you like my tips! Let's start saving money!

lipid -- (n)[C] a substance such as a fat, oil or wax that dissolves in alcohol but not in water and is an important part of living cells
harness -- (vb)[T] to control something, usually in order to use its power
endothermic -- (adj) a chemical reaction in which heat is absorbed
diffusion -- (n)[U] defined as the net movement of molecules from an area of greater concentration to an area of lesser concentration.

Message: 2012 Roundup -- Top 44 Posts Of 2012 @ Locky's English Playground

General Chemistry Online: FAQ: Energy and chemical change: What are some examples of exothermic and endothermic processes? @ Frostburg State University