Earth Day History
Ever wondered how Earth Day started? This observance arose from an interest in gathering national support for environmental issues. In 1970, San Francisco activist John McConnell and Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson separately asked Americans to join in a grassroots demonstration. McConnell chose the spring equinox (March 21, 1970) and Nelson chose April 22. Millions of people participated, and today Earth Day continues to be widely celebrated with events on both dates. The most common practice of celebration is to plant new trees for Earth Day.
1. Earth Day was first celebrated in:
If you read the paragraph above, then you know the year was 1970.
2. Which household appliance uses the most energy?
D. Washing machine
The answer is A — Refrigerators use about 11% of household’s total energy consumption.
Take Action: Buy Energy Star endorsed refrigerators, which will use less energy and save you money. Also, make sure your refrigerator is set to optimal energy-use temperatures (between 2°C and 3°C).
3. What country has the greatest number of coal-powered generators?
The answer is D — China requires a great deal of energy to power their rapidly developing economy. Unfortunately, burning coal causes pollution.
4. “Phantom carriers” is a term used for electronic devices that:
A. Move from room to room
B. Continue to consume electricity even when switched off*
C. Are really expensive
D. Are energy efficient
The answer is B — “Phantom carriers” are products that draw power 24 hours a day. Appliances that have a clock or programming displays, such as coffee makers, DVD players, computers, printers and stereos, are considered phantom load carriers. 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off.
5. What percentage do heating costs rise by for every degree above 20°C that you set your household thermostat in the winter?
The answer is C — Don’t overheat your home in the winter. Put on a sweater and dress accordingly in order to save money and to use less energy.
6. Your residential water heater uses of ________ your home’s energy and produces approximately two tones of carbon dioxide annually:
The answer is C
Take Action: Turn down the thermostat on your water heater to reduce energy consumption. Often the level is set unnecessarily high for regular use. If you go on holiday or away for a long period of time, you can turn off the heater since the water does not need to be constantly heated when no one is home to use it.
7. Recycling 1,000 kg of aluminum saves enough energy to heat a/an ________ for 10 years.
A. Typical home
B. Elementary school
C. Corner store
The answer is A — Recycling 1,000 kg of aluminum saves the equivalent of 10,000 L of gasoline.
8. What household appliance uses the second most amount of energy (the first is the refrigerator)?
A. Hair dryer
B. Clothes dryer
The answer is B
Take Action: Whenever possible air-dry your laundry. You can use an outdoor clothes line or purchase a drying rack to use indoors. Air drying can save $85 in energy costs per year and help reduce your impact on the environment.
9. What is the most energy efficient cycle to wash and rinse your clothes on?
The answer is A
Take Action: Use cold water to wash your clothes. If every household in Canada did this, it would reduce approximately 1.5 billion kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions yearly.
10. Which energy source produces the greatest amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide?
A. Natural gas
The answer is D — Gases emitted from coal burning plants contribute to acid rain and global warming.
11. What type of sector uses the greatest amount of electricity?
A. Commercial and industrial
B. Restaurant and fast food
The answer is A — The commercial sector uses almost 70% of all electricity produced.
Take Action: When at home or at work, make sure to turn off lights, computers and other energy-consuming equipment when not in use.