Green food for thought

Keeping lights off can save an enormous amount of energy, but a lot of the benefits depend on whether you’re willing to tolerate some inconveniences associated with natural light.

Utilizing the power of the sun can be an effective and wholesome way to light up a room, but it can increase room temperature by a few degrees. Window screens and blinds can largely maintain a consistent room temperature, but if you depend on natural light, it’s likely that the whole window will have to be uncovered.

If this is the case, then the air conditioning unit may have to work overtime. This is where you run into a dilemma.

If the AC is the only electrical device you are running, however, it may not be as much of an energy hog. One of air conditioning’s major drawbacks is that if multiple appliances are running at the same time as the AC, their energy usage will increase exponentially, according to

Keeping the AC off entirely, though, is the best conservation option. Before hitting the lights, you should be certain you’re willing to deal with the change in temperature. If not, you might need to make some other sacrifices. Living a green life is about putting the world before you, and if you’re hard-core enough to go without lights and AC, then you might just live your noble, sweaty lives in peace.

For tips and information on how to reduce your personal impact on the environment, visit

— Matt Ferrara