Reporting on second day of green watching. How do you account for indirect energy consumption from using communal facilities, as here with Stanford pool?
I dealt with this before during Daily Footprint Project:
Going even further, and venturing into the field of environmental economics, I also need to look at my footprint contributions, as a consumer of external benefits. Included in that category are all the ‘free’ services I enjoy from collective entities. In most cases, I am paying for the services indirectly, e.g., city tax for public infrastructures such as street lighting, or merchant markup that covers store overhead costs such as heating. It is also clear, that I need to claim my share of the ecological footprint from such activities.
Practically, of course, it is for the collective entities to take responsibility for their energy consumption. The environmental cost of not using renewable energies should be shared with the citizen, mostly as a piece of information. Citizen knowledge can then lead to action. In the case of the Stanford pool for instance, that would mean putting pressure on the University to use renewable energies to power the pool installations.
Next comes the issue for institutions, of how to share energy monitoring information with the people. There are quite a few startups in the space already. I recently visited with the folks at Lucid Design Group, and was quite impressed with their