Photo: J Scott Smith

Litus and other entities are working on technical products. What about us as individuals, what can we do? Below are some suggestions.

A Precedent

During the 1970’s oil crisis, US president Jimmy Carter passed laws limiting vehicle speed to 55 mph (88 kph), heating to not above 68 F (20 C), cooling to not below 78 F (26 C). In winter he wore wool cardigans in the Oval Office. Vast numbers of people ignored these laws yet, within three months, total US energy use shrank by over 15%. No capital expenditure was involved, just adjustment of lifestyles.


  • A basic physics rule: twice the acceleration uses four times the energy / fuel. Feather to and away from stops.
  • Stick to the speed limit. Going from 60 mph / 96 kph to 80 mph / 128 kph increases fuel use by around 40%.
  • Does one really need all that “performance”, so hyped in TV commercials ?
  • When buying a new vehicle, get the one that will best meet your needs; seriously consider a hybrid.
  • How about walking short distances?

The Rest
Please do not forget to do the basics: switch out the lights; turn down the heating and cooling; use, save and discard less material; reduce the amount of beef (supposedly healthier); get more efficient electrical appliances.  Using less water is important; apart from other issues, much energy is used to process and pump it.