In Canada, energy plays a role in all aspects of our daily life. We use energy to transport our food, cook our meals, warm our homes, clean our clothes, get to work, and even to relax. Energy has become so integral to our lives that few people realize just how much we rely on it.

The Classroom Energy Diet Challenge is a program that educates Canadian students not only about how energy impacts our lives, but also teaches students how they can make informed decisions to conserve energy. However, education in energy conservation is something all Canadians can benefit from. Below are some energy facts that show all the direct and indirect ways that energy impacts us.

Water:

  • Canada is one of the largest per capita users of freshwater in the world. The average Canadian uses 251 litres of water a day – that’s nearly two full bathtubs!
  • Almost 90% of the energy required for washing clothes comes from heating the water.

Food:

  • Different food groups have different ranges in intensity when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions, but on average, red meat is around 150% more GHG-intensive than chicken or fish.
  • Meals on wheels! The average meal travels 1,200 km from the farm to the plate.

Housing:

  • A typical microwave oven uses more electricity powering its clock than it does actually heating food.
  • Standby power, also known as leaking electricity, vampire power, or phantom loads, can account for up to 10 per cent of all electricity used in Canadian homes. Leaving electronics plugged in, such as a cable box or a laptop, can consume about 200 kWh annually, even if you aren’t using them.
  • A LED light bulb uses about 80% less KWh per year than an incandescent bulb. The Canadian Government introduced regulations to fade out the old, power-thirsty light-givers in 2015.
  • In a typical home, space heating is the number one power user, accounting for upwards of 63 percent of total household energy use.
  • Up to 25% of a home’s heat losses take place through windows and patio doors.

Commuting:

  • Starting your car is equal to idling for 10 seconds. So, next time you’re stuck at a train crossing, turn off the engine to save money.
  • In 2016, Canadians consumed enough gasoline to power one minivan driving across the country via the Trans-Canada Highway about 45million times.
  • The average Canadian will drive 15,100 km per year.
  • You can improve your car’s fuel efficiency by about 3.3% by keeping your tires properly inflated.
  • In 2011, about 15.4 million Canadians commuted to work.

Tourism and travel:

  • Tourism is thought to be responsible of about 5% of global CO2 emissions. Transportation, at 75%, generates the largest proportion of emissions, the majority due to air travel.
  • About 54 percent of Canadians stay at eco-friendly accommodations when they travel. Also, most of them try to conserve water by reusing their bed sheets, towels, blankets and other items that are often cleaned using water.

Have a fun fact of your own? Share it with us @Energy_Lit.