Thursday, February 10, 2011

Boiling Water: Electric Vs. Stove Kettles

This was supposed to be posted yesterday, but apparently Blogger's posting schedule option still escapes me, so apologies for that. I've been thinking about getting my own domain so I can have more control over the entire site and not have to bend to Blogger's constraints, however that would require money being generated from a job that I am still searching for, but I digress...

I recently bought a French press to really kick my addiction to coffee into high gear. Along with the French press I also had to buy a kettle to boil the water, and this is where I had to make a decision. I could either buy an electric kettle or I could buy the traditional kettle which I would heat with my gas stove.

What the decision boiled down to [editors note: PUN!] was determining the least natural resource intensive kettle. Here is a break down of where Chicago's electricity comes from:
  • 53% from Nuclear Power
  • 36% from Coal Fired Power
  • 7% from Natural Gas
  • 3% from Wind, Biomass, or Hydro Power
  • 1% Other
It is safe to assume that in the morning when I am making my coffee, most of the electricity I would be using is demand-response, which would mean that my electricity would be coming from coal.

Coal is filthy, and while natural gas still takes a toll on the environment, it is still a cleaner alternative, so I ended up buying the traditional kettle that I will heat with my gas stove.

I know that my one kettle isn't going to save the world, but I do think that the act of thinking these decisions through is good practice. It doesn't take much effort to find out where your energy is coming from, and I hope that on some level you begin to think about these options as well.

Now that I'm done ranting, I'm going to go ahead and enjoy my coffee! Have a great day!

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