In 2012, I had a rather abrupt pay cut as the research money that was supporting me was running out and I was down to one paid day a week. Being time-rich but cash-poor had its advantages and me and Dau.II spent a lot of quality time with her grandparents. It also gave me an inkling of hope for my future in retirement because two old age pensions was way more than I was pulling in for on€-day-a-w€€k. Nevertheless, having but a trickle of money meant that there was no slack in the budget and that is when I stopped drinking. The 2011 data suggested that The Beloved and I might well knock off a couple of bottles of wine a week if we had a glass each with dinner each night. That would be okay if we lived in South Africa where Chardonnay is cheaper than bottled water or in France where they have low taxes on booze pour encourager les viticulteurs. But in Ireland back then, a bottle of Old Red Biddy was at least €5 and two bottles a week was therefore €500 a year. Which was lot for a man on €1,000/mo; so it was farewell to plonk.
I fell to those reflections because we had a morning of post-graduate student presentations and when we all left I noticed that the last presenting student had left the computer on; so I switched it off. As I walked back to my office with one of my colleagues I wondered aloud how much electricity was being wasted by such "someone else will do it" bystander effect. I know that every Monday last academic year I had a QM quantitative methods class at the very end of the working day. At about 1700hrs we'd all leave and as far as I was concerned all 20 desktop computers would be on-standby for 16 hours until 0900hrs the next day. A computer in sleep mode is using 25W or about the same as a lightbulb. Not so much you say but 25 * 20 * 16 is 8 kWh which costs, in Ireland about €2. That's a tenner a week or about €500/yr which was doing much less good to me or the planet than €500 worth of wine. I feel a guesstimation exercise coming on for next year's QM class:
- Is it worth employing someone to switch off all the lights/computers in The Institute at the end of the working day?