Living without energy is tough…really tough. I know, because I’ve just gone without energy for a week. Why? To raise awareness of energy poverty.
Despite the availability of technical solutions, 1.3 billion people are still without any access to electricity and 2.7 billion people cook over open fires – suffering the effects of the potentially choking fatal toxic fumes given off by this fuel.
I didn’t cook my food on an open fire. Instead, I ate food that I didn’t have to cook, and didn’t have to refrigerate – crisps, bread, biscuits, fruit, salad. This wasn’t so bad though, as I could resort to a very simple technology to keep food cool without using energy – a zeer pot!
What I found very difficult though, after waking up (without an alarm clock – interesting!) was having a cold shower or wash, and then not being able to use my hairdryer or straighteners!
I need two or three cups of coffee in the morning to wake myself, so not being able to use the kettle was a disaster! I found it very difficult to find the energy in the morning to cycle into work (a very hilly 13 mile journey)!
Now there had to be one exception to the rule – I had to use energy for work because I need a computer to do my job. However, I did not use my laptop outside of work, or my phone. I had no music and I didn’t watch any television. I read books until there was no longer any light.
I couldn’t use the heating, but as it’s summer (kind of) that wasn’t much of a problem. But it would be a different story in the winter!
I can’t imagine living permanently without energy…but so many people are forced to.
At Rio+20 this week we continue to push for a global effort to eliminate energy poverty and support the UN goal of universal energy access by 2030.
• Energy enables people to work their way out of poverty
• Energy provides better access to education and other basic services
• Energy improves health and wellbeing, especially for women and children