The IBM Ecojam brought together some of the best minds in the world on the topic of environmental sustainability in an environment where everyone can contribute to topic threads and push forward best practices.
The Eco-Jam covered a wide variety of topics. As most of the attendees were in the IT field, there was a heavy concentration on the IBM-related smarter planet theme.
One of the important topics was negawatts–electricity that doesn’t have to be generated. I’ve heard that the equivalent of three full sized powerplants are required to run all of the transformers that are just quietly heating the atmosphere and not powering any device. That’s serious business. Another thing brought up was nonessential loads, like the lights in a vending machine. No one likes the dingy and dim half the bulbs in the fluorescent fixture look (remember that from high school?), but not lighting the vending machine is a fine thing to do.
Smart grid is coming to your home soon, I hope