I’ve noticed many ways that India cuts down on energy usage that I’d love to see back in the U.S.
Here’s a good one – related to escalators. Whenever you are in a U.S. shopping mall, take a look at the escalators. They are always moving when the mall is open, regardless of how busy the mall is. Here is what I saw in a mall in India – the escalators might appear still when you approach one (I was afraid it was broken), but as soon as you step on it, a sensor detects someone is on it and it immediately starts to move. It continues to move as long as someone is on it, then it stops after everyone on it steps off. Seems logical when you think about it!
Next up – power outlets. In the U.S., we are told a way to save energy is to remember to unplug things like computers, etc., when not in use because apparently they drain energy from our outlets even when not in use. If you are like me, you probably don’t want to unplug all those things each night and plug back in, so you end up wasting energy. The solution here is to have wall switches to turn on and off outlets. Some U.S. homes have this for one outlet in a room (usually only when there is not a lighting fixture in the room, the outlet is meant to power a light), but certainly not for every outlet. There are also switches to turn off power for everything in a room (light and outlets).
Finally, I saw something cool last weekend about how many Indian folks recycle things that we’d probably just throw in a trash dump in the U.S. Rather than do that, items that seem to still have some use are taken to some type of shop/repair facility. The people at the repair facility fix whatever was gathered and sell it back to others. This is especially prevalent for things related to automobiles/motorcycles. There are lots of shops like this, selling recycled items that were likely just gathered after someone discarded them.