Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Are goblins green?

Today’s episode is in honor of Halloween and should be called orange machine rather than green machine. I was thinking how much energy goes into the production and distribution of bite size candy bars. If the candy is simply sugar based such as a life saver it actually has less energy per unit mass than a candy such as a Snickers or milk chocolate of equivalent mass. This is due to the fact that carbohydrates (sugar) have less energy content per unit mass than cocoa butter (lipid or fat). The chemical structure of a carbohydrate already is partially oxidized and hence it has less available chemical energy when it is digested. A lipid has no oxygen atoms in its chemical structure and therefore has more chemical energy available for digestion.

If one looks at the nutrition information on the package of foods one would see that fats yield 9 kilocalories per gram while sugar only yields 4 kilocalories per gram. Therefore we would be doing our kids a favor if we gave them individually wrapped Lifesaver Candies rather than individually wrapped Snickers Bars on Halloween night. There are approximately four thousand children on the Tiburon Peninsular that will be trick or treating on Halloween Night. If we assume each child is lucky enough to haul in half a pound of candy and that the candy is evenly split between sugar and chocolate one can perform the requisite math to calculate that the collective energy in all the treats given to the children here on the Peninsular on Halloween Night totals some 5,900,000 kilocalories. This amount of energy equals the fuel content of 203 gallons of gasoline.

If we assume that on Halloween Night each household on the Peninsular hands out a pound of candy, the 2,000 head of households also had the drive to the grocery store to purchase the candy. Assuming the trip to the grocery store required a quarter of a gallon of gasoline another 500 gallons of gasoline was expended to procure these treats. I am all for being green but believe that on a special night like Halloween one should not worry about carbon footprints but one should rather enjoy the festival. I do however have advice for the method of lighting the Jack-o’-lanterns and the kids’ flashlights. These should all be lit by light emitting diodes (LEDs) as LEDs require far less energy than older incandescent lights to emit the same amount of lumens.

There are some among us who believe handing out candy is not good for the children and prefer to give the kids stickers. I have a sweet tooth and feel that on this special night candy treats are in order. In some communities a large bonfire is lit for the celebration of Halloween. Of course lighting a large bonfire would significantly add to the carbon footprint of the event. Perhaps a wealthy community could buy carbon credits to offset the carbon emissions from the bonfire, but now we are really commercializing the celebration of Halloween even though old Alfalfa would recommend the purchase of such carbon credits. I always enjoy Halloween as it has many G words associated with the festival. These include ghosts, ghouls, gremlins, gourds, and of course goblins. Happy Halloween!

5 comments:

  1. شركة نقل عفش
    اهم شركات مكافحة حشرات بالخبر كذلك معرض اهم شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام والخبر والجبيل والخبر والاحساء والقطيف كذلك شركة رش حشرات بالدمام ومكافحة الحشرات بالخبر
    شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
    شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة الجوهرة من افضل شركات تنظيف الخزانات بجدة حيث ان تنظيف خزانات بجدة يحتاج الى مهارة فى كيفية غسيل وتنظيف الخزانات الكبيرة والصغيرة بجدة على ايدى متخصصين فى تنظيف الخزانات بجدة
    شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة
    شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام
    شركة نقل عفش واثاث

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  2. شركة نقل عفش بالرياض وجدة والدمام والخبر والجبيل اولقطيف والاحساء والرياض وجدة ومكة المدينة المنورة والخرج والطائف وخميس مشيط وبجدة افضل شركة نقل عفش بجدة نعرضها مجموعة الفا لنقل العفش بمكة والخرج والقصيم والطائف وتبوك وخميس مشيط ونجران وجيزان وبريدة والمدينة المنورة وينبع افضل شركات نقل الاثاث بالجبيل والطائف وخميس مشيط وبريدة وعنيزو وابها ونجران المدينة وينبع تبوك والقصيم الخرج حفر الباطن والظهران
    شركة نقل عفش بجدة
    شركة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة
    شركة نقل اثاث بالرياض
    شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
    شركة نقل عفش بالطائف

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