Sleeping early reduces carbon emissions: Experts

High emissions-related global warming, climate change put future of sustainability, security at risk, say scientists

Burak Bir   | 12.04.2020
Sleeping early reduces carbon emissions: Experts


If we were to get to sleep two hours earlier, it would keep more than 4,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions out of the atmosphere as it would cut electricity consumption for lighting, according to energy experts.

Scientists conducted a case study on how sleeping affects electricity consumption and a carbon footprint in Turkey due the expansion of sleep hours because of the coronavirus.

Ercan Izgi, an expert in electrical and electronic engineering at Yildiz Technical University in Istanbul, studied a sample of electricity consumption at homes. Huseyin Toros, an expert in atmospheric science and air quality at Istanbul Technical University, evaluated changes in CO2 emissions.

They found there would be approximately 4,130 tons of less CO2 emission daily if 38 million homes, where 100-watt electricity is used for lighting per hour in Turkey, slept two hours earlier.

The 100 watts was a hypothetical figure and do not reflect average consumption because of several variables, but Izgi said their study "came to the conclusion that by sleeping early and so consuming less electricity will relieve households economically and environment in terms of CO2 emission."

"If we try to perform our daily activities during natural daylight as much as possible, that is, if the lighting is used less during the night in the households, electricity usage will decrease," said Toros.

Touching the urgency of slowing carbon emissions into the atmosphere, he highlighted high emissions-related global warming and climate change put the future of sustainability and security at risk.

"The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere started to increase rapidly in the 20th century, while it was below 300 ppm [parts per million] until 1900 in the last 800,000 years. While the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere was 291 ppm in 1880, it increased by 42% in 2019 and reached 412 ppm. This increase led to the rapid change of the Earth," he said.

Coronavirus impact 

Mentioning that industrial production, petrol and coal consumption is rapidly decreasing due to measures taken globally to stem the spread of the virus, he said that the outbreak can be instructive.

"It appears that the level of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is rapidly falling, according to satellite data, CO2 emissions are rapidly decreasing. Cooperation for humanity is increasing. For the continuity of the decreasing emissions due to coronavirus, we have a global knowledge of the world's safety and sustainability," Toros said.

He said it is why sleeping earlier should be prioritized to continue decreasing carbon emissions.

Toros said there is need for a new campaign that should be organized globally: "I'm sleeping early in the evening, I'm reducing my carbon footprint."

"I turn off the lights early at home in the evening for releasing less pollutant into the atmosphere," and "I benefit more from daylight, I protect my health and my environment," he suggested as slogans to protect the environment.

Turkey has reported more than 52,000 COVID-19 cases, and its death toll stands at 1,101.

The number of confirmed cases worldwide has exceeded 1.77 million, while deaths nearing 109,000, with almost 405,000 recoveries, according to data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

Despite the rising number of cases, most who contract the virus suffer mild symptoms before making a recovery.

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