Curious how to Carbon Offset the energy used to power your flat iron?

By Winn Apple   |   Published June, 2011

“Now that’s information I can use!” is undoubtedly your response. You’ve searched high and low for information on eco-friendly – written for a working-stiff like yourself, in terms that are relevant to your everyday life.

There certainly doesn’t seem to be a shortage of articles, blogs, websites, books – and the list goes on – devoted to keeping us informed. But let’s face it, the reading can be…um…dry, to put it mildly and quite frankly you are all busy people leading busy lives – you might not have the time to curl up with an article on Carbon emissions and decipher its many implications. That doesn’t mean you aren’t interested or concerned about the welfare of our mother earth.

Well ladies and hair conscious men I, Bacchus P, am committed to assisting in demystifying “Green”, or at the very least arm you with a small arsenal of arbitrary and curious facts bringing you a few steps closer to eco-wise. You might even impress the opposite sex over cocktails tonight, with your nimble wielding of eco-trivia, that is if your delightfully straight hair fails to do the trick!

Back to the subject of superbly coiffed hair and carbon offsetting; chances are you use this handy little device for about a half hour in the morning – requiring approximately 500w of energy to operate. Most of you perform this time consuming mating ritual about every other day. For those of you not washing your hair this frequently – therein not requiring the necessary blow dry and straightening – I applaud you on your water and energy conservation. I strongly suggest not listing that on your profile, however.

Just for fun, let’s compare other energy burning household items to our illustrious flat iron. How many hours would a few of your favorites need to be in use to burn the same amount of energy as a single, 30-minute flat iron session?

• Coffee maker – aka nectar of the gods – about 40 minutes
• A microwave or toaster oven – about 20 minutes
• 100 watt light bulb – about 5.5 hours
• Play Station 3 – about 14 hours (but also requires a super geek to hit that mark)
• Dishwasher dry cycle – about 22 minutes (for those who like incredibly dry dishes)
• 2000W Electric oven set at 350 – about 15 minutes

As you may or may not know, 1kWh is equal to 1000w. Now, unless you are Rapunzel, your hair requires about 84kwh a year for straightening alone. Throw in a blow dry and those luscious locks are cruising around 185 kwh a year. What a dare devil!

Now that we’ve got some momentum going, let’s put this in relatable terms; according to, it would take planting one new tree a year to offset the carbon footprint of washing, drying and styling your hair. Before you gasp, it is important to note their calculations assume that 5 trees should be planted to ensure that 1 will reach full carbon sequestration potential. Put that impressive phrase in your back pocket for happy hour…you sly dog!

What to do now? You could trim a few watts here and there. I bet someone in your house would like a break from the oven or the sound of rapid gun fire exploding from the Play Station. How about a manual drip filter for your coffee? Give that coffee maker a rest. Maybe you’ll even drink a little less coffee. Your kidneys would undoubtedly appreciate it.

In general, shutting off the lights when you leave the room and hand drying your dishes are all good practices. And small efforts certainly do add up. But one more significant way to offset the effects of our daily lives is to choose Green Certified companies who offer Eco- friendly products and services, and participate in programs to offset their Carbon footprint – companies like Bacchus Press.

Next time you’re ready to order a business card, brochure, banner or otherwise, check us out. Bacchus knows Green – providing printing you can feel good about.

Till next Wednesday, keep it green!

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About the Author

In addition to crafting content and blogs, Winn Apple writes short stories and novellas for middle-grade readers. You can find her short stories along with a portfolio on her site,


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