From 1 September 2022, the date on which the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics Giorgio Parisi shared a post on social media stating that pasta it also cooks very well a fire extinguished, the topic has generated more and more discussions. We are now talking about a “methane news”, The stage where the real topic has now become the debate around the topic itself.
The reason why we talked about it on Bikeitalia, however, is very precise: cooking with the heat off is a way to save energy.
Compared to 2021, the supplies of gas from Russia to Europe they will be reduced by 35%.
The response plan drafted by the European Union provides for one 5% restriction to energy consumption in the peak periods (from 8 to 20).
If a reduction in supply meets an increase in demand, with the consequent rising prices for the consumer, those who use energy will have to reduce their consumption for a matter of personal economy.
How much do we save by cooking pasta over the heat?
For an average annual consumption of 23 kilos of pasta, the saving is about 45 kWh per year, the equivalent of 5 liters of petrolwhich cost the distributor less than 10 euros, in the bill instead 12 euros.
If it is true that pasta is equally edible, and that savings, however small, are always savings and precious, we are sure that other choices cannot be made for lower costs and the environmental impact of our lifestyle?
Between 2021 and 2022, Bikenomist Srl conducted on behalf of the Municipality of Parma a project for the playful involvement of teachers and pupils of elementary schools, with the aim of making them aware of the choice of means for moving between home and school.
This experiment of “gamification” of daily journeys has reduced car use by 13% in participating schools.
Are we sure that children’s behaviors are less important than those of adults?
Starting from Collected data thanks to this work, we assume that, in a class, 20 pupils are accompanied by car to school.
In just one daytheir home-school-home journeys will consume an amount of energy equivalent to that saved by every Italian in the turn of one year cooking the pasta over the heat off.
By multiplying this figure on all Italian schools by 200 school days, we obtain an energy consumption of approximately 260 gigawatt hourscomparable to the annual production of a small one thermoelectric power station like that of Colleferro (RM), which gives energy to approx 75,000 families.
We calculated these data on a statistical sample of a small town, where the average distance between home and school is of 1.2 km. The arrangement on the territory of elementary schools is for the most part capillaryand even in less dense regions they are located at a maximum of 8 km from each other.
After the great debate on cooking pasta with the fire out, we calculated how much energy could be saved if Italians stopped loading children in their car as if they were luggage, to accompany them to school covering an average distance that is 15/20 on foot. minutes and by bike in 5/10 minutes maximum.
Every school year, thousands of schools are besieged by cars, a “necessary evil” that is much more “evil” and less “necessary” than you think.
Closed in the back seat of the car, children breathe more polluted air than outside and do not learn to move independently in space, compromising their psychophysical development.
A change in these established habits benefits not only children and parents, but also the society: decreasing the number of cars on the road improves safety road, the quality of the air and the livability of public space.
It is not enough to turn off the fire of the pasta: we can avoid starting the engines and using the car when not needed.