Biggest news of the week: The President signed the energy bill. “The bill also calls for improved energy efficiency of appliances such as refrigerators, freezers and dishwashers, and a 70 percent increase in the efficiency of light bulbs. It also calls for energy efficiency improvements in federal buildings and construction of commercial buildings. “The new lighting standards alone are projected to lower consumers’ annual electricity bills by $13 billion in 2020, remove the need for 60 mid-size power plants and reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, the leading greenhouse gas, by 100 million tons a year, said the advocacy group Alliance to Save Energy.
A couple of weeks ago, The Simple Dollar wrote an article about how much it costs to leave lights on. He concluded that if it takes him two minutes to turn off the lights in his house (he must have a big house! I think my almost-2,000-square-foot house would take less than a minute – but maybe they have more lights on?), it’s generally not worth his time, unless he’s going away for the whole weekend. Much of his feedback was people saying he’s too cheap; others chimed in criticizing the waste — at any cost — of leaving a bunch of electricity running in an empty house. Where do you stand on this one?
This weekend, we hit the road for a break from everyday life. We drove from Denver to Taos and Santa Fe, New Mexico, for a few days. The trip wasn’t exactly (OK, not in any way) a money saver, but it was a much-needed respite from the daily grind — and turned up several surprisingly green results. 1. Photos: I came back with scarcely any photos — a handful, like the one above, from our drive between Taos and Santa Fe, and a handful of Little Cheap sleeping, because it is so seldom that she is sleeping in good light so that I can take a snap without the flash waking her — and she still looks like, well, an angel when she sleeps. All the photos were digital, and I use recyclable batteries in my camera.
Save on going to Disney World: Free Money Finance did a lengthy (for him, not for me ) post about this on Wednesday. I especially loved the ParkSleepFly tip – although we aren’t far from our local airport, I’m going to file that away for return trip options. The Motley Fool published a short piece on the cost of going organic with a link to Local Harvest, which can connect you to a local CSA. It inspired me to try again to find a CSA (so far, the ones near us have no space available and/or I can’t get in touch with them). Good luck to you.
Last summer, we escaped the dry heat of Colorado for southern California sunshine. Lots of people hit the beach for vacation. But my goal was to find a way to make the trip for a whole week for around $1,000. We did it. The three of us stayed in schmancy Laguna Beach, visited Disneyland and cruised Vegas (albeit briefly) on a weeklong vacation last summer. Here’s how: