Putting effort into conserving makes a BIG difference. Here’s how things added up for our family of three from our biggest ways of living green in 2007: Hung laundry out to dry, spring through fall (October/November). In seven months, about 140 loads of laundry (conservatively) saved $69 and 630,000 watts of electricity. Composted all vegetable waste. Two to three half-gallon(ish) bins move out of our kitchen every week, turning about 130 pounds of stink-producing waste into fertilizer. Brought my own shopping bags to all the stores where I shopped. At a per-month average savings of 43.6 plastic bags, I refused approximately 523 bags in one year. Switched just about all our light bulbs to CFLs — 23 light bulbs. If we save an average of 46 watts per hour (replacing a 60-watt bulb with a 14-watt bulb), and use the average bulb just 1 hour per day, we’ll save 386,170 […]
OK! Are You Going to Be This Way the Rest of the Time I Know You? not only likes to conserve water, too, she also is more talented than I and converted my water use chart into a jpeg for me. Voila, the illustration of our water use the last few years! (We are billed bimonthly, thus six bills per year.)
No weekly wrap-up, so this will have to do. The other day I came across this excellent post about ways to save water in your home. We have implemented most of these ideas, although I really wish we had an on-demand/tankless hot water heater. It drives me crazy when I turn off my shower (especially when it’s at night, just before bed … ergo, no one will need any hot water for at least 8 hours) and hear the water heater click on. However, our budget doesn’t currently allow for a new water heater, especially when our current one is a high-efficiency standard tank heater that’s just three years old (and for that matter, we replaced a “shorty” water heater at a cost of more than $1,000 at our old house a couple of years before we moved).
I bought a thermometer to see where things stand in my house when the thermostat is set at its usual 67 or 68 degrees Fahrenheit in the daytime. The thermostat — actual temp (left) and set temp (right):
Last night, we stopped at Wal-Mart (we had a gift card to redeem for a set of weights, so Mr. Cheap can pump iron at home instead of paying to [not] go to the gym). I had heard about Wal-Mart’s campaign to get everyone to change one light bulb to a CFL (read the good, the bad and the potentially misguided here). So I figured it was a good place to stop in at the CFL aisle for my can light quandary.
Happy New Year! I’m starting 2008 with a couple of money-saving ideas.
Back in October, I reported on my new stay-warm strategy for this winter. After a reader commented to tell me I got my units of measurement wrong (doh!), I thought it might be a good time for an update. 1. The long underwear works. I don’t like how it feels, but oh well.