I’ve been writing a lot about gardening and food lately. So I wanted to touch on some other subjects. For the last several years, Matt and I have been working toward a sustainable lifestyle in numerous ways – and growing our own food is only one of many things we’ve been doing.
Those of you who have been following our story for a while now, know that back on November 2, 2007, Matt and I joined the Riot For Austerity. Like many challenges we have taken, this was for us a good motivator to make quite a few lifestyle changes we’d been thinking about. Sort of a kick in the behind, shall we say? Basically by joining the Riot For Austerity, we agreed to attempt to reduce our CO2 emissions and natural resource usage to just 10% of what an average American uses.
We achieved our goal of a 90% reduction back on September 24, 2008, and we’re still there! I don’t write about the Riot For Austerity much, because it has become a way of life now, and I don’t think about it much anymore. We have redefined normal.
But not all of us are as far along in our journey toward sustainability. Some of you may not even be on that trajectory, and that is ok. The things we’re doing have also decreased our spending considerably. And not only that, they have made us much healthier, happier people. Those are two great reasons to make some changes!
So I thought I’d just list some of the things we’ve done, to see if it helps any of you find some changes you haven’t thought of before. Please share other things you’ve done in the comments!
Ways to Reduce Electricity Use
- Give away microwave on Freecycle.
- Use very few electric appliances, doing everything we can by hand.
- Consolidate oven cooking, so we cook several things while the oven is hot.
- Use toaster oven in place of regular oven whenever possible.
- Turn fridge to low setting that just keeps things at the right temperature (40F), no colder (when we lived in Geyserville, we were able to use our own tiny energy efficient fridge, but unfortunately this apartment came with a fridge).
- Remove window A/C.
- Turn off wall heaters from the electric box. Instead, use energy efficient space heaters on low heat, only in rooms where we need the heat.
- Turn off computer monitor whenever we step away from the computer.
- Stop watching television except on special nights when we rent a dvd. Turn off at power strip when not using.
- When our old tv died, we purchased an energy efficient LCD tv.
- Replace all light bulbs with CFLs.
- Turn off any lights when not in use.
- Shower in warm water, not hot. And shower fewer minutes, and less often.
- Wash dishes in the dishwasher, on cold, using energy saver, and without rinsing dishes first.
- Wash clothing in cold water.
- Use a light spray water mister to unwrinkle clothing, rather than an iron.
- Lower water heater temperature.
- Turn off computer at power strip at night.
- Use laptop while working at home as much as possible.
- Live in a small apartment – making heating, cooling, and lighting more efficient.
This isn’t really that much – it’s mostly simple things that just add up. I encourage you to try a new way to reduce your energy bill, and begin living more sustainably this week!
Please Share – What Do You Do To Reduce Electricity?