Friday, May 4

Report Card Day

I just got my utility bill for the month of April. I am starting to feel like I'm into my third month of a new exercise program... the giddiness from the newness of it all is lessening, and new giddiness from seeing progress is in short supply.

Here's the bottom line:


The 80-odd KWh drop from the 15 cfls I changed is still holding up, and therms are about the same for average temps that were exactly the same as March's. I keep thinking that the change from spring into summer is going to show up, but we're obviously not there yet. We had about 5 days with snow last month and the chilly temps that accompany that. We also had days in the 80's, and the swing between the two may have meant that windows were left cracked and/or electric blankets were used more...

I have about 10 more moderate-use bulbs I can change to CFLs, and then I think I'm stuck on the easy stuff.

I still have this voice from my solar assessment that says, "I'd be surprised if you were using that much electricity regularly." And apparently we are.

I find it's easy to blame other people for the discomfort I'm feeling. I wonder if this is universal? If this is the impulse behind our pattern of ever-increasing separation? I am reminded of C.S. Lewis's description of hell (The Great Divorce) as a perpetually growing city where people move farther and farther apart as the result of pettiness and perceived slights.

Okay... back to the focus on what I can do. Ten things I can do to lower the electricity bill next month:
1.) Change the remaining CFLs
2.) Put up a clothes line and hang dry my clothes.
3.) Put the entertainment system on a timed outlet so that the power is off even when people forget the power strip.
4.) Hang the foil insulation in the cold room and the utility room so the basement bedroom keeps more of it's heat.
5.) Give myself permission to consume a bit more since I am using the utility company's electricity more and buying it in little tubes less.
6.) I have plans for an electricity-generating bike trainer. I can look at how I want to use the batteries I can charge with it.
7.) Put the cat and dog on hamster wheels to generate power for the lights. (Joking, but something I *could* do...)
8.) Pull the breaker on the house. (Joking, but something I *could* do...)
9.) Bring up conservation as a topic at the next house meeting. Brainstorm with my roommates instead of acting unilaterally.
10.) Pick two or three things to do and then forget about it and go do something fun... so that I'm not tempted to medicate my depression by watching a bunch of media.

1 comment:

monkey said...

i liken it to the way people handle lent.
you can remove something (give up something for lent is traditional) or you can do something new and giving. (i promise to do this much more for total strangers this time... or for freinds or whatnot)

so... you've removed most of what you can for now. (barring any little changes you'll see along the way)

now what? :)

dont give up captain.

Unbox Videos


NotSoBigLiving is the story of a woman inspired by Sarah Susanka, Bill McKibben, Airstreams, Tumbleweed houses, Mennonites, Jimmy Carter, hippies, survivalists, Anasazi, Pema Chodron and Joko Beck, Scott Peck, Buckminster Fuller, and Al Gore to see what she can do to reduce her carbon footprint in her mid-80's suburban townhome. Strategies include roommates, alternative travel, organic eating, planting a victory garden, mindfulness, and a belly full of laughter.