Tuesday, March 2, 2010

One Small Change: March 2010

For February's One Small Change challenge, I made a commitment to make small changes to the energy usage in our home.

I continued to keep our thermostat at a reasonable 67 degrees, and although I was FREEZING in my home a lot of the time, it made me feel good that I was making a difference in my energy consumption (and possibly my utility bill). I'd pile on a few more layers, warm up my rice pad, and curl up under a blanket. Sadie doesn't seem to mind, so I figure I should get over being a bit chilly.

Actually, as I looked over the past few month's natural gas bills, I found that my average daily usage decreased about 14% during the month of January (when we first turned the thermostat down) from the same period during December. Yeah!!!

I also found myself becoming much more conscious about turning off lights that weren't being used. I've always liked having lots of light in a home as the sun sets and into the evening. It has always made things seem a bit more cozy to me. This month though, every time I left a room, I'd turn its light off. I lit candles if I was needing that cozy vibe.

I also worked on addressing the "vampire" power use in our home. Vampire power is the energy that small appliances use when they are plugged in, even if they are turned off. This month I always unplugged the coffee maker, coffee grinder, two cell phone chargers, and overhead cabinet lighting when not in use.

Good habits to continue to work on and to teach Sadie as she gets older!

For March's One Small Change, I've finally gotten around to purchasing a retractable clothesline for our backyard. It should be arriving soon, and as the days get longer, lighter, and warmer, I'm so excited to start air-drying some clothes and Sadie's cloth diapers. Drying cloth diapers in the sun is better for them anyway...it removes stains and keeps them soft. Hope I don't have to fight with the Homeowners Association here in my suburban neighborhood too much!


Anonymous said...

It makes so much sense to dry clothes outside in CO as the air is so dry anyway. Since living in NZ we've used a dryer maybe 5 times. They're just not common here! Good on ya Rach! I'm giving the cloth nappies a go, as well as using only damp muslin cloths to wipe her bum instead of wipes...so far, less nappy rash and less waste. Feels great! -Wendy

Hip Mountain Mama said...

So awesome to be saving all that energy! I am so excited about your clothes line!! I know you will love it!

Feel free to stop by any time this month and let us know how it is going! http://1smallchangeblog.blogspot.com/

p.s. I will send you an email here in a bit! :)

abbie said...

We rack-dried our clothing when our dryer broke. It was a bit of work with two little ones in diapers, but we did save energy. When the weather warmed up here in humid VA and it didn't dry anymore, and my hubby got tired of stiff jeans. (though there are remedies for stiff clothing.) I so wish we lived HOA-free and could hang a line outside. Cotton sheets in from drying in the sun smell divine!