Tuesday, May 01, 2007

52 Weeks Down...Week 1

As a stab at offering a guide to the basics of energy consumption reduction, I offer here a Monday morning, weekly suggestion for fairly simple changes that can be integrated into daily life. My worry about doing this is that it will duplicate too many other things on the web, but it I also don't want to disappear into arcana. So let us see how this goes.

My theory about this is that once you try something for a week, you have a fairly good idea as to whether you can hack it or not, so it might actually end up in your daily life.

Week 1: I bet you thought I wanted you to change all your lightbulbs to CFs. But no, I'm going to assume you've already done that one.

My first suggestion: Stay Home! We spend a lot of time on the road running errands or back and forth to places. Pick one day this week (and every week ideally), and don't drive that day. Out of milk? Make something without it. Having a tough time picking a day because there's soccer practice one day and school the next? Think about whether you could consolidate activities or give some of them up.

Now while you are home, have some fun. Everyone in America claims that they never have any time to just relax. Well, now's your chance. You aren't going anywhere. Picnic in the yard. Take a nap. Work in the garden. Cook a nice dinner. Read a book. Play catch with your kids. All those good life things take time at home - with everyone there. Not only do you not pollute for a whole day, but you get a little slice of the stuff that we all say we want more of.

More next Monday!

Sharon

22 comments:

sylvia said...

If I ride the subway to work, do I have to stay home? :)

Mimi said...

I have started to do this. I usually stay home on Saturdays and run all of my errands on Sundays. It is very calming to know that I have a day to catch up on all of the things that have to and want to be done at home (baking, gardening, reading and yes, unfortunately cleaning).

Another thing I have done is I have stopped making all of the little trips out to the store. I make a grocery list for the week and I stick to it. I have started to do more cooking at home and that has kept me from making little trips out to restaurants. I have been saving money and I find I have more time.

I'm not very good at walking to where I need to go, but I am hoping to get myself out on foot or bike for close to home errands. Life goes a lot more slowly when you travel slower.

Sololeum said...

It is far, far easier to change than you imagined.

Admittedly we no longer have children at home but.....

We are off grid and get by on 3 * 80W solar panels and a couple of hours per week of petrol generator. Our cooking and hot water come from a Stanley Cooker that uses our own wood..

Water is gravity fed from our rainwater tanks off our barn, and the veggie patch below the house is watered from a large tank off the house.

We use about 50 litres or 13 gallons of fuel per week getting to paid employment in town, but plan to be able to live off some small crop income in the future.

We grow the bulk of our own food, have some dairy goats.

It has only been a year since we moved to our 18 acre paradise, but life has never been better...

It shows that once you allow yourself to see the benefits of non materialism you will reap unbounded results.

Cheers,

jewishfarmer said...

You folks have to remember that I tend to attract an audience of people who are already pretty environmentally conscious. But not everyone is. So those of you who are way ahead, I admire you a lot. But I've been told I need to offer more to those who are just starting out.

As for the subway - no, I guess you don't have to stay home, but I would think not going to work 7 days per week would be its own reward ;-).

Sharon

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting some basic ideas on just getting started. That is where I am now. It is easy to feel overwhelmed. I'm not going to argue with being told to stay home--I love the idea! And I've already changed all my lightbulbs. :)

Anonymous said...

And it doesn't have to be the same day every week. Right now, it's hard for my household to pick a day b/c my housemate's work schedule includes a weekend day, with a week day off as comp. I'm trying for us to average 2 days month carfree. This Friday, which is her day off, I'm working at a branch I can walk to.

MEA

Anonymous said...

So glad you're doing this! I've recommended your site to folks who are just becoming informed. Posts like this might make them not feel so overwhelmed. I think the total feeling of lack of control is most upsetting to those who are recently peak aware. A post like this makes people want to act. Thanks!

--Loretta

Jana said...

As one of those who tends toward despair because there is nothing I can do about any of this, this kind of post is very, very welcome. It is like keeping busy when there is a crisis about--well that is it exactly!

deliberately said...

Head's up Sharon. I just awarded you with a Thinking Blogger Award. You can find the whole post explaining what that is and why I chose you on my site.

MSquirrel said...

And if some of my fellow city-folk really try, they could stretch it out to TWO days a week in most weeks.

And being a stay-at-home mom that grows much of her own fruits and veggies in her own back yard reaps its own rewards....

Greenpa said...

Hi- hate to roil the waters, but I put in CF's immediately when they were new- now- I've had this experience. Anyone having trouble sleeping needs to think about this.

http://littlebloginthebigwoods.blogspot.com/2007/04/more-clotheslines-poverty-and-compact.html

Doesn't mean CF's are evil- just that we may have to be careful what KIND we use-

Michelle in Ga said...

I turned the heat cycle on my dishwasher off. I wash all the
pots and pans by hand (despite
skin problem) and only run the
thing about 3-4 times per week.
We eat at home ALL the time,
it saves $$$ and calories. M

jewishfarmer said...

Thanks everyone who says this is valuable. Week #2 entry will be up Monday. I'm glad that this is of use.

And thanks Deliberately, I'm very flattered. I'll try and do a post this weekend moving people over to the most thoughtful blogs I know.

Sharon

Anonymous said...

I like the long well-thought-posts but I also like the practical ideas. Keep them coming.

To the poster who said it is easier than imagined (sololeum) : a 18 acre paradise....ohhh, I'm so envious :-) But have to say that it is a typical American solution...in Western-Europe...you have to be a millionaire to buy anywhere near 18 acres. 1/4 acre for 250.000,00 euro is more like it :-(

regards,
Catharina
The Netherlands

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