Wednesday, January 7, 2009

challenge results & responses

I was delighted to see our electric bill when we got home - 420 kWh! This is much nicer compared to the 505 kWh from last year. Also, our statement runs from the 19th, so our two week absence should help keep January's numbers low. In our two week challenge (from Dec. 1-15) we used 188 kWh of electricity and recycled 42 pounds of stuff.

A great big thank you to those who counted numbers with us. Yes, we planned to do another challenge in January, but the month is running away from me. Maybe I'll be up for it in February, maybe February 2010.

Also, I responded to everyone's comments, only to have the computer delete it. Sorry. So they do not get buried, I thought I'd post them here.
Tina ~ Sarah wants to do January, but I do not. I did not like the weighing aspect either. However, I used it as a math lesson for Sarah. If she weighs 45 lbs without the recycle tub in her hands and 54 lbs when holding the tub, how much does the recycling weigh? Don't forget to subtract the weight of the tub. As long as she kept tract of the numbers, it was not one more thing for me to process. We did not count compost, only metal, glass, #1 & #2 plastic, paper and cardboard.
Maya ~ No worries on having a spacey day. Most of mine are. =) Sarah does "energy checks" throughout the day and especially before we leave the house. She runs through the house and unplugs the appliances. I've seen a small difference, and every little bit helps. It sounds like you guys are doing great with your kWh usage! I don't have any tips for spending less on groceries. I'm trying to get that lower myself, but everyone keeps growing and eating more. I know that menu planning helps. When we move and are away from the menu, our grocery bill soars. I hope to tweak our menu this month and get more soups in. Jesse or I cook every night. We always have leftovers, but the amount is diminishing. (See above: little people keep eating more.)
Melina ~ You are the one who inspired me to get our usage lower. Thank you! I forgot about the dryer. I'm trying the clothes line more this winter. It's working well. It takes about two days for a load to dry, rather than two hours, but nothing is stiff, thanks to the almost constant breeze we have coming off the river. Granted, sometimes this is the result, but I do not mind.

(Our first snowfall on Nov. 21st only stuck to the few things I had left on the line.)

Heating and water heater are gas. Everything else is electric. I'd love to have a solar water heater, heat with mostly wood and cook with gas - some day...

Claire ~ If you participate, none of us stand a chance. =) You are too good! I'd love to borrow your Kill-a-Watt. thanks! The computer is almost always on standby, day and night. I plan to purchase a new one soon - a desktop with the energy use of a laptop.

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