Judith Lautner (judith) wrote,
Judith Lautner

Waste not?

I have watched a couple of episodes of Wasted on Planet Green and it inspires me to do better. I believe I already do better than the average American household, even given that I live alone in a house, because my house is small, decently insulated, and does not contain big energy suckers like an air conditioner, because heating and water heating is gas, because I am reasonably good about turning lights off, because my house has nothing but energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs, because I take showers and they aren't very long, because I drive an efficient hybrid car and keep it maintained, because my landscaping covers a small area and is comprised of drought-tolerant plants and uses a drip irrigation system...and so on. But it's fun to challenge ourselves to do better, I believe.

So I was thinking about what I can do that I can actually measure. Cut energy use by some percentage? I think I can cut back on gas by not brushing my teeth in the shower (I have gone back to using the sink without water running since I started watching that show), by not taking showers every day, maybe going for 1-1/2 days, by keeping my heating requirements low (not an issue in the summer), running full loads of laundry. I can't think of much I can do to reduce electricity use that would not require a major outlay of money, like for fuel cells of some kind. I intend to replace my refrigerator, which is not very energy-efficient (but isn't large and is new so isn't that bad either) and replace my dishwasher, gain a bit from that, but not just yet.

A woman proudly proclaimed -was it on Planet Green? - that her recyclables for the last month were larger than her trash. That's a kind of goal, although recycling is also a failure of a sort, as avoiding the use of materials that need to be recycled is better anyway. So I won't set that as a goal. I could go back to driving my car a max of a certain number of days per week. Four days? Is that something I can keep up?

All this got me to thinking, would others enjoy such challenges too? What can we measure so we can verify what we've done?
Tags: environment

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