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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?

Comments

(Anonymous)
Jul. 5th, 2008 02:59 am (UTC)
Do you wash your hair every time you shower? If so, maybe only wash it every other time.
judith
Jul. 5th, 2008 03:15 am (UTC)
Actually, I wash my hair only every three or four days.

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