Day 17 – On the subject of conservation

My seventeenth habit will be to do an inventory of how we’re using electricity in the house and see if we can make some changes. My husband has a handy-dandy meter-thingy (note to self – ask him what it’s actually called and listen to the answer this time instead of instantly forgetting). It plugs into the outlet and then you plug your device into the meter and it measures how much energy it’s actually using. So far, not surprisingly, our TV is an energy hog – have you ever felt one of those babies after you turn it off? Most flat screens could heat your living room in the winter. Here are a few of the habits we’re reminding ourselves of and ways we’re cutting back on our energy consumption so far:

  • turn lights off when we leave the room
  • when lightbulbs need to be replaced, we replace them with compact fluorescents, often at a lower wattage
  • remove excess lightbulbs (for example, if there are two bulbs in a fixture, you may be able to remove one)
  • turn off power bars and unplug appliances when we leave for a couple of days (remember to turn the modem back on when you get home!)
  • use curtains and blinds in a smart way (i.e., in winter open blinds during the day for light and heat and close them at night to keep out drafts)
  • only run the washing machine and dishwasher for full loads and use appropriate settings
  • hang clothes to dry

It’s just a small drop when compared to the energy that industry uses, but it’s more than nothing.

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