Mmmm he got some good stuff.
Mmmm he got some good stuff.
This is more than just an eco-challenge. Not only will we be conserving less power by not having the TV on but we will also be reconnecting as a couple, enjoying our neighbourhood and finishing up projects around the house.
We do have some ground rules that we have set.
1. We can watch 2 movies throughout the week - must be together.
2. We can still use the internet to get information on the news, sports etc but not to watch TV.
We will be TV free starting today (Saturday August 30th) until the end of the day next Friday September 5th.
See the results here.
What did we find....well here is the list (we did not include major items that need to remain plugged in like the fridge)
- Powerbar in the family room (TV, Playstation, cable box)
- Floor lamp in family room
- Battery charger for tools in garage
- TV's in master bedroom and spare bedroom
- Alarm clock in master bedroom and spare bedroom
- Powerbars in Office (monitor, CPU, printer, router, modem, phone, paper shredder
- Table lamps in master bedroom and spare bedroom
- Cable box in master bedroom
My co-worker is going to lend us his nifty tool that will take a reading on each item and will calculate how much power it is using (including how much it costs us). Hold me, I am scared to find out!
What the heck are we going to do about all of this? Some things are easier to address than others. Some will require a change in habit where as others are just common sense. I mean who keeps their vacuum plugged in for days (coughcoughweekscoughcough)?
For the family room TV zone we will make sure everything but the cable box is plugged into the powerbar and then we will turn the powerbar off at night. We won't be plugging the cable box in because it has a clock on it and it reboots all the channels when the power removed then turned back on.
Things that will remain plugged in - the lights throughout the house.
Things that will be unplugged after use - everything used in the "Charging Zone", toaster, vacuum, clippers, straighter, hair dryer, laptop, tool battery charger. We will be creating a fine jar so if we don't unplug these items after they are done charging we will have to pay a fine. The money will go towards buying a new powerbar for our office.
Things we need to think more about - the TV's in the bedrooms and the office.
Things I would like to smash with a sledge hammer - the alarm clocks. Does anyone remember the Seinfeld episode with Kenny Rogers Chicken? That is what our alarm clocks are like...only blue light and green light.
Some commuting websites now allow you to search for potential carpoolers anywhere along your route. This should make it easier to find a match. To deal with the scheduling problems they also have an 'Emergency Ride Home' feature. If something comes up and you need to get home ASAP or if this happens to the person you carpool with, the service you are using will get you a ride home. Different services handle this differently so make sure you check out what options are available.
Businesses are also starting to incorporate carpooling programs into their benefits packages. If your company has one, make use of it. It is not only going to save you money but it is great for the environment.
Carpool Zone - note the link to employers in Ontario that use this site as their carpool tool for their employees.
On Thursday August 14th it will be 5 years since the blackout. The Blackout Day Challenge is a way for businesses/communities/individuals to sign up and participate in reducing their energy consumption on the 14th.
We are doing it at work and then we will continue it when we get home from work. What are things we are going to do to reduce our electricity consumption?
- work off our laptops instead of having them plugged into the docking station and using a monitor.
- turn off the overhead lights and open all the window blinds
- bring a cold lunch so no microwave is required
- no coffee or tea
- have informal meetings outside
- BBQ for dinner
- no AC at home
- go for a walk at night
While it may be hard for some to participate during the day at work, you could still do it when you are at home.
Snack bags - These are so great for taking parts of your lunch in or for when you are on the go. I have a bunch of them and they are easy for B to hold onto and open when he wants a snack.
Check out these bags - Sling Sisters, Sew Eco
Each individual source isn't going to use alot of power but when you consider the fact that each household could have 10-20 sources plugged in all day every day you can see how it really adds up. Some studies have even indicated that Standby Power accounts for 10% of your electricity usage.
That leads us to this weeks Eco-Challenge. We are going to assess and document all the sources of Standby Power in our house then come up with a plan reduce our consumption based on these sources.
See the Results here.
Now I tried to weigh it but it was too light to show up on our scale so I will continue to collect it until I have enought that it will register then I can calculate how many kilograms we are saving a year by switching to epost.
We also identified which bills we could switch to epost. I am actually surprised how few there are to pick from. Hopefully more people will start to use this service and more companies will register so that their customers can sign up.
Bills switched overToll Highway Joe
Toll Highway Jen
Credit card Jen
Credit card Joe
Pay Cheque Jen - already using epost
Bank account - not available on epost service
Phone service - already get as an online bill
These bad boys will even come in a fully recycled cardboard box. Although that does beg the question of why aren't all shoe boxes like this??
I like that this is a direction that footwear companies are going. Seems like a pretty simple solution to excess scrap material. Hopefully it will inspire other company's to follow suit and start producing similar models.