This month's category of choice is Utilities. Ironically, I'm sitting in the dark with a hurricane lamp to provide light while I'm typing this. The entire street went dark about 10 minutes ago, perhaps to provide inspiration!
Isn't it amazing how much we've come to rely on electricity? That convenience has not been around for all that long, but it has permeated every area of living for us.
For this month, designate TWO days during which electricity will be minimized. From 8am to 8pm, unplug EVERYTHING that is not necessary. (I will leave the refrigeration along--obviously--and won't bother with the hot water heater as savings there would only be if I turned it off for an extended period of time.)
That would mean:
- No lights.
- No hot food. (Prepare cold food the day before.)
- No computer and other electronics. (Now I've gone to meddling.)
- Unplug all "phantom power" cords. (If it's plugged in, unplug it. Even when things are off on a unit, they draw power from the outlet.)
There are two ways to determine your savings. One would be to compare last month's bill to this month's bill. The difference could be calculated according to the wattage price.
You could also go out and write down the meter numbers at the beginning and ending of the day before and then the beginning and ending of the day of the challenge. Compare the two and use the difference to figure the savings.
I mentioned I would also provide a lighter version of the challenge:
Choose two days during which you will unplug everything that is unnecessary for three HOURS, either in a row or throughout the day. Calculate the savings as above.
I've decided to turn off all unnecessary electricity on May 12 and May 17.
I normally wash a load of laundry on each of those days. I figured out my costs and came to 34 cents per load which INCLUDES the water. I think I'll go ahead and do the laundry!