Friday, November 20, 2009

We Got Our Electricity Bill

We got our electricity bill the other day and as usual I am not happy about it, I always think we could use less electricity than we do. In saying that, we have been told that we are using around 33% less electricity than others in our area, it is apparently the new thing to let us know, so we feel better I guess. So that means that other people use way more than us and I would really hate to have their bill.

We try to be very conscious about our usage, turning off appliances when we are done (we used to know people who had the TV on from about 6am to about 11pm every day), turn off lights and fans when we go out of rooms, have solar hot water (which works way better now the tree out the front is gone) all those sorts of things. My partner in crime and life thinks we live in the dark and that I am obsessed sometimes, I just think it is worth it, and he doesn't complain when the bills are lower :) It is no problem and we still do all the things we want, we just turn them off when we are finished. So what are all the other people out in the world doing to have higher electricity bills than us?

I take the environment pretty seriously, we reuse, recycle and the other r word that eludes me right now. We try not to use chemicals, buy natural products or make them, have a vegetable garden and fruit trees, cook from scratch and don't buy processed food (mostly), have short showers (except for the 12 year old of the house, despite having no less than three timers in the shower). We are not always good but we try.

I also recently bought (though could have made if I was smart enough) vegetable bags to reduce (there is the other r word) the amount of plastic bags we collect, and of course use reusable shopping bags (various types as I love bags), however we still manage to get plastic bags. We also rarely use plastic wrap, I have it in the house but it is just sitting on the shelf, sandwiches get put into those nude food containers (sounds rude, that is why I really like the name :) and other containers with lids. Leftovers in containers with lids, reusable drink bottles for water, all that stuff, just no plastic wrap.

I can often smell the neighbours washing powder from my house and other cleaning products, how strong must they be to smell them from here. I see people who randomly spray for weeds and kill everything else as well, then also wonder why they get a headache, I just think these things are not necessary as we have the technology and intelligence to find alternatives. Even our number one and only son complains about the strong smells of chemical cleaners, and he always says no to plastic bags and prefers homemade food (except for the occasional fish and chips).

When grocery shopping I try not to buy food that has lots of plastic, and is full of preservatives and additives. I dont always get what I want (others go without rather than buy packaged food, I am not that good, I just aspire to be) but sometimes I just buy it, so therefore I reuse plastic trays and any bags, jars and bottles, and spend a lot of time shopping. I read ingredients labels and agonise over whether I can live with the packaging and is it able to be reused or recycled (I don't like shopping very much).

I am not sure if we are to blame for climate change or not, but it doesn't matter as we shouldn't be polluting our backyards, we have to live here, and seeing I am going to live to 150 years, I want a world that isn't dead and smelly. So I do the best I can, with the information I have, and I will keep trying to get that electricity bill lower :)

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