I am a big greenie at heart and in practice do my best. There has been a lot lately about electricity going up and so with this (just one of many things) in the front of my mind, I thought I would put my thoughts out their into cyber land.
Apart from saving money, I also want to save the planet and pollute less and have my one and only son growing up on a clean planet, it is the only one we have, can’t go anywhere else. We have to remember we are citizens of planet earth, in every respect.
According to The Australian in March last year, electricity had risen by about 35% in the previous three years. We all know that it will continue to increase, and I know for my family, that no matter what we do at the moment, we can’t get our bills down, unless of course we want to live in the dark without our technology.
Here is a site that tells you why electricity is going up, it also has other articles about electricity, it is an alright site. Of course there are many articles out there if you Google them, so have a look.
We do however turn everything off when not in use, and here is our list:
• The microwave off at the wall,
• Oven off at the meter box (which is inside for us),
• LCD/LED TV turned off a the switch at the front of the TV
• Toaster unplugged and put away when not in use
• Computers turned off at the wall when not in use
• Currently small chest freezer and bar fridge turned off
• Printer turned off a the wall
• All appliances off at wall
These things are manual appliances, not electric
• Can opener
• Manual hand beater (instead of an electric one)
• Wooden spoon (also instead of electric beater)
• Broom to sweep instead of vacuum cleaner all the time
When things need replacing we search out the most energy efficient things we can afford plus also deciding if we really need it. When the bread maker blew up (there was actual smoke coming out of it) we decided we could make bread by hand, and in the end bought an electric beater that is on a stand (always wanted one of these and never had the room till now) and it has dough beaters, so it can perform more than one task (but still only use when really needed). We need the electric beater for bread as I suck at kneading bread dough :D
On the electric beater thing for second, one thing I try and do is only use recipes that need to be beaten with a wooden spoon, so I don't have to get out the electric beater. I am lazy and hate getting out, using and washing up unnecessary things :P
Apparently a lot of people get their electricity disconnected as they cannot afford to pay the bill, in my mind, one of the things to do is to use less electricity in the first place. What would I do? Even less lights than we do now, we already have energy saving bulbs and turn off the big lights and turn on a small lamp when we settle in for the night. Go to bed earlier so all the TV’s and computers are turned off (though of course this could result in more children for some and that is definitely not a saving).
There are also things like having a no technology day once a week, during the school holidays instead of going all hard arse about it, computers and TVs etc had to go off at 9am and could be turned back on at 5pm, it worked well and our number one and only son did other things like read some books on how to make stuff, one thing he made was a wire fish trap.
Join Earth Hour on March the 26th and turn your lights out for one hour, you could make it a once a week or month thing, listen to the radio instead, reconnect with your partner and children and have a chat about things that matter. Sit in the dark and talk about things like how can we stop children from starving, or rainforests from being destroyed and the orangutan’s habitat disappearing, save the cassowaries from starving now their home has been flattened and their food destroyed by the cyclone or just how to grow our own food and support local farmers and producers when buying the things we can’t grow or make. There are many things I can talk about while not using electricity.
At some time we plan on putting in sky lights to bring more light in, we use fans and have no air conditioners, I think it is important to challenge ourselves to find the alternatives, for so many reasons. I know that I am not saying anything that we all haven’t heard before, but I think it needs to be there in our minds all the time, and maybe we should just say it louder so everyone can hear it properly.
While I would love to have a stand alone/off the grid solar electricity panels on the roof and be self sufficient in electricity like we are with water, we just can’t afford that, and at this point, we can’t afford solar panels that are connected to the grid. So I have to think of other ways to use less, and also hope the government gets their butt into gear and builds big solar and wind farms so the electricity I am buying is renewable and clean.
So now I am off to plant some more potatoes, I have about four that have come up so will put in more today, and then have a cuppa tea and read some more of “Choosing Eden” by Adrienne Langman about Peak Oil and what they did to change their lives. So I guess that will be my next deep and meaningful :D