Thursday, September 2, 2010

No Impact Week Day 5: Energy

**If this is the first post you are reading on No Impact Week,
you might want to read this one to orient yourself.**

It's Thursday night, and the only light in our condo right now is beaming from the screen of my laptop. And a few candles. Because today is Sierra Club No Impact Week Day 5, and we are focusing on energy.

When I woke up this morning, Gabriel and I went on a little tour of our condo and pulled the plug on lights and appliances. We don't really use much energy during daylight hours, but we never unplug things so it was nice to go and eliminate the ghost power today.

Did I still watch television today? Yes, I watched less than one hour of television while the baby -sort of- napped. My husband had class tonight, and I knew I was in for a long, long day so I gave in and tuned into Days of Our Lives just in time to see E.J. laying on his bed, (gasp), shot!

But I refrained from watching morning talk shows, and we did not put on the Phillies game tonight. Our goal is to keep the TV watching to one hour or less per day. (And did you know that smaller television sets consume less energy? Which is good for us, because we have a tiny television from when I was in high school. We just can't bring ourselves to spend money on a television.)

Other Issues with our Energy Usage

1. Temperature
I turned it off totally this morning, but as the temperature climbed to the high 90s, I needed to close the door and turn it on for a little while to cool the condo back down for Gabriel's sake. It follows-- while my husband and I are that extreme that we might eliminate the use of ac and heat unless absolutely imperative for our survival, we can't play like that with our little dude. But what we can do is simply turn off the ac whenever we can, open the window when there's a breeze, and be conservative about the temperature setting.

2. Cooking and Food
I cook. With a stove and stovetop. That is not going to change. I do enjoy eating salads and other typically chilled items cold, and I have every intention of using my freezer to keep my local produce good all year. The fridge is not going out the door. I'm totally open to suggestions on reducing energy use related to food, but I don't have any grandiose idea right now.

3. Laundry
I'm not totally against trying to do laundry by hand, but as a cloth diapering-Mommy, I am not planning to clean cloth diapers by hand. However, air drying the cloth diapers by hanging them up is a great option. What's hard for us is to switch to air drying in total because our condo association has a rule against clothes lines. I have been tempted to put one up on our patio all summer, but I haven't rocked the boat. Yet.

I know tonight's post is not nearly as extensive as last night's entry, but I will leave you with the promise that our family plans to have one night per week like this one (as in, candles only, and no television) as we move forward. And I think that's sweet.


  1. You know what? We used to watch more tv but then Dalia came along and we hardly ever turn it on. We are probably going to cancel our cable. Still, we have a larger tv (that Steve HAD to have a few years back) and I can't wait to get an armoire or something so we can "put it away" at times.

    I am so happy to read everything you are doing this week! I loved the meal planning! I am stealing some of your ideas!!

    I want to chat soon--we never had our mommy phone date!

  2. Your posts on the no impact week are really interesting! I actually have started taking a look at where we waste food/trash as well, and one thing I noticed today was that when I bought recycled paper towels, each roll was wrapped in its own plastic! How dumb is that. Any benefit from buying the recycled paper was canceled out by all of the extra plastic wrapping on 12 rolls of paper towels. Very annoying.