Reflections on an energy challenge: our whole family pitched in and here is how it went. We started the day by unplugging all the vampire electronics we could. We left the computer plugged in so that we wouldn't mess up anything. One of my children unplugged her room completely and even removed her night light, but at bedtime we had to return it (but with an led bulb)! The same child marveled that instead of turning on her lights she opened her curtains. For a while we sat in the dark, then found a happy medium by using one light in the room that we were using and turning on only what we needed. We picked a day that was a regular day, we had appointments and errands in other words a regular day. We thought about where we had to go and what we could combine in terms of driving. We found that we got some much more done in the same amount of time. In general the family seemed to enjoy being aware of our energy consumption and made a bit of a game of it. I have a feeling that we will continue this for a few more days.
Energy Challenge #1
Quick! Save as much energy as you can in one day. Try a 24-hour Energy Save-A-Thon.
The cheapest energy is the energy you don't use.
Rather than pecking away at a problem, sometimes going at it whole hog can be more fun and meaningful. Instead of trying to change the way you live all the time, this challenge is about shake things up a little bit to look at typical energy use in a new way. By giving a few things up for a little while, you might even get a sense of - dare we suggest - gratitude for what you've got...
- Pick a day. (Ideally one that works well for you and your family or friends if they're joining in)
- Plan and prepare (Check out the Resources for help!)
- Do it and **then** complete this challenge by sharing your photos, insights, and tips for others in the box below!)
Can't contemplate making a dent for a day? Get laser-focused on one energy area:
Rather than saving all the energy you can, pick one thing which uses a lot of energy and save as much as you can on that!
- Describe what you did, and why.
- What worked well? What didn't? Any takeaways?
This cute giraffe picture may come in handy:
Save-A-Thon Planning Tips:
- Think up some substitutions to energy-things you'll avoid during
- For things you can't give up, but will try to use less of, try to come up with ways to help you cut back for 24 hours.
- See below for more help!
Things that Use Energy
- Lights, hot water, electronics, cars, lava lamps, space heaters, anything that plugs in
- NOTE: the type of energy we're talking about is electricity or fuels like oil and gas.
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- Instead of TV, play a tabletop game.
- Instead of turning the heat up/on, dance around the house like nobody's watching!
Ways to Use Less
- Eat dinner before it gets dark.
- See how fast you can shower!
- Put some sticky notes on light switches to remind you not to use them.
Some Light Reading Just Because
The Biggest Innovation in Energy (The Economist)