My husband and I just got back from a two week trip to North Carolina. While we were there, we relied entirely on solar power in our camper. We did not once plug into the grid! We have learned to be very conscious of using energy. All our lights are LED, and each is turned on just for a specific purpose, and then turned off. We are also extremely careful of using water, as once we use up what we carry, we have to move the camper (burn gas!) and find a place to get more. Since we get to a free wilderness camping spot and stay there until we have to move (moving burns energy), we have learned to conserve so we can go 2 weeks without moving the camper. It's fun!
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)