That is our electricity bill. Whoo Hoo! Sound the alarms. I am so proud of us. We have gone green in our apartment. It was a decision made by both us and we both created our rules. I’m not going to lie, it was so tough at first. After a week, it’s habit. I was very pleasantly shocked because as this included our move; we did a lot of laundry and he played Xbox into the wee morning hours. I thought that the electric dial was rapidly moving! We can also note, our $24 bill is during April and we will have to see what July and August brings us; since those are the scorcher months bringing on the AC. I’ll have you know, I rather be hot than cold and it takes a very high temperature to make me turn on the AC. Right now our temperature gauge is set at 78 degrees and I don’t plan on touching it. Below is a list of our rules that led us to the $24 bill.
1. Unplug everything. If we are not using it, it’s unplugged. And I mean everything. Nothing is on idle mode in our house. The laptop only gets charged when its on its last battery; the televisions are unplugged when not being watched – at first this created a hassle. We also unplug the cable box and with each unplug, the cable box reverts back to its default mode. This means that the cable guide is not readily available to the viewer for about 5 minutes after we plug it back in. You cannot browse the guide or know the information for the show you are watching. It’s a small sacrifice. We plugged all our tv viewing components (Xbox, DVD, receiver, and cable box) onto one power strip. Switch on/off = very very easy. As for the internet components; they are plugged into their own separate extension cable. Our rule is this: only one or the other. TV or internet. This is way easy for me as I am a one task girl anyway. I like to do one thing, not multiples at one time, unless need to. I don’t watch TV and get ready for work or going out. I do one or the other. I don’t even listen to music while doing those tasks either. Some people find it bizarre that I can do my life in such quietness. It’s the number two reason I don’t own an iPod. The real bugger came when Cowboy realized he needs the internet to play Xbox Live; so there are some exceptions, but all on him. Ha! In our bedroom there are no power strips. We only have a TV and a DVD player; I don’t plug in the DVD player if I’m not using it. Easy. Easy. I only wish we could unplug the fridge and microwave. Our microwave plug is built in and who knows where the plug is.
2. No plastic bags. I bought 5 reusable, recycled bags at our neighbor Walgreens (seriously, its right next door) to be used for grocery shopping. I keep one bag in my car for those unexpected, last minute run ins into the store and trips to the mall. Yep – I use my bags at the mall. Why stop at the grocery store? I’ll admit it’s a little awkward pulling out your own bag, but hey, I got over it.
3. 5 minute showers. This was so easy for me. That includes shaving, etc. I can take a shower that lasts less than 5 minutes any day. My hair is very, very short, so shampooing is not that big of a task. Get wet, suds up, rinse. Shampoo, rinse, conditioner, shave while that’s settling in and then rinse. On Sundays, I think I venture into the DIY spa zone and take a 7 minute shower. Seriously.
4. Only use the washer/dryer on full loads. Easy. I have enough clothes and underwear that I can get through a month without doing laundry.
5. Avoid driving on the weekends. We live in a neighborhood where all our entertainment is within walking distance and this includes a shopping center, Blockbuster, a movie theater, tons of restaurants, a grocery store, the before mentioned Walgreens and our favorite bars. I will drive to meet people out and about. But we try to hit our Target trips while coming home from work. I can do two weeks on one tank of gas and I own an SUV and work 8 miles from home. I’d so take the bus or train, if I could deal with the many other stops it would have to take. I like getting to work in less than 8 minutes.
6. Vacuum once a month. We don’t have pets and barely shed ourselves. If something is on the carpet and we see it, we pick it up.
7. Use Earth-friendly cleaning products. Right now, I’m using Mrs. Meyer’s Spring Cleaning Kit in Honeysuckle. It makes the entire apartment smell fresh as spring!
8. Lights off. If you need it, put them on. If not, why are they on?
There you have it. Our rules. I want to break the habit of my bottled water. I need to find a cute reusable cup to place my water bottles. Since I run, I come home, grab a bottle and that is pretty much it for day (I use the big bottles). I think I’m addicted to them. As soon as I rid this habit, I think we are good to go.
Any other tips we may be missing?
CD Project: Another single: Mariah Carey’s Always Be My Baby.
I bought it because I heart the song. To this day. Always?