Saturday, May 26, 2007

Bucket Brigade and Progress.

Thursday we walked to Home Depot. There's a brand new one in a mall being built about a mile from us (right next to Super Target). They offered 10% off first purchases if you open a cc account with them at this new store. They also gave us a free gift. It was an accent lamp that we gave to No. 1. I pulled what I just learned today people call a "granny cart" for the first time. It was only slightly annoying probably because I'm tall and I had to keep one arm stiffly down at my side to pull the thing along. Even with that, it would hit me in the heels once in a while. Em ordered a storm/screen door for the front. They'll probably come out sometime next week to measure for that thing and then install it sometime thereafter. With that installed, we'll be able to open the front door and windows in the back and get a cross breeze through the house. We get a little cross breeze now with just the windows, but it has to wiggle around corners. I bought two tomato plants, a thyme plant, a small begonia, a small coleus, and two 5 gallon buckets with lids to store rain water. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Only the neon orange ones were on sale for $.99 each and I bought them JUST in time as we had torrential rains Thursday afternoon. They both filled Thursday, but the rain didn't really stop until this afternoon when I got out there and pulled up much of the weeds and grasses growing in last year's garden space. I found worms, too, so dumped both containers of compost stuff around the area I've got weeded, covering it up a bit with mud. I've been making more compostable garbage this week for some reason. Must be the menus I had planned. Today was the one week mark from the last meter readings, so I did another read. Last time it looked like we'd used 113 kwh electricity in the week but I wasn't sure if I'd read it correctly. This week we used 115 kwh with No. 1 using the oven for cornbread and me doing some ironing. That's also with her using the washing machine and dryer. She doesn't dry her clothes outside like I do; she's afraid of the spiders she might bring inside. She does hang clothes inside if she things the dryer will hurt them. So, it's looking like we can keep our monthly kwh around 400 after No. 1 moves out UNTIL we need the AC. We've done really good with the thermostat set to 90, but we've also had some cool weather and nice breezes. We should do better than some previous years simply because our trees are a whole lot bigger than they once were and that both blocks the heat of the sun AND provides a "fan" effect. Speaking of fans, we're gonna keep our eyes open for sales on ceiling fans. We have three currently, but could use at least 2 (if not 5) more if I'm gonna commit myself to pushing cross breezes through the house. For gas, we used 2 units last week and only 1 this week. I forgot what the units are called (and I just read about it today!) Damn aging!! I think it'll work out for us to cook using the outside grill once/week (charcoal pollution), the slow cooker once/week, the stovetop & microwave for most things and one day/week use the oven on the stove. It's hard for folks around here to live without cornbread and there's wheat bread and hamburger buns that need to be made once/week, too. I figure I'll throw a chicken or something in the oven on the same day. That'll be THIS week's experiment to see if it adds significantly to what I've estimated above. Don't forget: Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket You might have a little fun (like I'm having) experimenting with different ways to reduce your footprint and you might save some money from the hands of the utility companies. There's nothing like thoughts of additional discretionary income to motivate us!


Diane said...

Hm. You made me go hunt down our last electric bill. Looks like we averaged 199 kwh per week. I don't know if that's good or bad for a family of seven but I'm going to do some looking around and thinking tomorrow to see if I can't knock it down some for next month. Oh, we got the well up and running today!! So the well pump will add some kwh to the next bill, I'm sure.

Oldnovice said...

HOORAY!! on the well pump!

I don't know if that's good or bad for a family of seven but I'm going to do some looking around and thinking tomorrow to see if I can't knock it down some for next month.

It's good. Average US usage: is 11,000 kwh PER HOUSEHOLD, PER YEAR, or about 900 kwh PER HOUSEHOLD PER MONTH. Average family size is probably < 7, too.

I've been having a lot of fun with microwave cooking experiments thinking that I'm using less energy with the wave vs. the stove. I am if I were to use the oven on the stove, but THIS guy shows how the differences are minimal in cooking methods compared to other areas in the household. Scroll down and click on cooking. Of course five $.20 still add up to $1.00, but cooking is small potatoes compared to AC and (drum roll, please)...

OTHER. I'll start a new thread so I can display the pie chart on this.