I have been thinking a lot lately about how much energy I use. I try to evaluate my lifestyle all the time to find out if I can improve and better live out the values that I claim to have. I just read an interesting article on phantom power, and there is a good suggestion of connecting all of your electronic appliances to power strips so that at the end of the day, or whenever you are not using them, you can turn off the power strip and keep the appliances from using energy when they are not actually in use. I am going to try it with my extra power strips and see how it goes. It is interesting that we have a clock on the microwave, the oven, the coffee maker, etc. How important is it that we have a clock every two feet in the kitchen? We are a culture of convenience, and I am influenced by it every day, but I want to be willing to sacrifice some of my convenience in order to make my lifestyle fit my values, and for that I am going to kill the power to those appliances at night.
Here is a page from the DOE web site where you can calculate your energy consumption. I am trying to find all of the wattage for all of my appliances to finish the calculation, but I will let you know what it turns out to be. Here are some numbers on typical wattages of standard home appliances, that should make the calculation easier.
I don’t drive anywhere unless I have to (well, I could walk to the store every time, but it is about 6 blocks one way and with two kids and groceries it doesn’t sound like fun, so I drive). We live within walking distance of most of the important things in our day. A tank of gas in my Dodge Stratus will last almost a month. We don’t buy new things unless we decide that it is necessary (like the gas grill that we bought because all of the used grills we found were rusty or almost as expensive as the new grills), so we avoid plastic and packaging as much as possible. I think electricity consumption will have to be our next lifestyle victim.
I will start today, and I will let you know how the calculation looks and if our monthly bills change a lot.