Well, with my poll showing 92% in favor of hearing more about what I do in my apartment to be a little more environmentally friendly, let’s get to it.
Rather than try to cover everything at once, I’ll break it down into one or two subject areas per post. This time around, I’ll cover energy use.
What I do now: I started by picking up some compact florescent bulbs at Target. They’re often on sale for less than $4 for two1 . I really enjoy the CFs. They’re bright — sometimes a little too bright — and they don’t flicker like the old ones used to.
The more CFs I put in, the lower my electric bill became, so we switched over to 100% wind power from Con Ed Solutions. It’s an additional 2.5 cents per kilowatt hour2 , but with the savings from the new bulbs, we end up paying about the same amount. And unless my landlord decides to install solar panels and/or wind turbines on our roof3 I think that’s about as good as I can get as far as energy supply.
What I hope to do soon: I will admit, I don’t unplug things4 when I’m not using them, because honestly, all my cords are such a horrible tangle. I have some things need to stay plugged in (phone and internet, the DVR recording middle of the night shows) and some things don’t (cell phone charger) and I’m hoping to eventually sort it out so I can switch them all on/off at once.
I’m also switching over to more things that use less (or zero) electricity. We swapped our air conditioner for fans.5 I’m thinking of getting a floor sweeper instead of running the vacuum. As winter approaches (and I remember how horribly dry it got in here last winter), I’d like to get some radiator humidifiers instead of an electric one, and maybe a clothes drying rack.6
Well, I did say I was a bit of a nerd about these things; now you know how much of a nerd.
Any suggestions on what you’d like me to yammer about next?
- Most of the ones I have are made by GE, but I have some from IKEA as well. [↩]
- Actually, as I was writing this, my husband was calling ConEdSolutions to find out why we got a $25 rebate check in the mail from them. Evidently, everyone got one. Score! [↩]
- HAHAHAHAHA. Right. The same people who won’t allow us to have a dog are going to put in solar panels. [↩]
- Items that still draw power even when they’re “off” is often known as a phantom load. Here’s how to cut back on phantom loads. [↩]
- Although, if I’m truly honest, a big part of that switch was the fact that our A/C was giving us headaches and drying out our sinuses. [↩]
- EcoFunFact: As the clothes dry, the moisture in the clothes is released into the air, making the air more humid. So, it’s really replacing two things you would have used electricity for: a clothes dryer and a humidifier. [↩]