October 2, 2007

Reducing our Carbon Impact

A few months ago I mentioned that people are trying to reduce their carbon emmissions by 90%. Here is where I first blogged about it. Jen picked up the challenge is August and so it got me to start thinking that I need to start working on this again. I am not going to try and reduce my emmissions by 90% but I will try to reduce them by 50%. I am also using my summer bills to help me and summer is when our utility bills are the lowest. Hey if I can keep my utility bills as low as in the summer that would be wonderful - but we all know that is not going to happen. So here are my October Goals.

Gas - Car - The average 3 person family uses 125 gallons of gas per month. I do not want to use more than 62.5 gallons this month. We have some trips planned so we will see how good we do. I need to buy a new bike tube so I can start riding my bike to work again.

Electricity - This summer we average a usage of 14.5 per day. I have no idea if that is kwh or what. I would like to keep our usage for the month of October at 14.5 or less. Since it is getting colder it is harder to dry clothes outside and we use more electricty to heat the house. I need to turn more lights off and buy more CF light bulbs to replace the regular ones.

Natural Gas - House - Our usage this summer was 1.509 per day (again I have no idea what the number means but it shows me a starting point.) For the month of October I am planning on keeping my usage to the same or less. Ways to do this - Wash all clothes in warm water - not hot (I tried using cold water but my clothes were not as clean. We need to keep the doors shut in the evening to keep the house warmer, and use the heat less.

Consumer Goods - The avearge American spends $10,000 per year on new consumer goods. A 50% reduction would be $5,000. So our goal for this month to reduce would be to only spend $417. That does not seem to high. But I will be keeping track.

These are my starting points - so we will see how well we do.


AmyBow said...

Good for you! I am taking even smaller baby steps. Last week I started carrying around a reuseable water bottle (and trying to force myself to drink more water) instead of buying bottled water and I am also trying to make an effort to do fewer loads of dishes and laundry.

Keep us posted on how you do!

Jenny said...

Tiff, this is great! I'm glad you're starting up again. It'll be fun to do this together.

So far it's been easier than I expected, but, of course, I've only been at it a month. Electric is killing me. Surprise. Surprise.

I think your natural gas is billed in therms, so you are *probably* using 1.5 therms a day. If I remember correctly the average household uses 1000 therms per year so that would be about 83 therms per month.

GreenStyleMom said...

I need to pull out my utility bills and start keeping track. I also want to keep track of my gas usage. I try to ride my bike whenever possible, but sometimes I get a bit lazy... esp with the kids.