Thursday, March 17, 2011

Change the World Wednesday - on a Thursday and weeks late!

Sorry I haven't posted on my blog in awhile.  Things have been a bit crazy.  I've been busy at work and therefore not a lot of downtime.  I've also been suffering from major fatigue for months now and it's been particularly bad. I was in bed by 8pm every freaking night last week, which means by the time I finish dinner and clean up, I don't have any energy to do anything else and so my blogging suffered (as did my reading..and we all know how I love to read).     So I'm trying to get caught up and decided to briefly mention some of the Change the World Wednesday posts that I've missed.

CTWW - March 2nd
The challenge was to use the garbage disposal less. This would help conserve water, mostly, and a bit of electricity. It would also force you to think about the food you put down the garbage disposal. Could it be saved? composted? etc.

I don't use the disposal too much so this wasn't too big a deal for me. I tend to put any food in the trash instead.   I already plan to start a compost bin, this just made me think more about it and tell myself that I really need to get off my butt and do it.

Reading the results of this challenge on week 9's post, I saw one tip that I love and have already starting practicing at my house.  The person, Nicole, suggested that when you do have to let water run (such as in the kitchen sink waiting for warm water to do dishes) instead of letting the water just go down the drain, keep a couple of milk jugs or similar containers and fill those with the water.  This water can then be used around the house for water plants, fill pet water bowls, etc.   I have a couple of sensitive teeth and rinsing with cold water is incredibly painful so I have to let the water run till it gets warm. I hate doing this, but it's just so wasteful but at the same time if I don't, I'm in a lot of pain.   Luckily within a couple days of reading that I had a gallon milk jug ready to be used. I just love this. I fill it up with water and then use it to give Myla water and water the plants.  I feel so much better about it.  Husband is almost finished with another gallon of milk and I'll be saving that one for this purpose too.

Change the World Wednesday - daily challenges
For the rest of the time until Wednesday there will be daily challenges. I was planning to play along each day, but heck, I was having trouble keeping up with the weekly challenges. I hope to start doing them daily though.

Here's a break down of some:
The 2nd one was to remove a light bulb for the remainder of the challenge - until Easter.  Not only will this save a bit of money but also save CO2 emissions. I'm one step ahead of the group on this one!  I had replaced the outlets and switches in my library from beige to white. Suddenly, the light switch didn't work anymore. I took everything apart several times and couldn't figure it out. I talked to somebody and they suggested a fix. I finally got around to doing that fix in January.  Guess what? The light switch works great but now the light switch to turn on the light at the bottom of our basement stairs doesn't work. Lol!  I've been too lazy to try and fix this (I think I know how) and so we've been living without it already.  I would turn it on a couple times a day, whenever I would put the dog in her kennel and get her out later.  Now I deal without it, since it's a walk out basement there is usually enough light coming in through the curtains that I can still see what I'm doing.

The March 11th challenge:
Address your "standby" habits. Unplug mobile phone chargers and any unused appliances. 8% of electricity consumed at home is from "vampire" appliances that we aren't even using

I already do this!  We only have 3 kitchen appliances this would work towards..a toaster, toaster oven, and can opener. I keep the toaster in a cabinet since it's rarely used and the other two we unplug as soon as we finish with them.   In the office I have the paper shredder, desktop pc, printer, router, and modem all on the same surge protector and keep it unplugged when not in use.  I keep the charger for the laptop unplugged unless I'm actually charging it.  I don't keep phone charges plugged in either.  

The March 16th challenge:
Save energy in the kitchen. Cook food in a microwave, which uses 50-70% less energy than a conventional oven. When you need to cook in a pan on the stove, use a lid to preserve heat, which will also cook your food faster. Cook double portions and freeze what you don't eat.

I can't say that we use our microwave much, other than re-heating things, but I recently bought a toaster oven and that's saved us from using the actual wall oven almost every night.  We've gone from using the wall oven 4 days a week (at least) to either 0 or once.  Not too bad!

We also cook enough for leftovers for my lunches.  Not exactly double portions frozen for future meals, but it keeps me from buying frozen meals etc.

We also make chili, spaghetti, homemade rolls, and soups from scratch.  Then we freeze all of it in dinner size portions. 

And that's it!  It's a long post and I hope you stuck with me for all of it.  I'm going to try and keep up from now on, but might end up having to do one long post to cover several again.   

I have a lot of posts started that I need to finish and schedule to show up.  Please bear with me as I deal with my fatigue, some other minor health issues,  and my half marathon training.  All those things are pretty much taking up a lot of my time.  Oh..and I got my bookshelves so I've spending most of my weekends working on staining those so they can be installed and then used. I can't wait!

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