Friday, May 1, 2009

Going Green

We are attempting to better ourselves and our planet, so we've changed a few things around the house. In our "energy efficient" apartment, our clothes do not dry in one cycle. It usually takes 2 cycles (4 for towels) to get everything dry. Since we do not have the space to line dry, we found a new way to do our part - cut the second round down to 30 mins instead of 60. People have suggested that something is wrong with the dryer, besides the fact that it looks like it came out of the 80's (before energy star appliances became a hit) or that we over-fill it. However, our maintenance man has been out twice and cannot find anything wrong with it. Nor do we put too many clothes in at one time. We do about 4 loads of laundry per week (neither of us can re-wear clothes to work/internships), so cutting our drying time by 20 mins per load = 80 mins per week of saved energy (4,160 mins/year!). Plus, this saves on our electric bill every month (when one person is a grad student, every penny counts).

One of our showers was dripping for awhile, so we called the office at our apartment complex (I love that we can do that and it will be fixed within 24 hours) to fix it. While our water bill is included in our rent, it helps to save the planet and we don't have to listen to water dripping all night. We turned the water heater down as well. I'm not sure if that will help, but I don't scald myself every time I step in the shower.

Other things we are doing include: opening the windows instead of turning on the air, using fans to circulate air in the house, plastic over the windows in the winter (we felt a difference in temp), making lists/inventory to take fewer trips to the store each week.

One other small thing was placing a blanket by the front door during the winter. It helped with the draft, although I'm not sure if it helped a ton in the grand scheme of saving energy. We used a wool blanket that is usually used to insulate while camping, but there are more fashionable ways to do this. Also, don't judge the lack of color in these pictures...I LOVE color, it's just not represented in these pictures.

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