Following on the heels of excellent diaries by A Seigal and Fishgrease, I offer my take on my approach to climate change: radical conservation. It's one of the three pillars of our energy future I have long taught: conservation; efficiency and clean energy.
Let me preface my remarks by saying that I live alone. So, I don't have to compromise with or offend a housemate, as I might right now as I sit here unshowered and unshaven this weekend day.
I sleep in an unheated space. It was 48 degrees F this morning. I've adjusted well to low temperatures under heavy bedding and ample clothing.
I also sleep without aircondioning in the summer. I love my wide-open window by the head of my bed. I love listening to the sounds of the night in my semi-rural setting. Some nights, it's very uncomfortable. I run a small fan and sleep in light clothing.
I line-dry all of my laundry and have for more than three years. It takes time. But, I've come to enjoy hanging my laundry out to dry. I confess that I can't imagine the effort this would require for a larger family. I find it peaceful and relaxing. Yes, my towels are a bit crispy. I have to my iron my work shirts and slacks. And, I hate ironing.
I don't hand-wash any of my dishes. I have an efficient dishwasher and all research and my own experience give evidence that the dishwasher is more efficient.
I take short showers using a 1.5 gpm showerhead with a trickle button for reduced flow.
I have a low-flush toilet (1.6 gpf Toto) that has never failed to evacuate its contents. And, yes, I follow the "if it's yellow" maxim.
I use efficient light bulbs, but I keep them off unless I really need them. Some visitors have accused me of living in the dark! I don't.
I purchased a grocery panier for my bicycle. I'm working to reduce my vehicle use, but when it's cold, I drive. Like I said, I'm working on this.
What works for you?