Announcing the Hands On Consumption Challenge

We’ve all heard the ads …

Lower your electric bill 30%! 
Energy efficient appliance pays for itself!! 
Replace your old toilet with a high efficiency one and use 80% less water!!!

But is it really true?  How accurate are the claims?  Do the simple fixes the Energy Star people recommend really work?  Will fixing a leaky toilet really save 200 gallons a day??  And how much will it cost me in new products to save those utility dollars?

It’s time to find out, with the first ever Hands On Consumption Challenge!

Starting with the first official day of summer (June 21) my husband and I will record and analyze how much water and energy we use.  Throughout the summer I will take on the projects we can reasonably afford to reduce consumption and report back on the results we really see and how hard the projects were.  Our goal is to reduce our energy and water usage to below the average per capita rates for our area.  We haven’t lived in this house for a year yet, so it’s tough to analyze our usage vs. a year ago.  The measurement part of the project may still need a little work.  😉

The point is that we’re normal people and we want to use less and spend less.  We aren’t over-the-top like no-impact man, and we don’t have a movie star budget to install solar panels like Ed Begley, Jr.  We’re just a couple people with an old house who care about the environment and saving money.

If you’re like us and have an idea you want tested, or an idea you know has worked for you, I’m interested to hear it!  Please send me your comments.

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5 responses to “Announcing the Hands On Consumption Challenge

  1. That reminds me: I need one of those old toilets for a gardening project. Between Sarracenia pitcher plants in the bowl and a collection of sundews in the tank, I figure I’ll give whole new meaning to the term “bog garden”.

  2. I have heeded your discussion on phantom power and unplugged everything that does not need to be plugged!

  3. Hey, I missed the show. Did you talk about light bulbs? I want to replace more of my old bulbs with the new energy-efficient spiral bulbs. But to my dismay, they don’t fit in 75% of my lighting fixtures, because I have so much track lighting. Argh…

  4. Pingback: Consumption challenge week one — Measuring electrical usage « erin covert * hands on

  5. Pingback: How Not to Pour Your Money Down the Drain « erin covert * hands on

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