Powering down, part 3

I just got my electric bill for the past month, which reflects the time since I turned the thermostat up to 79 degrees.  It was $98.00, $9.00 less than last month.  Woo hoo!  Yesterday morning, before I even got the bill, I turned the thermostat up again, to 80 degrees.  So far we’re tolerating it OK, although it’s a little warmer than I like in the morning when I’m getting dressed – when it’s cooler outside, and the A/C isn’t running as a result.  But that’s okay; I’m used to sweating.

I did a lot of yard work yesterday, including trimming several shrubs, and I did it by hand.  I have an electric hedge trimmer, but I’m trying not to use it.  I can do all that by hand if I don’t let it get too far gone.  I also edged my driveway and most of one side of the sidewalk, also by hand.  It’s slower, but the only greenhouse gas that’s getting released is the carbon dioxide I’m exhaling as I pant.

There are several municipalities and a few colleges around the country that are going to four-day workweeks to save energy (and to save employees gasoline).  There hasn’t been any talk of us doing that at work, but if the Florida state budget woes continue (which it looks like they’re going to), I wouldn’t be surprised if our administrators put that into place.  That would be okay with me.  Ten hours is a long day at work, but the three day weekend is worth it.  I think the secret to making it through a ten-hour workday is to pace yourself.  For me it would mean getting to work at 7:30 am instead of 9:30 am, so I might not be very productive the first half hour or so, until I got awake!

I had a three day weekend this weekend, because I took Friday off to await delivery of a new washing machine.  The old one quit last weekend right before the spin cycle, so I had a washer full of wet clothes to deal with.  I managed that okay, but figured I’d better get a new washer.  The old one was 8 years old, wasn’t an efficient model (it was the best I could afford at the time), and the spin cycle problem sounded like a sensor of some kind to me.  I figured it wouldn’t be worth it to try to get it fixed.  The new washer is an Energy Star, with a bigger tub (nice for comforters and doggie beds), and it should save money on electricity.

I tried reading by candlelight the other night!  But the candle didn’t produce enough light.  (I think reading about peak oil has me a little spooked.)  Maybe it was the wrong candle for the job, or maybe one isn’t enough.  So I turned the CFL bulb back on.  At least I have those.

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