This morning as I got ready for a shower, I wasted valuable electricity. How did I do this? By automatically turning on the bathroom lights when the room was already lit quite well. Early morning sunlight was streaming in, even through the closed blinds, and there was no need for additional light. But I was in the habit of turning on lights when I entered the bathroom. It was purely automatic.
When I realized what I had done, and had been doing for quite a while, I immediately shut off the lights. But, it started making me think about all of the ways that normal daily habits around the house could be wasting energy, and therefore money.
Our electric bill has been steadily increasing over the last year, despite our efforts to continue to be frugal and conserve energy. While we were trying to figure out the secrets of our bill increase, my husband had one of those light bulb moments. It seems that we really were spending more electricity.
We had gotten into the habit of staying up later and getting up earlier than normal, just to get more work done. That means that some lights would sometimes be on until three in the morning while my husband worked, then off for perhaps two hours before I got up early at five in the morning to get my work done. We were literally burning the midnight oil. Of course out electric bill was going up. There are other reasons we needed to break this habit, naturally, such as getting a healthy amount of sleep, and getting to spend time with each other. But sometimes it takes something more tangible, such as that bill, to make you see the light (ha ha).
Some habits could be changed with a little forethought. One habit that I am trying to break is defrosting meat in the microwave for dinner. Just taking my chicken out and placing it in the fridge the night before would eliminate that bit of energy usage. Hanging laundry or taking it out of the dryer while damp and then hanging it would eliminate the need for the energy hogging iron. Are you in the habit of taking the whole vacuum out to pick up a few crumbs? It is an easy habit to get into when you have those little crumb manufacturing plants, otherwise known as kids. Try using a broom and dustpan. They don’t require any energy but your own.
Do you have any energy wasting habits?