By now, everyone is well under way keeping or breaking their New Year’s resolution(s). I’m a little late in the game, however, and I’m only getting around to setting out goals for the New Year. While regular exercise is always a good goal to pursue, I’m also planning on attacking living more conservatively with gusto.
There are a few concrete strategies in particular that I intend to employ in living out this goal:
set shopping limitations,
cut back on water use (namely the long showers),
and turn off lights.
Six-Month Shopping Ban:
A good friend of mine put herself on a 6-month clothing-shopping ban, inspiring me to do the same. I was mostly successful (I caved at about 4 months when warmer weather seduced me into buying a few summer things from Old Navy), and after the 6 months were over, I found it much less tempting to buy any new clothes for myself at all. Another positive aspect of the shopping ban that my friend demonstrated very well was that you can exercise your creative muscle with the clothes you have and invent new outfits. Wearing what you have for a longer time is ultimately the most eco friendly option, so dig through your closet and put together some fun outfits. Take a few snapshots on your phone so that you remember what you came up with when you’re in a pinch (please excuse the horrible crack in my iPhone glass).
Reducing Water Usage:
One of the hardest conservation techniques that I’ll find to employ is cutting back on my hot showers, particularly during the winter when I want to absorb as much heat as possible. There are good reasons to cut back, though: long, hot showers consume more energy, which also increases your energy bill, and they dry out your skin more. The best way to cut back is to be conscious of the amount of hot water used per shower, and a good way to track that is by timing one’s shower. My goal is to cut back my shower time to maximum efficiency, and then allow myself a (very) brief amount of time to enjoy the heat (maybe 30 seconds? Wish me luck with that). Here’s a fun little gadget to help me stick to my goal: shower timer.
Another very simple conservation strategy is turning off lights when you’re not using them. Enough said.
Incorporate just one little conservation technique regularly into your life and you will save both money and the environment.
I’ll let you know how I’m getting on, particularly with the first two strategies!
This is a note to let you know how shortened showers are going. I have to be honest and say that I am not sure just how long my showers used to be, but they were definitely over 10 minutes long each shower. In order to cut them back, I started using the little above timer, with a max time at 10 minutes. This timer shows me how many gallons I use in that amount of time (after you calibrate it to your showerhead), and I'm appalled that I consistently used more than 12 gallons of water per shower! I have since cut my showers nearly in half, so I think husband will be thanking me when he pays our next water bill. And ultimately, I don't miss the length of the shower, I still take about 20-30 seconds to enjoy hot water all over. Success!