As most of you know, I moved to California over six years ago, and while there are many special reasons that I call it home, one that has taken some special attention in our home this year is the proactive approach that local and state legislation has taken toward energy use and our impact on the earth.
Our family has always been conscious of our energy usage, for both global impact and also our checkbook. We recently moved into an older home which was outfitted entirely with dozens of seemingly ancient halogen light bulbs. Between trying to learn which light was left on accidentally from an unnamed toddler flipping a few switches to receiving our first utility bill, we knew what our primary goal was: replacing these yellow, heat-pumping bulbs with low-energy, long-lasting and natural light-emitting LED bulbs.
It seemed like every day another bulb was blowing, so we stocked up and outfitted nearly every room in cooler-toned LED bulbs. The next month, not only did our power bill drop by 50%, but we could sleep peacefully at night knowing that we’ve reduced our footprint a bit. As small as that sounds, these minor actions are compounded with the spread of awareness and concern — above just the monthly bill.
Since moving in, we’ve taken further steps. We use a power-monitoring outlet for any suspect appliances or electronics, and bought a new high-efficiency washing machine, dryer and refrigerator.
These recent months, we’ve turned our energy usage into a game. Between getting creative with keeping our home lit with natural light during the day to keeping the lights dim at night to “enhance the mood” of a movie, we even track our usage progress when every new bill comes. There’s nothing quite like comparing your usage month to month, seeing a big drop, and having to pay less to help the environment.
The most rewarding part of our actions is knowing that we’re being proactive. Reducing energy usage in one home can have a ripple effect, and the state-wide (and country-wide) affordability of renewable sources becomes more and more realized as more families join in the movement to make a difference. To learn more about what Californians are doing to lead the way to energy efficiency, visit the beautiful site at Energy Upgrade California.
Are you active in reducing your usage? What tactics do you use to reduce your energy impact? #DoYourThing!