Saturday, March 29, 2008

Earth Hour 2008 (Or have you been doing it already?)

I just learned about Earth Hour 2008 about 20 minutes ago (through Google's blackout notification), but it reminded me of something I've wanted to share for a few weeks now. Here are my Green Habits, and how I've contagiously started to spread them to my family, friends, and students.
First off, I live in a studio apartment (460sq feet) by myself. My electric bill per month averages $50 ALL YEAR. I have not done anything drastic to save the Earth...yet, so everything I share, is easily copyable by all of you reading!

  • I use CFL (compact fluorescent bulbs) in all but my bedroom light (which is the apt's globe light that I never use. I even got 2 free CFLs by doing a Electricity Audit of my apartment!
  • I use power strips with on/off switches. When I'm not charging cellphone/iPod/Nintendo DS/Laptops, the powerstrip with all the power adapters is turned OFF. Believe it or not, leaving those adapters plugged in still drains electricity!!!
  • My heat (this apartment uses electric radiant heat, kinda like a giant toaster-oven) is set at 65 degrees Fahrenheit. I tried to go below that, but my cat started having issues. Set your's as low as you can stand and use lots of blankets.
  • Tide Coldwater Works perfectly, clothes should last longer, and not only am I being "Green" with this small step, I'm saving the apartment complex money on water heating expenses. (Whether I'll ever see those savings remains to be seen. (-:)
  • I use reusable, canvas (they happen to be green) bags for all my grocery shopping. They were 99cents/each at Weis (where I also walk to work every weekend). They're stronger, hold more items per bag, and I get a small discount at every checkout for using them instead of plastic.

Now, my students know I'm a fan of Green living, LifeHacker and TreeHugger blogs, and sharing my tips with everyone, so they've started to adopt simple things too. Turning out my classroom lights whenever we aren't in the orchestra room was an obvious one that apparently nobody else in the district thought of!
So, tonight at 8pm, turn your lights off! In fact, turn everything off, grab your iPod, and take a night walk around your neighborhood (or ditch the iPod and walk with a friend). Let me know in comments if you've planned any fun "no light" activities in the comments!


  1. this is awesome! I like the idea about tide coldwater-something my wife and I can adopt here. Join the earth day group over a flickr to keep the ball rolling:

    I did a little post over at the WWF Flickr group that talks about the things my wife and I have been trying to do around our home over the past year or so.


  2. Thanks for the comment, Matt.
    I've gone through about 10 loads with Tide Coldwater, and I must say I'm very happy with it.
    For my next trick, I want to start line-drying my clothes. It'll be tricky in my small apartment (w/ no yard), but I've seen some drying racks that might work.