It's now around three months since we had our family meeting and set down our ideas for our own family eco-challenge. Here is a summary of what we originally wrote down and how we are going.
a) Turn off lights when not in use DOING
b) turn off appliances at the wall - SOME - could improve here
c) Have shorter showers - DOING
d) install energy efficient light bulbs DONE THROUGH WHOLE HOUSE
e) use re-chargeable batteries - not doing this - but minimised use of battery operated things
a) shorter showers and water saving showerheads - got flow inhibitors
b) catch cold water when waiting for hot to come through – use this to fill water bottle and kettle - DOING
c) wash up in the small sink DOING
d) flush when necessary DOING ( giggle)
e) install water tanks - not done yet - on list after current reno finished
a) Ride bikes to school and work - H and kids ride to school - I haven't started riding to work yet as still too dark on way home
b) Limit trips to town – by planning and grouping trips DOING
c) Get Dad to ride motorbike to town for smaller items/ errands DOING
d) Walk DOING
e) Find cheaper fuel, drive more economically DOING
a) Compost Food Scraps DOING
b) Stop Getting Plastic Bags DOING ( although still have trouble with smaller bags from time to time)
c) Buy items with less packaging TRYING - this one is REALLY hard
a) Don’t buy unnecessary things DOING - we have cut right back !
b) Work on a cash budget LOVE DOING THIS
c) Use things sparingly- DOING - e.g. less toothpaste on the brush etc
d) Do instead of buy – make it yourself. DOING - lots of cooking.
Overall I think that we are really progressing well as a family. The considerable drop in water usage reflects the changes we are making.
There is always room for improvement. I would still LOVE to be able to ride to work. I will have to do a test run to see if I can make the 7.5 km and how long it will take me.