Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Lord Help Me - I'm becoming My Mother

Or my father to be more accurate. And my grandparents who grew up during the Depression. I spent the day in a house that was too warm, turning off appliances and lights in a manner that even annoyed me. This all reminds me of the things my parents and grandparents used to harp on "us kids" about growing up. I remember going to grandma's house in western New York state in August and thinking "PLEASE turn on some air conditioning!" Why was she so cheap? And my dad, always nagging us to "turn off a light when you leave the room." He couldn't figure out what was so difficult about that, and we couldn't figure out why he cared. Even when I started to pay my own bills, I just didn't think about it. Ever wonder what shape the Earth would be in if we still followed the principles so many of the Greatest Generation learned the hard way?

I spent the day trying to be very conscientious about my water and energy use. It was a rainy but muggy morning - nonetheless, I left my windows open and kept the A/C off. That lasted until my daughter and I were both overwarm in the mid-afternoon. I tried to delay the evil air conditioning by heading outside. Bad move. It was now sunny and HOT! The breeze was good, but not enough. We turned on the ever-popular Elmo sprinkler and ran through that a few times. After about 5 passes and one insulting spray in the face, Elmo was disconnected. We were cool - for all of 5 minutes. Back inside for drinks and...we turned on the air conditioning. Drat. My compromise was to only turn it on upstairs (we have separate controls for up & down), since we were probably going to want it on for baby bedtime anyway. As a result, we spent about an hour cleaning and packing (getting ready for the Big Move) in the cooler part of the house. Got stuff done, and didn't turn on the whole house a/c. That counts as a win right? Or at least a draw?

Hey, it's a start.


Marissa Vargason said...

Em, great idea!!! Love it, Ill add you to my faves, cant wait to read more!

Chele said...

I agree it is a start. We too have been making some changes. Living in FL the A/C stays on, however the thermostat is set at 80 during the day and turned down to 76 for sleeping. We used to keep it at 72 and 68 so this is a compromise and is saving us about $60 a month on the electric bill. We are also keep the blinds almost closed to help keep the some of the heat out. I figure something is better than nothing.

MomStillLearning said...

Awesome, Chele! We've done kind fo the same thing - we have ours upstairs set to 80 during the day and 78 at night. We sleep with just a sheet and are fine. It's amazing how much we were using before without noticing!