Upon observing my electricity usage over the past few days there is one common observation that can be made, I suck! The more I look at my electricity usage the more I notice how much I take it for granted. I will start by confessing that I am naturally one of those people who likes a nice and bright room, I feel as though it just puts me in an overall better mood. However, with that being said, I notice that I am extremely excessive in my usage of electronics. The lights seem to always be blaring through the entirety of my house. All my electronic devices are always plugged in and on standby. Even the ones that are not plugged in to the charges remain plugged into the wall, all day long. Even things like the toaster are plugged in 24/7 and I haven’t used the toaster in weeks! Based off of these observations, it is pretty clear that I need to make some drastic changes.
The first strategy in tackling my goals of becoming more electronically efficient I think already has already been accomplished, and that is assessing my overall behaviors. Now that I am aware of how much I abuse electricity I already find myself being more conscience about things like making sure the lights are turned off. I know, its pretty basic, but at least it’s a step in right direction. Next I’m going to try and implement reminders for myself. I will do this by either putting daily reminders in my phone or simply placing Post-it notes on my devices reminding myself to turn things off and make sure they are unplugged.
Now that I am aware of my energy usage I looked towards some research to help identify factors that may contribute to my high-energy usage. For this, I examined a case study done by the Institute for Sustainable Futures in Sydney, Australia. The first factor that may be affecting my high electricity usage could be due to the number of hours spent in my house (Riedy/Patridge, 2006). This is a factor I never really thought about before but it makes complete sense. Foe the most part, I do all of my work in my room and am in my house for a large portion of the day so this would require me to leave things plugged in or the lights on. Another aspect that this study contributed to increased electricity behavior is due to the number of appliances and devices that an individual owns. As I look around my room I see what they are talking about. I guess the more things you have the more you use. It makes complete sense. As we progress into this lifestyle challenge I certainly have my work cut out for me.
Riedy, Chris, and Emma Patridge. “Study in Factors Contributing to Electricity Use in Newington.” Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS (2006): 116. Web. 30 Mar. 2014.