As I embark on the sustainable behavior challenge one thing becomes clear. I should have told my roommates! When I was assessing my potential challenges I had listed my roommates as one, and this has proven to be true. As I prepared for the sustainable behavior challenge I went around and unplugged all unnecessary electronic devices. This included anything from the microwave to the toaster to the Xbox. Except there was one problem, I forgot to tell my roommates! Upon returning after class the next day I had to face the wrath of my roommates, who yelled at me for unplugging everything. That issue has since been sorted out and my roommates now respect my involvement in this project. Another challenge that I came across was trying to remember to turn things off or unplug things. The first few days I forgot to unplug my phone charger in the morning. I did remember to shut the lights off however so I guess I am making baby steps. Because I had forgotten to unplug my charger those days I decided to resolve the problem by setting a notification to wake me up instead of my alarm. Since this notification has been set I have not yet forgotten to unplug my phone charger in the morning.
There are a few other things I have noticed through out this project. There were some aspects of my life I was hoping to be more efficient in that I simply cannot. My printer is a good example. I find myself constantly turning my printer on and off. It seemed as if every time I shut my printer off I would have to go back and just plug it back in to print something. It was completely unpractical. As a result I have decided to leave my printer on when I am in my house and unplug it when I am not to avoid wanting to throw it out the window when I go to print something and it is unplugged. Another progressive step I have made is that I bought CFL bulbs for my lamp. My lamp went out last week and instead of buying the normal bulbs I buy, I bought more energy efficient ones. Even the little things help right?
In order to assess my overall energy savings I looked at a website which helps calculate the cost and usage of energy. I took a day of my light bulb usage and calculated that I had 6 light bulbs on approximately for 3 hours each. This equates to a total energy usage of .72 kWh. This is down a lot from my previous estimates of those same bulbs being on for approximately 8 hours a day which would yield an energy usage of approximately 1.93 kWh. If I had my energy bills I could also calculate how much money I have saved in this process. The link for energy calculations can be found here. Overall I have had my challenges and victories in starting to live this challenge. Hopefully as time progresses I will be able to become more and more efficient.