Five Percent: Conserve Energy

Climate Change Is Important: Energy Conservation is the First Step

February 24, 2007

Honest Assesment of What Hasn’t Worked

We have had some pretty surprising successes in our efforts to reduce energy consumption. But there are a number of things we have tried that don’t work as well as we want.

We have had great success with most compact fluorescent bulbs. Even in a couple years, they have gotten a lot better at producing bulbs whose color balance is pleasing and warm. But quality has been spotty in some cases, and dimmable CF bulbs aren’t there, yet. We have had several cases where bulbs seem to output about 1/2 their rated output after we turn them on, and then maybe brighten up a little later. We had one bulb that just seems to have failed in this way and a couple others that may be in the same boat. Dimmable bulbs do not live up to their color balance ratings when they are even slightly dimmed, and they buzz.

I bought a snow scoop to replace my snowblower. It has only snowed once so far this year, but the snow scoop was no easier to use than any other shovel.

We tried composting, but I don’t think it’s worthwhile for us.

I totally love our Prius’s, but it is true that their mileage decreases during the winter. Not sure if regular cars do as well.

The jury is still out on GreenDimes, the service we used to help reduce junk mail. It’s a little hard to say if the reason we get less junk mail is due to our efforts or theirs. IdealBite has gotten a little stale, and focused a lot more on organic or natural products for women.

My greatest disappointment is that we don’t seem to have been very good at helping people think about the issues of energy conservation and global warming in a way that causes them to actually change their habits. I guess it’s just a personal decision about what each person chooses to think important. But “lead and they shall follow” doesn’t really seem to be working.


  1. Aw, don’t give up that easily!

    Hey, I recently found some great shopping bags at Whole Paycheck. They’re made out of recycled soda cans and are really strong. They’re nice and big with long handles. And they only cost $1! We get a .05 credit for each bag we bring in to use for our purchases both at Whole Foods and our in-town supermarket.

    If you can find them, grab as many as you can. (They have a drawing of clementines on the front.) They make carrying the groceries in so much easier and no more plastic or paper bags to recycle.

    And you thought I was hopeless …

    Comment by Kerstin — March 1, 2007 @ 10:14 pm

  2. […] no longer have any gas powered equipment. I shoveled my driveway all winter, eschewing the snow blower in favor of a good old shovel. It snowed a lot this winter, and it […]

    Pingback by Lawn Aerator Shoes, Electric Mower, Organic Fertilizer, Water, Bike | Five Percent: Conserve a Little Energy — April 19, 2008 @ 9:02 pm

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