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Melting and frozen

June 25, 2007

terracotta-snow.jpg

Milking the short lived snowfall. I love watching the snow fall. Every time it happens, which is once or twice in winter, I feel the same. I rush out and let it fall on me. I guess it’s the novelty of it.

I like that the highway is closed for a time – icy and windy highway. Even though we don’t live near it, the distant low end rumble can be faintly felt and heard, so snow means no trucks, cars, semi-trailers for a brief time.

The cold and stillness that snow brings allows you to stop and take deep breaths that slightly sting on the inhalation. Your world is enveloped in a fleeting moment of quietness. The lament is that it doesn’t last long.

And now for the reckoning. Week 3.

Gas use – we are slowly climbing. 35mj per day  increase on last week(390mjs a day!!!!) and we are trying hard to conserve. Oh the irony! Furthermore, the gas companies are worried about supply. They have asked industrial users to cut back on non-essential use as they fear they may not have enough immediate supply to cover the domestic surge in use (due to the cold weather) and all industrial uses.

Petrol – same as figured in our base line. I drove to Sydney twice for classes. No improvements this week.

Electricity – 12.6kWH per day. A marginal improvement on last week. I have been researching the power usage of our appliances. Some are provided in manuals or online technical data. For the ones that have neither available, I have emailed then with a consumer enquiry and strangely, no response yet.

I may have to investigate borrowing/hiring one of those meters that gives you a read out. It’s not that I want to keep all appliances, I just want to know how much power they use.

Actually, maybe that can be my epitaph, “I want to know” .

Water – 104 L per person per day. That’s about 30% of average per person usage. So slow, incremental improvement.

Garbage – I started weighing certain items this week. Two plastic pasta packs weigh 15gms. We probably put out about 1 kg of rubbish for landfill and about 5kgs for council recycling. Ideally, I’d like zero to landfill and recycling.
One thing I have been doing is emailing companies to take me off their mailing lists. You know, I was not that interested in audio engineering equipment -Wow the new euphonix desk, you say it can communicate with extra-terrestrial beings as well as being an sound mixing console. Wow! – when I was working as a sound editor, I’m even less interested now. I don’t care that the SMPTE conference is on.

Spending- I really like not shopping but then again the new kitchen tap (from last week) was expensive enough to halt any thought of consumer spending. I must admit, I really want to read the new Bill McKibben book Deep Economy but will wait until I can get it through one of the libraries I can borrow from.

Food – Most fruit available for purchase is from Queensland. So no to bananas, avocados and strawberries. But we can get local apples (grown less that 4kms away), oranges + lemons from my mother’s place and then what surplus local gardeners sell on consignment at the co-op. This week it was kiwi-fruit from Springwood (40kms).

I’m not sure, what I was expecting to happen by starting this dissection of our patterns and habits. Awareness about choices and our impact? A simplification of things? Clarity about what a person really needs?

Achieving the results in the space of a year, is not really what it’s about for me. I want to form new habits that stick. On a much less introspective note, I want to see if my husband’s often uttered statement is true – Charles claims he can live on the smell of an oily rag. All I can say is…..let’s see.

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