Thursday, January 6, 2011

No Impact Week- Thursday

Today's Challenge: Unplug

This one sucks for me, because I'm struggling to figure out how many of my "I can't"s really should be, "I don't wanna"s.

I turned off both PCs in the office, but left the strip on because the modem & router are connected to it, and I need to be able to get online with my laptop for work, research, and blogging. Do I NEED to blog? Writing fills a very deep need in me. I work better, and I am more aware when I have written, or will write about what I'm doing. I could do this with pen and paper, but I have had little luck sticking to any sort of writing that isn't being immediately read. I need feedback in order to think. I've been told this is an extrovert's trait. Maybe so. I learn better through discussion than reading. I think more clearly when I am communicating and receiving a response. So I write online. I probably could switch, but I think my writing would dry up all together.

I'm using the washer and dryer today. We make so much laundry that trying to keep it washed in the bathtub...I just can't fathom that working. And I'm not sure that the tub can compete with the water efficiency of our washer. Maybe. I will go back to line drying in the summer, and I'm stewing on ways to line dry indoors, but we aren't there yet. I'd like to pare down our clothing, but the boys are so hard on their clothes, I don't know if it's possible.

I'm keeping the lights on only in the room I am in. I tried keeping them off, but our house gets very little sun, and it is so gloomy and dark. I struggle to see, and I can't have candles burning if Girl 1 is in the house. She's fascinated with fire.

Gorbachev Hasselhoff needs his sunlamp on all day, or he'll freeze. So that stays on.

Today I'm just cutting and pinning the fabric for some place mats I'm working on, but tomorrow I'll be using electricity to sew them, as well as all of my REpUrpoSE pieces. My hand stitching isn't tight enough, and I don't own a manual sewing machine.

I used the water heater (which runs on natural gas) to heat the girls' bath, and all the males used it to heat their showers. I accidentally made grits in the microwave (a delicious leftover from before my decision to cut processed foods) before remembering today's challenge. Could have cut that one.

There seem to be lots of "can't"s. Sadness.

I did a big load of dishes in the dishwasher today, but now that I'm mostly caught up, I am going to try and hand wash. Is this water efficient? I need more research. I'm also not sure time will allow me to hand wash regularly. This may need to be something akin to Meatless Mondays when I do it once a week.

HEY! How about one day a week with no electricity (except the furnace)? That might be something we could try...

I have unplugged everything not in use, to cut down on vampire power. I walked room to room and made sure anything plugged in was off, and the house is amazingly quiet. I didn't realize how much humming and thrumming was going on. The girls are napping and the boys are in school. The only sound right now is the rhythm of the dryer and the tapping of my laptop keys. It's really calming.

The kids are never allowed to play video games on school nights, and this week I cut t.v. too. Boy 3 struggled with that a bit, but yesterday they went to the playground and played until dark with their friends. They even took Girl 1, and she was thrilled.

Today I walked over to the school with the girls and had lunch with The Man and the younger two boys. Boy 3's teacher said he'd been so excited all morning that we were coming. He gave me so many hugs. We had a great time talking with the boys' friends and eating together. On the "No Impact" pdf there is a excerpt from Colin's blog:
Since we have no electricity as part of the No Impact experiment, we also have no TV. Last week, someone asked me how we entertain Isabella without one. Coincidentally, that day, my friend Mayer, whose community garden plot I help with, called to say that fireflies were in season at the garden and that I should take Isabella there at dusk. So we went . . . when about six fireflies circled around us, Isabella suddenly looked at me and said, ‘I’m so happy, Daddy.’ She never said that while we were watching television. 
I felt some of that today as we ate lunch together. It motivates me to look for more ways to have experiences with the kids, rather than just keeping busy with "things".

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