Monday, July 6, 2009

Non-electric, anyone?

I have a 'game' I enjoy - how low can I get our daily electric usage, living in an apartment? The items that use the most electric - heat, a/c, water heater, and fridge - are out of our control, beyond setting a thermostat. All the lights have been switched to CFLs (compact fluorescent). Windows are opened whenever weather allows.

So, what else to do?

  • The microwave is gone - we picked up a convection toaster oven instead. We've gained counter-space (the oven is half the size), and small items get baked in the toaster oven, saving us the cost & heat of using the bigger one. Who needs to heat an oven big enough for a turkey, when you're just making six muffins?

  • We consistently look for versions of items that don't use electric. For example, I have 3 sewing machines. Two of my three are treadles; the third, an old Kenmore, will be converted from electric to handcrank.

  • We're also learning to use oil lamps, and I'm slowly collecting what I need to make candles. Evenings are much more relaxing by the dancing light of a flame.

  • Another good post on this subject is at Better Living Daily.

    Anyone have additional ideas?


    1. I like the idea of oil lamps. Are the ones you have the kind that use olive oil?

    2. No, the one that we have so far uses kerosene or lamp oil. I've seen the ones that use olive oil, but we don't have one.