My family and I moved into a new house recently – I say house, it’s a flat so tiny, I’m still not sure where we’re going to pack everything, and we’re playing pass the parcel moving things from one room to the next most days! It’s only a six month let, so we’ll get there in the end, but it’s all come down to cost cutting measures until my husband finds work again.
One new aspect to our new spot, that we’ve never had to deal with before, has been a gas and water meter, meaning that we have to pre-pay for our utilities. I’ve been amazed at how actually being aware of your utility spend has impacted on my usage. Now that I can actually see the numbers ticking down on the meter every day, I’m so much more conscious of switching off plugs that aren’t in use, of unplugging chargers and turning off drips. It all adds up and makes a huge difference to how many times a month I have to run to the corner shop to top up.
One of the things I’ve found really helpful over the last few weeks has been this water saving calculator – for example, I had no idea that using the dishwasher once a day uses less water than the sink does! That’s great motivation for me to buy a dishwasher (like I needed an excuse!)
While having four people – including two children – in a house makes for a lot of laundry, especially in the winter, I also found the section on how to save water quite useful. Not rocket science, to be fair, but a good reminder which is sometimes all you need.
Of course you don’t have to be a home-schooler to be able to teach your children about the benefits of being mindful in your use of gas, electricity and water. It’s something every parent should be teaching their child, so this week the girls and I’ve been spending time talking about ways in which we could save especially water in our house. Here are their ideas (they are 5 and 2):
- We could catch rain water to bath in (I didn’t want to dull their enthusiasm with the freezing realities here.)
- We can plant a garden to water with caught rain water. (I’m sure the neighbours won’t mind if we turn the parking spaces into a food producing garden, right?)
- We can all bath together (Ah, to be so small as to all fit in one bath! We compromised with them continuing to bath together.)
- We can only brush our teeth once a day (erm, no. But we can turn the tap off while we’re brushing.)
- We can wear the same pyjamas two nights in a row. (Sounds like a plan to me!)
- And on my list: buy a dishwasher! And maybe a home warranty plan from somewhere like First American Home Warranty so if it breaks we can have it repaired or replaced.
How do you save water, electricity and gas in your home? Do you have a meter, and does it make you more conscious of your spending?