Archives for August 2011

Teach Your Kids Now About The 2-Minute Shower

2-minute showerWe can’t all go European but when it comes to bathing, our pre-teen kids would if we let them. Showering is something they don’t want to but have to do. My kids think swimming in a lake or participating in a water fight equates to bathing; something they probably learned from me. But since we’re tasked with making them bathe, why not incorporate some Jubbling and encourage them to shorten the process? I’m happy to report that all three of my kids are Jubbling their showers by rinsing and then scrubbing up with the water off, followed with a final rinse and then they’re out.

Now is a great time to help them develop good habits and in my case, it may be the only wisdom I have to impart. Oh, except the “if it’s brown flush it down; if it’s yellow, leave it mellow.” I guess they’ve learned three things from me.


McMansion My Ass! Teenager Building His Own Transportable 130 Sq. Ft. Home

[youtube width=”425″ height=”239″][/youtube]Sixteen year old Austin Hay of Santa Rosa California is much smarter than the rest of us. While we slave away trying to make our mortgage payments and live to our means, he’s looking at his future and building a 130 sq ft transportable home that he hopes to take to college and beyond. Notice in the video where he takes pride is the amount of waste he is not creating and it’s even better to hear him explain why he doesn’t need a larger space – “I don’t think bigger is better…too many chores.”


Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Wants To Help You Reduce Standby Power and Vampire Draw

Lawrence Berkeley National Labs Standby Power and Vampire Draw DataLawrence Berkeley National Laboratories resource for calculating standby power and vampire draw is not new but the information never gets old. Standby power is the power consumed by an appliance when it is turned off and vampire draw refers to charged devices, like cellphones, that continue to consume electricity when fully charged. It’s amazing how much energy is consumed by all of the devices in our homes that are not in use. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory offers clues to easily identify those items:

  • Includes remote control
  • Has external power supply
  • Digital display, LED status light, or digital clock
  • Contains a battery charger
  • Has soft-touch key-pad

According to LBNL’s FAQ, standby power and vampire draw accounts for 5 – 10% of the electricity we consume. They also point out that with some changes, this could be reduced by 75% .

I’d swear the set-top box DVR for cable tv and satellite was developed by electric companies; it’s the only device I found in the list that consumes nearly as much electricity OFF as it does ON. One of the easy solutions suggested for reducing standby power and vampire draw is the use of power strips because they allow you to disconnect multiple devices at one time.

You probably do not have to get all freakish about reducing standby power and vampire draw; that would be my tendency. So we will re-post this article every 6 months and hopefully each time, you’ll find one area that you can make a change and reduce your consumption.