What gets measured, gets managed. This is the only way I know how to bring about real, lasting personal transformation, by tracking what I’m doing and how it is affecting the results I’m getting. This is how I paid off debt and lost weight. Data and spreadsheets.
Since we moved into the Bunch House in March, we’ve been taking conscious steps to manage our environmental impact. We’ve reduced our household trash production to one small bag, maybe 4lbs or so per week for two people. We joined a CSA, started line drying our clothes, composting and started avoiding plastic as much as possible. We still have lot of improvements left to make, but I finally feel like we’ve gotten to a place where our momentum will allow us to make bigger changes.
In the last few weeks, I’ve also been obsessed with carbon emissions calculators. Turns out our biggest battles are still ahead of us. Sure we drive small cars with great fuel economy, but we drive a lot. Our diets could also use some work. Even though we only eat processed foods occasionally and avoid packaging as much as possible, eating a low carb diet means we eat a lot of meat and dairy. So I’ll be working on those next.
But today, I did make two impactful changes. We are now paying to offset our household carbon emissions. Since I’ve been using various calculators and getting quotes from different places, I think it’s difficult to get an exact number, so I overestimated and rounded up in a lot of categories to compensate for emissions that are being overlooked. The total came out to be $30 per month for our household.
I thought this was the best way to compensate for some of the damage that I don’t have a lot of control over. For instance, I’d love to put some solar panels on our house, but we’re renters, so that’s not an option.
Then a few hours after signing up to offset emmissions, I learned that Edison has a green energy option so all of the energy that powers are house will come from renewable sources. I signed up for that too. It costs about 3.5 cents more per kilowatt. Since we moved to our new home in March we’ve consumed about 870 kilowatts of energy, so switching to green energy will cost us 30% more. I know that sounds like a lot, but it’s less than $4 per month. I think we can afford that.
So as of this morning 100% of the Bunch House’s energy comes from renewable sources and our household is now carbon neutral. I haven’t felt this optimistic in a while.