Monday, 15 October 2012

Purchasing Power

Merry meet everyone!

Well things are starting to form a routine here as my husband has started work, leaving me at home to run the house.  It's early days yet, but already we're making decisions that need to be balanced with my ecological sympathies.

First of all, I must admit I failed when it came to a car.  In the UK, I was planning to buy a hybrid hatchback, either a Honda Jazz or Toyota Yaris, but here in the US the rules seemed to get ignored.  Our hire car was a Ford something or other, basically a normal saloon car, and it was dwarfed by roughly 99% of the vehicles on the road.  Talk about making us feel insignificant! Anyway, we had certain criteria that needed to be fulfilled, most important of which was it needed to be big enough to fit the crate our beloved dog was being shipped in.  As a secondary priority, I wanted it to be big enough to be able to bug out with everything we'd need should we get orders to evacuate during hurricane season.  Now, I know that the chances of us getting caught up in a big one in the relatively short time we'll be here are fairly slim, but I'm not leaving anything to chance; if I'm having to rebuild my life out here I refuse to leave it behind in a natural disaster.  So we looked around several car lots, and found our budget wasn't going very far. This limited our choices, to be honest.  My man wanted an SUV, I heard his arguments (in disaster movies the hero always has a 4WD SUV - nobody will ever save the world from hurricanes/aliens/zombies in a sensible family car!) and agreed it was a fairly sensible option for the lifestyle we were thinking about. It turns out our choice from the rather limited options was a good one in terms of getting the dog back from New Orleans airport; his crate was rather large, to say the least.  Anyway, we can confirm our pooch has plenty of space to stretch out after a tiring walk :)

In other areas I was less guilty about the energy choices we'd made when buying replacement electrical items.  We decided to replace our television with one of the same brand and size, rather than going for a stupidly large screen.  We both really like Samsung tvs; the screen quality is excellent, the sound is quite crisp without feeling cold, and our LED tv uses roughly 44w and has been given an A grade for energy efficiency.  We also bought an LG sound bar, which gives fantastic sound quality and uses 30w.  We don't use it all the time, but we love our movies and it really enhances the viewing experience, and when on standby uses less that 0.5w. Which reminds me; the plug sockets out here don't have off switches.  They are on all the time so you have to actually pull the plug out the wall to save energy.

We haven't really bought anything else in the electrical department, so the majority of my energy saving will have to be done from a lifestyle point of view.  This includes making sure I do a full load of washing instead of half loads, though I can control how much water goes in to the drum, and finding a comfortable temperature on the air conditioning then seeing if I can turn it up one degree without it being noticeably warmer.  I'll keep the blinds down on the windows getting the most heat to reflect heat out and keep the room cooler, and make sure the doors and windows are kept closed to maintain a constant temperature and humidity level to reduce the number of times the air conditioner kicks in.  Watch this space to see how many other ways I can come up with over the next few months.

Blessed be )0(