Are Our Energy Habits Sustainable?

We switch off the lights, turn up the thermostat, make improvements to our house,  recycle like crazy, but are our habits getting worse?

An article in the March 1,2010 article of Time, Less is Actually More, by Bryan Walsh contends that
Thermostatjust like someone who binges on diet food (thinking it has fewer calories, they eat more of it, thus negating the benefit), those of us who try to reduce our energy use sometimes get complacent.  The theory goes like this: you check your electric bill and see that you are using fewer kilowatts than this time last year.  The next time you walk by the kitchen and notice the blazing lights, you think,' gosh we have been doing so, well, what would it hurt to leave them on for now? I will be back in 15 minutes.' And the energy reduction 'backlash' begins.

I can see evidence of this in my own household. We have made some big changes: turning down the thermostat, switching off lights, added insulation in the attic and garage, new windows, plenty of blankets and sweatshirts easily accessible.  As a result, I have seen definite improvements in our energy use.  Of course, now that I have shared that success with my family, I have noticed that they have been more casual about switching off the lights.  Even I have 'bumped up' the thermostat  on occasion (and I am the Energy-Enforcer).

This article was a great reminder that these changes and behavior modifications need to become lifestyle changes.  Just like dieting, don't cut back so severely that the change is not sustainable over the long-term. Smart choices, small changes and an awareness of energy use is what we all need to continue our steady improvements in reducing our carbon footprint--and an awareness of how easy it is to back-slide!


If you like what you've read, please consider subscribing to my blog by clicking on the Orange RSS button and following the instructions. Thanks!

 Momentum Realty

A GREAT Real Estate  experience.

If I can help you, your friends or family buy or sell their next home in Northern Virginia, please let me know!

If you need help with a home outside of Northern Virginia, I have an extensive network of referral agents and will make sure you are working with the best!

The contents of this blog may not be copied or reproduced without the permission of Holly Weatherwax.




Comment balloon 6 commentsHolly Weatherwax • February 23 2010 11:30AM
Are Our Energy Habits Sustainable?
We switch off the lights, turn up the thermostat, make improvements to our house, recycle like crazy, but are our habits getting worse? An article in the March 1, 2010 article of Time, Less is Actually More by Bryan Walsh contends that just like… more
Is Your (Lovely) Wallpaper Costing You a Sale?
One of the hardest conversations I have with clients, and potential clients, is that they need to remove the wallpaper prior to listing their homes (and yes, borders count). I know that your wallpaper is lovely and I can tell that is designer… more
What We Can (and Should) Learn From Toyota
Wow! What a come down for the company who has always been highest rated for quality. I do not intend to make light of the problems that plague Toyota vehicles. They are real and they need to be fixed. I am a long time Toyota owner and I have owned a… more
Did You Win the Virginia Lottery?
Today at 5:00pm is the last day that the winner of a $250, 000 Virginia Lottery can claim their winnings! Are you holding the lucky ticket? By State law, the winner has 180 days to come forward. The prizewinning Ticket was purchased on August… more
Loudoun Country Day School Open House: Sunday 2/21/10 from 4-5:30 p. m.
If you have been considering private school placement for your Pre-Kindergarten through 8th Grade student, plan to attend the Loudoun Country Day School open house this Sunday, February 21, 2010, from 4 to 5:30 p. m. Loudoun Country Day School… more
2009-10 Winter High School Sports Season Comes to an Untimely End!
As I sit here at my computer, we are going through our second Blizzard in a week here in the Washington D. C. Metro area. If you live out of the area, I apologize in advance if it seems like those of us who are living through this series of snow… more
What You Can Do To Prevent Snow Storms!
I am at the point where I just have to laugh with all the snow that we have had this year in Virginia--otherwise I would cry! The Washington D. C. metro area, which includes suburban Virginia and Maryland, usually gets a couple of light snows, but… more
Easy and Healthy(ish) Chicken Pot Pie
We have been snowed-in here in Virginia since Friday. For some reason, my nesting instincts are tied to snow storms and I have been cooking like a fiend (until today when we finished digging out and I stopped cooking). One of the things that… more
'Snowmageddon' Hits Virginia and Mid-Atlantic States
The sun is shining today, but the snow remains. I am trying to rally the troops to get out and continue the effort to move the very heavy snow off of our driveway and shovel out the car that did not fit in to the garage. In the meantime, here… more
Radon Resources for Homeowners, Buyers and Sellers
Thanks to John Thomas -- EcoBroker, MSEE, MBA Boulder CO for this excellent post. Radon Resources for Homeowners, Buyers and Sellers The EPA has declared January as National Radon Action Month The intent is to draw attention to the number… more