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I shower in the morning and it is fast. Our water is heated by a fairly efficient electric boiler in the cellar set at about 60 C. In my opinion it could be set lower - but there is a young kid upstairs. Laundry goes into a modern small washing machine set on the shortest setting at 40 C. Bed linen goes to a service. I have a half-size dish washer. I have no microwave and no oven. But I love cooking and make food from scratch every day.
All this is fairly reasonable, though the sauna is an expensive luxury. Then it gets more damning....
I have a small leased car, and, living in the countryside, would find it hard to survive without it, in my business. I live about 35 kms from Helsinki and often take the bus or train (leaving the car in the carpark) - but only if I have just one or two places to visit and no equipment to cargo. I go into town to work maybe once or twice a week, and very very rarely for recreation.
But then we have the equipment - and the only thing I can say in my defence, is that I work mostly at home and I would find it hard to continue to do what I do without the technology. There's some powerful computers, about a m2 of LCD screens, 2 DVDs, a VHS, a rather heavy sound system (c'mon - I was a record producer once), printers, and a UPS. Most of it is on all day, because I work all day and often through the evening. But, I admit, there is room for savings.
We do have a large compost which is used religiously April - October and I recycle everything (easy to do in Finland). We grow herbs only in the garden, but I wouldn't mind extending that to some non-staples. During the summer I buy quite a lot of local produce.
I do not have a newspaper, nor do I buy any magazines. But I do buy books. I am possibly the worst consumer in our village - the only toy I have is a PS2, now in a cupboard, from when the girls were younger. I rarely buy clothes - but when I do, I go for quality = durability. I do enjoy good wine and other natural substance abuse - the latter from local growers.
The last few years I have severely cut back on flying (mainly due to a change in the business i do), and make maybe one or two personal flights a year, and perhaps only 5 business flights. The rest is by ship to Sweden, or by train, bus or car within Finland.
Compared with most Finns, I have a small footprint (I believe). But that doesn't excuse anything. I sure use a lot of electricity. I've done the obvious things of switching to CF lighting, and must start killing power whenever possible - so what is the next step?
I think the next step is to use what I know - my trade - to try to persuade others that there are simple 'baby steps' by which we, as a society, could save 10 - 20% of our energy consumption by thoughtfulness. At least it would be a start, and I wouldn't have to grow vegetables or become one. To this end, TGB and I continue to work on a TV format that might make some small contribution.
We will report on progress in due course - probably sometime in August.
Well that was good to get off my chest ;-)
You can't be me, I'm taken
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