Saturday, 18 June 2011

Energy Conservation

My doctor's told me I've been doing too much and need to rest more. I have to go back to some of the things I was doing to save energy when I was really sick.

Here are my top 20 (personal) energy conservation tips:
Unfortunately some of them increase living expenses - but sometimes it's necessary to face the extra financial cost.

1. Hire a cleaner to do the heavy work (like vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom, etc).
2. Hire someone to mow the lawn.
3. Don't hang clothes outside - stuff that can hang up easily on hangers, hang in the laundry near the washing machine, big things like towels and sheets just go through the dryer. (Bonus points: hanging clothes on hangers means they're easier to iron and some don't need ironing at all.)
4. Shop online where possible. It involves a delivery fee for on-line supermarkets, but it means less time on your feet in the aisles.  (I actually find I save money this way, despite the delivery fee, because I only order what's on my grocery list, I'm not seeing other things on the shelves and thinking "oh we might want that").
5. Delegate. The kids can wash the dog, and teenagers can learn to wash their own clothes if no-one else does it for them.
6. Where possible, buy clothes that don't need ironing.
7. Exercise: gentle yoga or similar at home can help keep joints moving, without the effort and cost of driving or walking to a gym.
8. If someone else is going to the same place, ask them to drive. (Even if they drive your car.) Only drive when you absolutely must.
9. Cook extra: when you cook, double the recipe, and put extra serves in the fridge or freezer. It takes less effort to cook more at the same time, than to cook the same thing twice.
10: Double-up. If you must go to a shopping centre, go to one that has a carwash, and book the car in for cleaning at the same time. Two things done in the one trip, with no extra effort.
11. Get a hairstyle that doesn't take work. Wash it and wear it. Don't blow-dry, style, straighten or curl.
12. Sort medications into a dispenser once per week, rather than daily.
13. Give benches, stovetops, etc a quick wipe over while doing the dishes - to keep everything relatively clean between visits from the cleaner.
14. If there's a gadget or electrical device that can do the job, use that instead of doing it manually. (Use electric beaters instead of a whisk, a mixer with a dough hook instead of kneading dough. If you are fortunate enough to have a dishwasher - use it - I certainly would if I had one.)
15. Ask for help. This is one I find hard to do, even though I often need help. People are frequently more helpful than we expect if we ask. This morning, I bought meat in bulk (cheaper, and cuts the number of times I have to go to
 the butcher), and the butcher carried my purchases to the car for me.
16. Learn not to see the dust, stuff not put away, etc.
17. De-clutter, give things to Lifeline. The less stuff you have, the less you have to take care of.
18. Have friends come for coffee, instead of going out to meet them.
19. Do whatever it takes to have good-quality sleep, put the airconditioner on full blast, whatever.
20. Accept that not everything's going to get done.

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