Sunday, March 30, 2008

Earth Hour and Hot Water

We observed Earth Hour last night in our time zone. I'm a bit conflicted about it, however, because we spent it sitting outside in the hot tub, which is probably the biggest energy-sucker in our household. We heat with wood, have an on-demand water heater, hand wash dishes, often hang laundry on the clothesline, and have switched just about all the lights over to compact fluorescent bulbs. I even have the computer and auxiliaries plugged into a master switch surge protector (not the television, though - should look into that).

The hot tub is on an economy cycle and the heat is turned down until we want to use it, but the filtering system runs three hours morning and night. Shutting it off for the night wouldn't be an option - our nighttime temps have been too close to freezing to tempt the possibility of major repairs. I even thought about changing the cycle time to run from 5 until 8 pm instead of the 7 to 10 normal setting. That would have put our household down to practically no energy consumption for Earth Hour itself, but then the hot tub would have to run even more in the morning to get it back on a schedule compatible with when we like to use it. I have to admit, it was an easier sell to Aries to get him to turn off the TV. Asking him to join me in the hot tub was a lot more enticing compared to merely explaining that I wanted him to spend an hour sitting around in the dark to make a lifestyle statement.

So we sat in the hot water outside our dark house, and watched the bright neon lights blink on the multi-plex theater two blocks away and the bright reader board flash for the casino below. A few of the houses across the valley might have gone dark, but we really didn't notice any difference. Judging from the glow in the sky to the north, Reno wasn't dimming any lights either. Oh well, it usually takes Nevada a few years (or decades) to catch up to the rest of the world, anyway.


frogtailrae said...

At least you did it! (we didn't)

rhonda jean said...

I agree, at least you did it.
I love the way you write. I'm currently, slowly, reading all your entries. I'm going to let my readers know you're here. :- )