Last week, I introduced you to the Sylvania Earth Day Challenge, 40 for the Future. If you haven’t yet, head over to the challenge website and take a look at the small changes we can all make that will save up to 40 million Kwh of energy between now and Earth Day. Then make your pledge! And if you can believe it, so many people have pledged to make changes that we’ve already hit more than 400,000,000 Kwh saved, blowing the original goal out of the water! In other words, even if only 10% of those people who pledged actually make the changes, we’ll still reach the goal. It’s really eye-opening how small, simple changes can have such a tremendous impact!
The Energy Gauntlet
Last week, I challenged myself and all of you to go around your home and do a room by room assessment. How many items do you leave plugged in all the time? What do you leave turned on that you could easily turn off or unplug? This week, I’ll let you know where I’ve improved from last week, and show you were I still have room to improve. I’d love for you to do the same in the comments section! Then every week, we’ll check in again to see if and how we have improved. Since noone participated in the Energy Gauntlet last week, I’m sweetening the pot. Scroll down to find out what you could win in this giveaway! Every reader who participates will get an entry to win for each week that you comment.
Here’s the current state of things at my house. Keep in mind that we’re moving this week, so technically, everything is unplugged right now, but this is where I was this past weekend before we packed up the last of everything:
- Lamp (main light source)
- Cordless phone (needs to go, since we never use it)
NOTE: Our TV, Wii, DVD player are all plugged into a smart strip. What this means is that whenever we turn the TV off, that automatically cuts power to all the peripherals and shuts off the power strip. I unplugged the laptop charger and only plug it in when in use.
- Cordless vacuum charger (what can I say? We have to clean up as we move)
- LED night light
- Washer & Dryer
- iPod speakers & dock
- PC desktop tower & monitor
- Mac desktop
- External hard drive
- Cordless phone
We unplugged all the items we weren’t using regularly, but we’ll also plug the computers in to smart strips once we’re in our new place. We also need to be more consistent about turning the computers off at night. After all, the smart strip will only be useful if we actually turn the control machines off.
- Playstation (used as a DVD player)
- Lamp (used regularly)
- 1 lamps
- Alarm clock
- Husband’s cell phone charger
Sooo…we’ve made some changes, but still have a ways to go. We’ll be better able to control a lot of this after we move and reassess all our electronics. Next Wednesday, I’ll check in with you and let you know how we’re doing, and I can’t wait to see what improvements you’ve made! The final check-in will be on Wednesday, April 21. I hope a lot of you will choose to join me on this journey!
Since not a single reader participated last week (boo hoo!), I have sweetened the giveaway pot! Ready to find out what you can win? An awesome green home prize package! The winner will receive:
- ActiveIon Pro: This is an awesome little machine that allows you to clean and sanitize your home with nothing but cold tap water. I’m not kidding. I was skeptical of this description at first too, but I have been using my own ActiveIon Pro for months, and I love it! It’s a funny-looking piece of machinery, but I use it to clean my kitchen counters and stove, and even splatter from the walls. It’s great for hard surfaces in the bathroom as well. So how exactly does it work? It’s a tough process to explain, but basically, the ActiveIon ionizes the water, which allows you to clean and sanitize without any cleaning products. Bill Nye the Science guy can explain it better than I can. It doesn’t get much greener than cleaning with just water! You can read more about it here. Value: $299!
- A smart strip: These power strips come with a control jack. You can plug your TV, computer, or any other major appliance into this port. Then when you turn off said appliance, it will cut power to the entire strip, simultaneously turning off anything else that’s plugged into it and reducing your use of ghost power. This is particularly useful when you have lots of peripherals like DVD players, video game consoles, printers, etc. Note: The image above is an example of the type of strip you will receive. The one you actually get may differ, but will serve exactly the same purpose. Value: $30
- Energy efficient light bulbs: You’ll receive two 2-packs of Sylvania’s brand new SUPERSAVER Halogen bulbs and two 2-packs of their Living Spaces CFLs
If that doesn’t give you a boost in making your home greener, I don’t know what will! And I may still add more to the prize package, so be sure to enter every week! The more people who participate, the more likely I’ll be to make the giveaway even bigger and better, and I’m even considering some stylish green decor items! For each week that you check in, you will receive an entry, for a maximum of 5 entries (since noone entered last week). For your entries to count, you must:
- Tell me what you did to participate in the Sylvania 40 for the Future Challenge (You only have to do this once. Subsequent entries can include just your list of the following:)
- List all the items in your home that are plugged in all the time, and show an effort to reduce your energy usage each week. In other words, the point is that you have fewer items plugged in during the last week than you did during the first week.
The giveaway entry period starts today and will continue through Wednesday, April 21 at 11:59 p.m. The winner, who will be randomly selected from all entries, will be announced on Earth Day, April 22. U.S. mailing addresses only!
I hope all of you are as excited about this as I am, because it really has the potential to improve the energy efficiency of all our homes. I can’t wait to read all your entries!
(sponsored opportunity): Full disclosure: I am being compensated by Sylvania for my time in participating in and promoting the 40 for the Future Challenge. And anyone who knows me knows that I wouldn’t participate if I didn’t believe it was truly an opportunity to make a difference, however small.