A few weeks ago, 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! If all of us work together, we can put a big dent in our monthly energy usage. It’s really eye-opening how small, simple changes can have such a tremendous impact!
The Energy Gauntlet
I have 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. Last week, several people participated in the Energy Gauntlet, but I’d love to hear from more of you! 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. We moved last week, but thanks to a weekend of frenetic unpacking, we literally have only a few left to unpack. BUT, because I still don’t have internet or cable at home, that means a few more things may be plugged in once it is installed, like the modem and cable boxes, as well as a second computer. But for the most part, things are back to normal already, and I’m really thankful for that. So here’s the list:
- Lamp (main light source)
- NOTE: Our TV, Wii, and 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.
- Washer & Dryer
- Microwave (built-in)
- Mac desktop
- External hard drive
NOTE: They are both plugged in to a surge protector, which we have begun turning off at night. Now we just have to keep that up…
- Lamp (main light source)
- LED Nightlight
- TV & DVD player
- 2 lamps (main light source)
We’re getting there! I still want to get smart strips for the bedrooms, since the TVs are plugged directly into the wall outlets. That will essentially cut us back to having only light sources plugged in. 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!
Ready to find out what you can win if you participate in the Green Your Decor Energy Gauntlet? 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 during the first 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.