Wednesday, April 29, 2009

orange you beautiful

orange you beautiful, originally uploaded by seawallrunner.

Tucked in the back of this 40 acre field was this row of glorious tulips.

The field may appear empty of people, but this is the area that was the most crowded with photographers - everyone so very polite too!

These tulips were just resplendent - bursting with life and with colour. This bunch was also the tallest in the field, and given the tulips' ripeness I know they will be the first to be cut.

I got them right in time!

tulips - seabird island

tulips - seabird island, originally uploaded by seawallrunner.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day!, originally uploaded by seawallrunner.

It happened without much premeditation.

Last year in late March I took some night time photos of Vancouver - prior to Earth Hour, and on Earth Hour. I was pleased to see that many participated in that one-hour event, but there was a lot more conservation that could be done - during that one hour, and on that day.

Every day in fact.

That small exercise got me thinking. How could I conserve energy by taking small little steps to change my behavior?

I set a modest goal to conserve 5% of my energy usage over the course of the following 12 months. I examined the graph charting my previous year's energy usage, and saw an opportunity for conservation in the winter months - when my energy usage typically peaks. There are many ways to track progress - I chose to do so directly on my online account with BC Hydro, and by joining Team Power Smart

A year later I am rather surprised to see the results of my effort: I saved 50% of my energy usage by making small conscious changes:

- turning off the lights when I leave a room

- turning off the computer at the end of the day

- heating only the room that I am in, in the winter; and turning off the thermostat at night.

That was all I did.

On average this year, I used 5 KWh of energy a day, except in the winter when my usage bumped up to 7kWh a day. My monthly hydro electricity bills averaged about $15, about $20 in the winter. I only use electricity to heat my home..

I saved about $150 this past year on my hydro bills. What will I do with all this money? I am donating it to Covenant House (two blocks down the street from my home), a safe harbour for street kids living in Vancouver - there they can find a hot meal and a safe place to sleep.

Today, on Earth Day, I rejoice in the result that one year's of simple effort has brought. I am signing up for an additional year with Team Power Smart, with a goal of saving 10% over this previous year.

It should not be too hard to find an additional half a kWh or so to conserve every day.