Monday, March 28, 2011

Ready for another eco-mami challenge?

Earth day will be upon us soon and I will begin my 30 days of eco-tips on the eco-mami Facebook page again.  So I decided to start this upcoming month of posts with a more elaborate description of eco-tip #1:
Go energy-free for a whole day.  Saturday was Earth Hour, an event started by the WWF in 2007, that encouraged people to turn off their lights and electronics for 1 hour starting at 8:30 pm.  This is an expansion of that.  I know this seems like an impossible challenge in these technological times but it can be done.  Of course, keep your fridge on, but there are more ways to do this without putting a complete cramp on your day.

1.  Go TV-free for 24 hrs:  This includes video games & DVD players.  Find other things to do with the kids and with your loved ones, such as board games, cards, or going outside.  Keep your DVR on record to catch your favorite shows but catch up on them another day.

2.  Turn off the AC/Heat:  With the mild spring weather, you won't even notice it's off.  Just open some windows to bring in some fresh air (after it's stopped snowing, of course).

3.  Give your kitchen a break:  Eat cold foods (like sandwiches or salads), eat out, or grill out.  That way you don't have to use the stove, oven or microwave to make your meals.

4.  Leave the dishwasher/washer/dryer off for a day.  Handwash or just leave it til the next day.

5.  Go gadget-free for 24 hrs:  If you need a laptop for work, wait for the weekend for this 24 hr electricity-free day.  Use your cell phone only to make phone calls.  And go off Facebook for 24 hrs.  I particularly know how hard this will be, but the less we use our gadgets, the less we have to charge them and the more energy we save.

6.  Turn off the lights:  Have a candlelight dinner.  The kids will love this (if they're still awake at that hour) and couples will enjoy it even more.  

If you are successful, why not try it once a week?  What will you get out of it?

  • It'll be fun for kids, once they've stopped whining
  • Great bonding time for families and friends
  • Maybe it'll spark more romance with your special someone (candles set the mood, after all)
  • It'll save you some money on your bills
  • You'll save energy, which reduces the need for oil, which reduces the pollution, which reduces the wars, which reduces... you get the picture
So, pick a beautiful day to go energy-free.  What do you have to lose?


  1. But, Corina, if you eat out, you are still using electricity to cook your meal, just not in your house! I support the 'eating cold'. Also, cook in large batches and then put things in the fridge. The electricity usage will be the same, but then you just pull the meals out of the fridge as you need them and you will spend less hour cooking per day :)

  2. I thought of that too, but unless the restaurants are going to go electricity-free for a day, they'll be open for business anyway. That's just like my tip to go to the library or any other place that provides AC in the summer heat, just so you don't have to use yours so much or even turn yours off. They'll still be providing AC no matter if you go there or not, and the restaurants will still be cooking for people, whether or not you eat there.

    I like your tip about cooking in large batches though. I'd like to try freezing meals so I have stuff to make in advance. If you have any good recipes, I'd love to try them.

    Thanks for reading!!