Friday, May 25, 2007

90%? Can We Do It?

Okay, probably a few of you are aware of some of the various challenges going on in the world of eco-blogging. There is a man attempting to have a net zero impact on the world and a group of people planning a low impact week. There are Compacters, Freegans, and Localvores. There are those that report fantastically on peak oil and global warming. Plus there are many, many people out there, just like me, trying to live a simpler, lower impact life and taking the time to write about it.

One group is currently embarking on a project to reduce consumption to 90% of the American average. This includes Sharon over at Casaubon's Book, and Miranda at Simple Reduce (link is to 90% rules). They've titled this project a Riot for Austerity. Sure, it sounds tough, perhaps even impossible for some of us depending on where we live on where we work. That's why it is a challenge.

I wanted to pass up the challenge at first. I looked at the electrical usage goals and figured out that we'd never make it, even if we left the A/C off completely during our summer of mostly 100+ degree days. I figured we could meet the natural gas usage by conserving heavily in the warmer months so we could run the heat just a bit in the winter. I wasn't sure we'd even have a shot at reducing water consumption, not if we're attempting to grow our own food and have to irrigate to do it.

Still, the point of a challenge is that fact that it is well, challenging. So I am jumping in, feet first. I'm looking at everything I do now and taking it to the next level. I'm making hard choices, and I'm going to document that right here in the blog.

The official start date is June 1st. I may wait until the solstice to join. I have a few catch 22s to figure out; if I spend to reduce emissions then I am spending, which is another category. So what is necessary now, and what can wait?

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