Riot for Austerity – Month 13

Riot for Austerity fist with Thermometer

We entered the second year of the Riot. I’ll keep last year’s averages (calculated here) visible as a baseline. In case you’re wondering, I use this calculator.

Gasoline. I added DH’s miles on public transportation (shuttle), which I neglected to do last year. This was an exceptional month, as we made a round-way car trip to NYC and one to Hanover, NH, as well as a couple unavoidable ones into town.

19.44 gallons pp in own cars +  45.33 miles pp on public transport

=  48 % of the US National Average

(Last year’s yearly average: 24.8%)

Electricity. Aargh, we left our coffee machine on for an entire weekend while we were away! We’re also occasionally using our small electric heater to warm up the bathroom for a bath or shower. Either way, all that didn’t make much of a difference in our wind-powered electricity consumption:

363 KWH (all wind) = 10% of the US National Average

(Last year’s early average: 18.2%)

Heating Oil and Warm Water. Most was for hot water. On those days when the day-time thermostat dipped below 58 F, we were on top of it with the wood stove. November has been so warm, in the 40’s during the day and at night around (mostly above) the freezing point. At night it’s been below 55 F inside only once, necessitating the furnace. For wood we’ve only used up one ring so far, which we calculated at 1/8 of a cord. But I won’t count it yet until we’ve reached that cord.

14.45 gallons = 23% of the US National Average

(Last year’s yearly average: 77%)

Trash. Our weigh-in of our trash for the 3 of us for 1 month was very low, thanks to watching the packaging of what we buy, not buying anything at all, and reusing anything that can be put into an arts and crafts project:

3 lbs = 3% of the US National Average

(Last year’s yearly average: 7.3%)

Water. We’ve put the rain barrels out of commission in anticipation of the freeze (that hasn’t come yet), and are flushing (selectively) with tap water again. Winter with its many and bulky layers also makes for more loads of laundry (though we’re careful: I do about three loads a week, at most). How to bring this down even more?! Any rain water flushing systems will have to wait till Spring…

444 gallons of water pp = 15% of the US National Average

(Last year’s yearly average: 16.5%)

Consumer Goods. This was an exceptionally expensive month. Several things needed replacing. The dryer that came with the house is about 20 years old and very slow and energy-consuming. I don’t worry about it in Summer because I line dry, but In Winter and Spring we can’t hang our laundry outside because of 1) rain and 2) wood smoke from our neighbor’s when the wind is wrong. I am line drying in our basement again, but we need the dryer for smaller garments, for quick drying, and for when we have a big load. So we bit that bullet and got an energy efficient but not too expensive new one. The old one we’re keeping – could we use that motor for a pottery wheel? – and we’ll be reusing the box for sheet mulch. We also bought a new winter jacket for DH, winter boots for Amie and Mama, and hats and socks. All that makes more or less for:

$600= 73% of the US National Average

(Last year’s yearly average: 27.2%)

Food. Our food consumption is steadily shifting to bulk, and I’m succeeding more and more in buying the “wet” foods like dairy and vegetables in the local category. It hurts to have to buy the staples we had counted on from the garden, like potatoes and onions, but there you have it. We’re hardly eating meat anymore, and we eat more (local) eggs. Our Winter Harvest is coming along well, thanks to the clement weather.

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1 Comment

  1. I imagine as you look back over the 13 months you’ve been keeping them, these posts are a record of your journey to a more self-sustaining lifestyle.

    I am interested in your wind power for electricity. Is it from a community source?

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