Riot for Austerity Month 3: An Average Winter Month

Riot for Austerity fist with Thermometer

Gasoline: 25%

After our road trip splurge last month, we did better this month: we used 31.1 gallons between the three of us, which makes for 25% of the US national average, but more than our first month Rioting (19%). The reason was the schedule changes that necessitated DH to take the car into school several times, instead of his shuttle.

I can’t wait until it’s warm enough to bike!

Electricity: 37%

We used 332 KWh last month. That’s 37% of the US national average and a little less than last month.

I found out from our electricity provider that we can switch to either a 100% or 50% wind power electricity, for just an additional 1.396 / 0.837 cents per KWh. We switched, of course, to 100%. I typed 332 KWh into the Riot Calculator and it returned 9% of the national average! That’ll take care of our electricity, then! Who knew it was that easy, and that cheap?

Heating Oil and Warm Water: 159% !!!

Our furnace ran for 115 hours, which translates into 97.75 gallons of oil, or 159% of the national average.

My remarks here are the same as last month. It has been even colder than last month, we have a super-efficient boiler, and the house is fully insulated. We take short showers (cf. water usage). We’re still saving up for a super-efficient wood stove, but until then…

Garbage: 10%

This stays the same, if it doesn’t get better. We make the reduction of 10% easily.

Water: 14%

We used 173 cubic fee, the three of us. That’s 14% of the US national average. That’s just a little bit more than last month, and I had expected it to be worse.

Consumer Goods: 16%

We spent money mainly on our germination and seedling “chamber” ($200), seeds for the birds ($12) and sand for the icy driveway ($18). As the first is an investment into our garden and thus our more sustainable future, I’m going to leave that off the tab. Last month, then, we spent 16% of the US national average. That was a good month.

Food: Spent too much

I stopped calculating the merit of our food purchases last month. I find it impossible. But let’s just say it’s miserable with regard to the distribution between locally grown, dry bulk and wet, conventionally grown food. But last month was bad also with regard to what it simply cost us! We entertained quite a bit, and our vigilance when shopping at Whole Foods has slacked.  Why are organic milk and cheese so expensive?!

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