Week 11

Gasoline: I haven’t taken any motorized transportation for the month of August so far! That will change tomorrow, but it’ll be carpooling a fairly short distance.

Electricity: This month’s electric bill was very slightly down from last month’s. It may not actually be significant, because there was one day less of billing cycle, but it at least means that we’re holding steady. Until our landlord gets around to installing the new dimmer switch, there’s not a lot of non-drastic things we can do at this point. But in January we’ll have wind power! For three extra cents per KwH.

Heating Oil: Our heating oil tank is down to less than 1/8, so we’ll get another tank soon. I’m mainly mentioning it because soon we’ll be able to start timing how long we take to get through a tank since starting the project.

Water: I think it’s been about normal. We actually had to water the garden using non-reused water yesterday, since the basil looked so sad. I now have another clean glass quart jar to use for collecting valuable nitrogen-rich fertilizer.

Food: Mmmm….tomatoes. I haven’t been very good about following through on my resolution to stop eating the packaged nuts and things, and I actually had a Snicker’s bar for lunch last week because I didn’t feel like walking home in the pouring rain. Meh. But overall, things are at their normal level of summery wonderfulness. We had excellent stuffed tomatoes on Tuesday, and some tasty chard last night.

Consumer Goods: Still not buying much. If you take out the large purchases which were made solely for the purpose of the reduction project, I think I’m not that far from being on-target. I’m getting more used to automatically looking for used things first, and not compulsively going into stores just because they’re on the way and “we might need something”.

Trash: I cleared out some papers resulting in a huge pile of recyclables, but in terms of actual trash, it was way down from last week. There are about six things in the trashcan right now :-)

On Tuesday we finally checked out one of our local ice cream parlors. It was a stereotypical American independant ice cream place, in the best possible way. And had *utterly fabulous* ginger ice cream. The only problem was that what they called a “small”, I would have called a “large”, but this just means that next time we’ll agree on a flavor and split one. We watched a beautiful sunset over the Charles on the way to ice cream, then sat by the river in the twilight.

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