Weekly update

This has been a pretty good week. In terms of non-Riot stuff, a really great week. I still tend to be good at the big things and then slip up on details. For the most part, we’re doing wonderfully on food, but then I’ll buy a cookie at the coffee shop during class, or drink soda at a party because I forgot my water bottle (I should note that I don’t even actually like soda), or throw something away because I’m too lazy to go find the compost bucket. Meh. I suppose that’s significantly better than being fanatic about little things and then driving an SUV or something, but it still indicates that I could do better on the mindfulness-meter.

Electricity: We finally got the bill sorted out and have a new account now. The new account is annoying, because now I don’t have the last year’s worth of usage in the same place. Combining the two partial bills, our usage appears to have gone up significantly; we’re at almost 200kwh for the past month. I’ll see what happens next month and then try to figure out what’s going on if it’s still high. Maybe we ran the dishwasher more often? Or the neighbors dried more laundry? The drier is such a convenient thing to blame it on ;-)

Transit: I took the bus to Newton three times this week (and back twice; carpooled the third time), in addition to one trip in to class. That was just a combination of things all happening on the same week; I’m fine with it. It’s a lovely walk, but not when it’s 12 degrees out, dark, and snowing.

Water: This weekend we used much more water than usual due to having the Very Un-Kosher Deep-Fried Chanukkah Party(TM). Only, it wasn’t actually very un-kosher because people were full before we got to the squid. Anyway, it involved lots of washing of vegetables and dishes and the kitchen. Otherwise, we’re doing fine.

Food: When cooking at home, we’re close to the 90% mark — we’re still going through the last of the King Arthur flour, but then most of the starch staples will be local. We’ve even barely touched the frozen and canned stuff. I did open a jar of the peach-crabapple spread and we had it on crepes for breakfast today and…yum. And I hadn’t realized that this Friday was going to be a potluck, so I forgot to do a Dark Days Eat Local meal. The thing we brought was a lovely local sauteed carrot dish. And most of the stuff for the party yesterday was local, just not enough to qualify for the challange. Oh well.

And still no worm bin! The bait shop remains closed! I’m not sure if I can mail-order them at this point without them freezing. Maybe Craigslist or Freecycle?

Heat: We appear to have used about 30 gallons of oil since winter started, and about 90 gallons total. So currently we’re at 12% of US average, but that’s rising rapidly. If we keep using heating oil at this rate, and assume that we’ll be heating through March, that puts us on target to use 150 gallons over the winter. That plus a bit to account for things getting colder, plus the 60 gallons used before the winter, should keep me under my personal goal of using no more than 1 tank of oil (half of what we used last year). Excellent. This will be one category that’s going to look pathetic next to the others no matter what we do, but that’s ok. We appear to need to use more oil than Riot targets just for hot water (not turn-off-able) and to keep the pipes from freezing.

Trash: We produced quite a bit for the party, but mostly in the form of paper plates and cups that had been lying around anyway. We’re still under Riot goals, I assume.

Consumer Goods: I bought my happy flannel pajamas with feet ($40), and a big stack of blankets and children’s books from the thrift store (about $30, discounted to $3).


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