In a nutshell, we consumed less of some things and more of others compared to 2006. I had hoped to make further reductions in every category, especially since we weren't even actively trying to reduce our consumption in some areas yet in 2006. Halfway through 2007 we joined the 'Riot' and really stepped up our efforts - at least I thought we did.
Here are the comparisons. The first number listed is the North American Monthly Average (NAMA) for a 2-person household, where applicable.
Electricity (lighting, cooking)
- NAMA: 916 kWh
- Our 2006 average: 316.7 kWH which equals 34.6% of the NAMA
- Our 2007 average: 327.58 kWh which equals 35.8 of the NAMA. We subscribe to Bullfrog Power, which is 100% wind power. According to Riot rules, we get a 4:1 credit for wind power, so we do actually meet the 90% reduction target in this category. But it would be nice to reduce the actual kWhs, nonetheless.
- NAMA: 106 gJ
- Our 2006 average: 8.93 gJ which equals 8.4% of the NAMA - 90% reduction goal met
- Our 2007 average: 9.29 gJ which equals 8.8% of the NAMA - 90% reduction still met, but it's close.
- NAMA: 6000 gallons
- Our 2006 average: 1600 gallons which equals 26.7% of the NAMA
- Our 2007 average: 1416.67 gallons which equals 23.6% of the NAMA - a bit lower, so this is good. Using the shower/tap grey water for flushing the toilet seems to be helping.
- NAMA: 270 lbs
- Our 2006 average: 15.125 lbs which equals 5.6% of the NAMA - 90% reduction goal met
- Our 2007 average: 67.41 lbs, which equals 25% of the NAMA - this is a big jump but I know why it went up so much: we took some things to the landfill for some people who would otherwise have had to pay to put in in their city landfill. The good news is that we salvaged quite a lot of what had been originally slated for the landfill and we are using that stuff ourselves around the house and yard/garden.
- NAMA: 316 litres
- Our 2006 average: 308.58 litres which equals 97.7% of the NAMA. This is our Achilles heel - we live in the country and drive to the city for work. One vehicle is a diesel and logs about 600 kms per week. The other vehicle is gasoline powered and logs about 250 - 300 kms a week.
- Our 2007 average: I only have the figures for my diesel car so far, and we seem to be headed for about the same level of consumption as 2006. The good news is that the second vehicle is now a smaller car instead of a pick up truck, presumably with better mileage, so our 2008 numbers should be lower. But until we move closer to work, or find some way to work fewer days a week, this number will remain too high.
- NAMA: $1667 (US or CDN, they're at par with each other these days)
- Our 2006 average: $1019.51 which equals 61.2% of the NAMA
- Our 2007 average: $1010.63 which equals 60.6% of the NAMA - virtually identical. We have started changing what we spend money on more so than how much we spend, as we slowly acquire things like gardening tools, some hand-crank lamps, some good kitchen knives and other things on our list of things to prepare for a self-sustaining lifestyle. This number could well go up, as we invest in rain-collecting equipment, and maybe dig a well.
- I didn't keep very good track of our proportion of bulk, locally grown, organic foods vs. long-distance/non-organic food consumption, but I do know the former increased, since we had a little garden in 2007 and went to the farmer's market almost every week for fresh produce. I doubt I'll keep good numbers on this actually, we're just steadily working on eating more and more locally as time goes by.
So there it is - we've done alright in some areas and not great in others, although we are at least below average in every category. And I'll try and post these numbers monthly from now on!