I got thinking recently about the dumb little things I do that needlessly waste my resources (and consequently, money). None of these individually are a make or break move, but I bet you they add up to a pretty penny over time!
Putting Too Much Water in the Kettle
I want a cup of tea. It requires approximately 1 cup of water, plus a little extra for evaporation. What do I do? Fill my 2L kettle full and then heat the whole damn kettle. Why? God only knows.
To make it a 1-2 punch in the wasted electricity front, I frequently turn on the kettle to boil and forget about it while I do something else. It’s not a safety issue now that I have an automatic shut off, but it means by the time I remember that I put the water on to boil it isn’t steeping temperature anymore. So I boil it again. The whole 2L…
Use Too Much Laundry Detergent When I’m Tired
This one I’m guilty of when I get home from work at 3am and decide I’m going to try to sneak in a couple chores before going to bed. Usually when I do a load of laundry I fill the cap to that little hard to see 1 load line on the inside. When I’m tired the cap gets filled mostly full, wasting 1-2 loads worth of detergent. I only caught on to that recently.
Forget Laundry in the Washer and End Up Rewashing It
Again, also happens frequently when I’m tired. Put in the laundry, get distracted by something else, forget laundry… This results in me using another load worth of water and detergent. Just dumb.
Warming Up The Water
The water in the lines is pretty cold by first thing in the morning, and it takes a little bit of time for the hot water to make it up to the bathroom. My solution to this has been to turn the water on to a trickle while I’m, uh, doing my thing. By the time I’m done the water coming out of the tap is hot. It’s convenient, but it wastes hot water. It’s interesting though, the sound of the water coming out of the tap cold is different than the sound when the water is hot, so I can tell when I’m starting to waste hot water.
Standing In The Shower When I’m Done Washing
I am a known procrastinator, and this extends to getting out of the shower. Sometimes it just feels nice. One day I’ll have to calculate exactly how much water I’m wasting doing this.
Taking Baths to Warm Up or Relax
Speaking of calculations, I already did this one! Last time I did this calculation it worked out to $1.21 per bath. It’s been about two years since then. Using current utility prices, it now costs me $1.30 to lounge in the bathtub.
Leave My Laptop Plugged In When I’m Not Using It.
I’m fortunate that my laptop uses as little power as it does, because it’s plugged in on a regular basis. If I’m not using it, it’s generally plugged in. Same with my chargers actually.
Putting Plastic Over My Window Blinds in the Winter, Forcing Me to Use the Lights.
This one I need to address this year. My house don’t have any drapes yet, all of the windows have blinds. The blinds are recessed into the window well rather than being on the wall, so when I put up plastic on the windows to prevent drafts during the winter I have to either keep them open or closed all winter. Since my former roommate and I both did shift work, we needed them closed in case we needed to sleep during the day. This means two out of the three bedrooms have closed blinds all winter, requiring us to use the lights rather than daylight during the day. Putting up curtains would alleviate this, because we could just leave the blinds open then.
Putting the Key in the Door While it’s Open.
It’s not an issue when I’m leaving the house from the front door, because the street lights are bright enough that I can see my lock without a light on. The backdoor however isn’t. Instead of turning the light on, I put the key in the door while it’s open, then turn off the lights and close/lock the door. This isn’t an issue during the summer (A- because it’s light out and B- because it’s warm out), but during the winter it lets in a lot of cold air, which my furnace then has to heat. I really should just install motion sensors.
Needless to say, I have a little work to do in the utilities department. Confession time, what do you do that wastes resources?
Recommended Reading: Net Worth – Jan 1st 2013 – Debt Free