Omnipresent Consumption

I’ve been thinking that while I may not actually buy things all that often, I do still consume things constantly. Mainly what I mean is electricity.

I of course have lights, but my heating and oven are also electric based. My heat especially must take up a lot of electricity because it gets really cold here in the winter  (it’s not suppose to get above 0C for another week or so).

Currently, I don’t actually know how much electricity I use or what it costs as its built into my monthly rent. My rent is a set price all year long, so I’m honestly not sure what percentage goes towards my electricity.

My boyfriend lives in the UK and his electricity in his apartment works on a pay-per-use basis. There’s a meter in his apartment that tells him how much money he has left and he can top it up at any point, almost like a pre-paid cell phone works here. I think this type of system would work really well for me in monitoring and curbing my electricity usage. Being able to see, in dollar terms, how much I have used and how much I have left would be really motivating to me to use less. Also, in other parts of the world (India and the UK at least in my experience) you can actually turn off your power outlets with a little switch next to the plug which I imagine helps with conserving power as well.

Currently I do try to not waste too much electricity unnecessarily. I turn off lights and unplug things I’m not using, like my phone charger, but I could be more diligent about it. I feel like without the monetary motivation it’s harder to remember to be more proactive about my electricity usage. I’m sure though this is something I could improve on if I work at being more mindful of it.

Living in a basement apartment however in Canada in the winter (when the day light hours can be quite short) I’m not sure that its possible to live without having the lights on most of the time, but I suppose I could always begin to test that theory.

~Jessica

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