Eco Living Project

In  2007-2008 we lived with the goal to reduce 90% under that of an average American. It was set up as an extreme project, we knew it wasn’t sustainable in the long run, but we wanted to see what it would take and if it was even possible.  We knew the gasoline piece was unattainable for us. We live in a very rural community with no access to public transportation for 35 miles.

What follows are the numbers we used for the project. Below the <><><>< are the 2007-2008 numbers. I began tracking again in September 2019 and those numbers will be listed directly below this paragraph.

2019 and beyond Eco Living Project : 4 adults and 1 dog sharing 1 home

  • Gasoline — We have (collectively) 2 cars, one is a newer 50 mpg car that is the commuter car, and one older 30 mpg SUV that is used for farm type errands and the occasional trip to town. My husband uses his bike and public transportation for commutes past my daughter’s workplace. I use my bike for trips to the nearest town (11 miles roundtrip).
    • Our goal is
  • Natural Gas — At this point we do not use any natural gas or propane.
    • Our goal is to keep this at 0
  • Wood — We heat our home with down and dead wood only.
    • Our goal is to keep heating our home with only dead / down wood.
  • Electricity — We have 100% wind energy up to 600 kwh per month.  We do not have an air conditioner or clothes dryer.
    • Our goal is to stay under the 600 kwh/month that the wind provides.
    • Our secondary goal is reduce the amount of electricity we use and/or add a solar array.
  • Garbage —
  • Water —
  • Consumer Goods —
  • Food —

Sept 2019 -Eco Living Project :

  • Gasoline — 40 gallons
  • Natural Gas —0
  • Wood — 0
  • Electricity — 374 kwh (so under the 600 kwh)
    • includes running the dehydrator to preserve food
  • Garbage — 20 pounds (4%)
  • Water — 4100 gallons (34%)
  • Consumer Goods — $250  (30%)
    • includes Christmas gift
    • includes Kim: shoes, wool socks, 3 t-shirts for winter, 1 jeans, and new pjs
    • Includes: Kim new travel bag
    • Does not include: $45 Rx, $400 eye doctor visit + glasses, $25 in ebooks/audiobooks
  • Food
    • $400 at grocery store
      • includes $30 donation to food pantry
      • includes $60 in take-out
    • $600 in harvest that was preserved for winter

October 2019: 

<><><><><><><><><><><><>

1. Gasoline.
Average American: usage is 500 gallons PER PERSON, PER YEAR.
90% reduction: would be 50 gallons PER PERSON, PER YEAR.

2. Electricity.
Average US usage: is 11,000 kwh PER HOUSEHOLD, PER YEAR, or about 900 kwh PER HOUSEHOLD PER MONTH.
90% reduction: would mean using 1,100 PER HOUSEHOLD, PER YEAR or 90 kwh PER HOUSEHOLD PER MONTH

3. Natural Gas + Wood Energy
US Average Natural Gas usage is 1000 therms PER HOUSEHOLD, PER YEAR.
A 90% reduction would mean a reduction to 100 therms PER HOUSEHOLD PER YEAR   Propane 1.1 gallon is equal to 1 therm.

4. Garbage
the average American generates about 4.5 lbs of garbage PER PERSON, PER DAY.
A 90% reduction would mean .45 lbs of garbage PER PERSON, PER DAY.

**2019 — 5.91 pounds per person per day)

5. Water.
The Average American uses 100 Gallons of water PER PERSON, PER DAY.
A 90% reduction would mean 10 gallons PER PERSON, PER DAY.

6. Consumer Goods.
The average American spends 10K PER HOUSEHOLD, PER YEAR on consumer goods
90% 1k per year (new) Used goods are 10% (used from garage sale is 10%) Used from Goodwill, Church Sale, etc does not count against.

7. Food.
Local should be 70% of diet
Bulk allotted 25% of diet
non-local/Processed 5%
June 2007-June 2008 Numbers:

Totals for June:

  • Electricity: monthly average is 14.25 kwh/day
  • Heat and Cooking: 0.5 therms
  • Garbage: Landfill 18 pounds, recycling 19 pounds
  • Water: 7500 gallons
  • Consumer Goods: $105

Totals for July:

  • Electricity: 14 kwh/day
  • Heat and Cooking: Heating 0.33 gallons of gas. Cooking 0.5 therms.
  • Garbage and Recycling: Garbage 8 pounds. Recycling 5 pounds.
  • Consumer Goods: $65
  • Water: 6400 gallons
  • Food: Almost entirely local and bulk.

Totals for August:

  • Electricity: 19 kwh
  • Heating and Cooking: Heating — 1 gallon gasoline . Cooking 0.5 therms.
  • Garbage and Recycling: Garbage 6 pounds. Recycling 4 pounds.
  • Water: From my meter reading excursions I think we used 220 gallons per day this month.
  • Consumer Goods: $90
  • Food: Homegrown/Local 46%; Bulk 42%; Supermarket 12%

Totals for September:

  • Electricity: average 9.75 kwh/day
  • Heating and Cooking: Heating–1.33 gallons. Cooking–0.5 therms
  • Garbage–5 pounds. Recycling–o pounds
  • Water: 45 gallons/person/day
  • Consumer Goods: $180
  • Food: remains the same at 46% homegrown/local, 42% bulk, and 12% supermarket.

Totals for October:

  • Electricity: 10% of the American average and steady
  • Heating and Cooking: 0.4% of the American average and rising
  • Garbage: 5% of the American average and steady.
  • Water: 30% of the American average and dropping
  • Consumer Goods: 4.5% of the American average and rising
  • Food: 48% local/homegrown, 42% bulk/organic, 10% supermarket

Totals for November:

  • Electricity: 6% of the American average
  • Heating and Cooking: 1% of the yearly American average
  • Garbage: 4% of the American average
  • Water: 30% of the American average
  • Consumer Goods: 10% of yearly American average
  • Food: 40% local/homegrown, 46% bulk/organic, 14% supermarket

Totals for December:

  • Electricity: 10%
  • Heating and Cooking: less than 1%
  • Garbage: 5% of monthly American average
  • Water: 30% of monthly American average
  • Consumer Goods: 10% normal goods, 3% for used vehicle, 6% for washing machine
  • Food: 30% local/homegrown, 50% bulk/organic, 20% supermarket

January 2008:

  • Food: 30% local/homegrown, 40% bulk/organic, 30% supermarket.
  • Electricity: 10%
  • Heating and Cooking: less than 1%
  • Garbage: 5%
  • Water: 12.5%
  • Consumer Goods: 10% normal goods for this month.

February:

  • Food: 30% local/homegrown, 40% bulk/organic, 30% supermarket. We’re purchasing even more fruits and veggies from the supermarket.
  • Electricity: 12%
  • Heating and Cooking: n/a
  • Garbage: 5%
  • Water: 12.5%
  • Consumer Goods: 11% normal goods for this month.

March:

  • Food: 25% local/homegrown, 40% bulk/organic, 35% supermarket. We’re still purchasing fruits and veggies from the supermarket and now we’ve added yogurt.
  • Electricity: 15%
  • Heating and Cooking: n/a
  • Garbage: 7%
  • Water: 11.5%
  • Consumer Goods: 6% normal household goods, 25% f0r chicken coop, and 15% for the grain mill (It gets a 50% reduction since it will be for long-term sustainablity)

April:

  • Electricity — 10%
  • Heating and Cooking — 0%
  • Garbage — 7%
  • Water — 11%
  • Consumer Goods — 10%
  • Food — 25% local/homegrown, 50% bulk/organic, and 25% supermarket. Supermarket food is fruit, veggie, and some yogurt.

May:

  • Electricity: 7%
  • Heating and Cooking: 0%
  • Garbage: 5%
  • Water: 11%
  • Consumer Goods: 7%
  • Food: 25% local, 60% bulk/organic, 15% supermarket