Sorry for the radio silence - my computer's on the blink, which has made me realise what a sad internet junkie I've become. So am using the hubby's, and it doesn't work as well with Blogger so some things will be a bit different today.
Anyway, don't think we haven't been busy. In fact, we've spent a large part of the last few days engaged in one of our favorite activities - pestering Dot's Dad about his lack of eco-friendliness. Now, to be fair, since we started this blog, he has (as discussed earlier) become a bit of a diesel advocate, got really good at recycling, closed the storm windows for us, usually turns the thermostat right back before we go to bed and has brought me a cup of tea in bed every morning (alright so that last bit has nothing to do with the environment, but it's very nice of him, no?). He's also very good at setting aside vegetable matter and teabags for composting and although it's usually me that treks down the garden to brave bears and deer to empty the bag onto the heap, he has also done that too a couple of times.
But there are two major sticking points: first he seems to have a genetic predisposition to leaving lights on. Actually he's a complete light fiend is always turning lights on to 'make it more cheerful'. I'll be sitting there, happily typing away in the gloaming, when in he strides, on goes the light and bam! Ambience and environment ruined. Many of these lights are in rooms he isn't even using and are being lit for purely aesthetic reasons. Not good enough! So Dot and I have taken to following him round and switching them off again with a snide remark. I'm sure it's really annoying so I hope to be able to report that he's changed his ways soon. (By the way, we haven't switched them all to the low whatsit bulbs yet because I can't work out if it's more wasteful to change them and throw away not-dead bulbs, seeing as they can't be recycled, or to keep using the not-dead ones and keep wasting the extra power. So many of these rock-and-a-hard place decisions. If you know the answer let me know - and I'll keep investigating too).
The other thing he seems not to be able to get the hang of is unplugging his computer and switching off peripherals, like the printer, at night. What I didn't realise until quite recently (thanks to Ideal Bite) is that any plug that has an AC adapter, like a computer plug, as well as cell phone chargers, keep drawing power at almost the full rate even when you're not using them. (factoid: Only 5% of the power drawn by a cell phone charger is used to charge the phone. The other 95% is wasted when it is left plugged into the wall - Ideal Bite - they're not paying me, by the way, they just have a lot of good tips).
So I guess I'll just keep nagging him until he's beaten into submission. At least it gives me something to do out here in the country. Hm, but then he might leave which would be rather counterproductive, and would mean I had to make my own tea in the morning. And actually I've just found out that peripherals draw power even if you do switch them off. So I better buy him one of these plugs http://www.smarthomeusa.com/Shop/Hardware-Cable/Item/LCG1/ which apparently stop this terrible waste. That way we save power and our marriage.
Don't worry, the fun isn't over, we'll find something else to bait him about, I assure you.