Shutting Down the House When On Vacation
I thought I had pretty much covered all my Green Holiday Plans but then today I was scheduling our Christmas trip and realized I hadn't talked about shutting down the house. It's something that I mean to do every time we go on vacation, but I never actually get around to it. This is because by the time we're ready to go, I've whipped myself into a minivan-packing, mapquest-printing, reservation-checking frenzy and have forgotten all about my side job as an eco-maniac. But, after giving it much thought, I think I have come up with a solution:
Because there's nothing an obsessive-compulsive, ex-bean counting Mommy loves more than a nice excel spreadsheet with checkboxes. Oohhhh, be still my heart. Here's what's on my sheet:
- Turn Water Heater Down
- Set Thermostat to 50 degrees
- Unplug TV/DVD/Cable Box
- Shut off All the Lights
- Unplug Laptop and Printer
- Unplug Coffee Pot
- Close all Drapes (to keep the heat in)
- Close Upstairs Vents
- Shut all Upstairs Door (to keep the heat downstairs where the lone thermostat sits)
- Unplug Alarm Clocks
So what do you think? Is there anything I missed? Probably, but just remember the first two items will put me leaps and bounds ahead of what I had previously been doing - which was nothing. Plus, did I mention I have CHECKBOXES on my sheet?
Gonna have to WAG this one again and guesstimate a daily savings of 2 Ccf per day (depending on the exterior temperature). Our holiday vacation will be five days this year, for a monthly savings of 10 Ccf. I'd also guesstimate approximately 8 kWh per day (compared to what I would have used if I hadn't unplugged stuff), for a total vacation savings of 40 kWh.
Difficulty Level: 3 out of 5
It's definitely a bit of a hassle. I mean, the last thing you want to do when the kids are all hyped up and hubby is itching to hit the road is to take five minutes to go through a checklist. But you know what -- it's FIVE MINUTES. They can wait five minutes. Who knows, maybe they'll do something constructive with the time, like use it to go pee before we get in the car for ten hours. Besides -- there are checkboxes, people.