Monday, June 9, 2008

A Riot Iz An Ungly Ting...

...undt, I tink, that it is chust about time ve had vun.

That's a quote from one of my all-time favorite movies, Young Frankenstein. You gotta love a good Mel Brooks flick and how can you possibly miss with a cast of comediens like Gene Wilder, Marty Feldman, Madeline Kahn, Peter Boyle, Cloris Leachman and Terri Garr? You can't. If you've never seen the movie, go grab a copy at Blockbuster or the Library and watch it this weekend. I promise you will pee your pants. I just peed a little thinking about it.

Moving on.

It's been a while since I updated my Riot numbers and I like to keep them posted, if for no other reason, than to make sure I look at them. If you don't know what the hell I'm talking about (and that happens a LOT. Probably more often than it should, in fact), then you can learn about the Riot for Austerity here. If you're too lazy to click the link, I'll recap:

The Riot for Austerity is a group of eco-minded folks who are attempting to reduce their emissions to 90% of what the Average American uses. It is, to say the least, a daunting task, but it has helped me to stay focused on my sustainability goals, as both the Yahoo Group and the R4A Website have oodles of encouraging folks and helpful information. The Riot breaks down our emissions into seven categories: Gasoline, Electricity, Heating Gas, Garbage, Water, Consumer Goods and Food. My personal numbers are based on a family of four.

So, without further ado, as there's been a lot of pre-ado already, here are my numbers for the month of May 2008:

Gasoline: 28 Gallons - 17% of the Average American
Electricity: 434 kWh - 12% of the Average American
Hot Water/Heating Gas: 15 Ccf - 18% of the Average American
Garbage (excludes my recycling): 10 pounds - 8% of the Average American
Water: 4 Ccf - 25% of the Average American
Consumer Goods: $485 - 58% of the Average American
Food: 50% Local / 25% Dry Bulk / 25% Other

But here's what I've really been waiting to see... how my numbers compare with myself. Not my other personality (shut up / no YOU shut up), but the oblivious me of one year ago and the new and enlightened me of now. Let's take a peek:

Gasoline - Down 43% from last year
Electricity - Down 45% from last year
Heating / HW Gas - Down 12% from last year
Garbage - Down 40% from last year
Water - Down 70% from last year
Consumer Goods - Down 50% from last year
Food - Eating much more locally and lovin' every minute of it!


Wow. Not to pat myself on the back or anything, but I've come a long way, baby. There's definitely room for improvement, but those numbers aren't too shabby for someone who lives in the 'burbs with two toddlers and a hubby, none of whom are actively pursuing a greener lifestyle. So all the reductions you see are the result of one woman who simply decided that she wanted to try to be a little kinder to the environment, and have a little fun along the way.

I'd say that's worthy of a little celebration. Let's go huv a yittle sponge cake undt some vine...

18 comments:

organicneedle said...

Good work Abby Normal!

e4 said...

Wow. Very impressive. I have nothing clever to say, so... nice job.

Crunchy Chicken said...

Well, with all that peeing you're doing, you might want to rethink my Golden Showers Garden Party invite.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! That's amazing. Keep up the good work. You inspire many people to also make changes.

Burbanmom said...

Sorry, Crunch. I think I'm gonna shit, uh, I mean sit this one out.

Wendy said...

Hot diggity! Them's some AWESOME numbers! I'm really impressed with your electricity usage, as that seems the area where we have the most problems. I think my neighbor must have tapped into our meter somehow without us knowing, because we've cut in so many places I can't imagine where it's all going ... maybe there's a leak ....

And gasoline, too. Maybe my neighbor is siphoning our gas ....

Anonymous said...

:0)
Brava!

MamaBird said...

yeah! and part of that cheer is just for figuring out your calculations! woo hoo...

Heather @ SGF said...

Good job! It's tough when you go it alone. My hubby is totally with me on the recycling and water conservation, but not with the local eating. Would it kill him to eat a vegetable?

leslie said...

Just the mention of Madeline Kahn...makes me laugh, and laugh...and...well, you know.

arduous said...

Holy riot, Batman! Those numbers are awesome!!

christy b said...

I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E!!

Green Bean said...

Holy guacamole! You HAVE come a long way. Give yourself a big ol' piece of sponge cake for those numbers.

Melissa said...

wow! super impressive...I've stayed away from the riot for the most part because, well, it scares me - but maybe I should give it a shot.

Jess said...

I guess I'm out of the loop, here, but could you talk about HOW you created those changes? For those of us who have only been reading your blog for a short while...

Katie said...

Hey 'Burban Mom!

I wonder if when you write "reduce their emissions TO 90% of what the Average American uses", you actually mean "reduce their emissions BY 90% of what the Average American uses". Reducing by 90% is actually the same thing as reducing to 10% (if you start out as an average American). Just a little math geekage. The numbers you've achieved look great, so you should give yourself credit for going for a "by 90%" goal instead of just "to 90%"!

I've been reading through your archives, and I love your writing! Very funny and I'm so inspired by your drive for continuous improvement and spirit of experimentation! woohoo!

homeschoolmom said...

Hi,

Would you consider (pleasepleaseplease) doing a series of posts bulleting all the things you've done to bring your numbers down? Like one day share all your water-saving changes (can you tell I live in Droughtofornia?) and one day all the stuff you did to bring down electricity usage? I try to track my Riot numbers and it's just sad. I can hardly bear to lurk on the yahoo group I feel so ashamed. Although, I paid $75 (at $4.39 per gallon) to fill my car on Saturday and sternly told the kids that that gas is lasting all damn summer. So yea, me! I'll make at least one Riot benchmark this summer!

Susan

Allison said...

I'll pat your back. Good job. Was it hard?
I am with homeschool mom, please post how you did this. And how do you convince the people you live with to do it also, i.e. stubborn hubby.
I too am scared to back to the riot website. They scare me a bit. I'll just stick to riding my bike and eating local knowing I am a little greener every year.