Bills Shmills: Utilities

Bills Shmills!  Be sure to read my introduction to this series.



We are so fortunate to have electricity and heat in our homes!  My grandfather didn’t…what an amazing improvement in quality of life he observed as our country was being electrified!  We often take this for granted now, but if we just stop and imagine our lives without a consistent power grid or without oil to heat our homes we will quickly and appropriately experience the feeling of gratitude.

There are ways to reduce your power use… this information is not new, but I am consistently surprised that people are not employing these simple energy saving tactics. It is helpful to imagine that your power does have a source, so every time you flip on a light switch (depending on where you live in the world) a coal firing plant burns, a hydro-electric plant is turns turbines, a nuclear plant fuses, a wind farm is turns, or solar panels are utilize the sun or draw from batteries.  Many of these sources create varying degrees of pollution or negatively impact the area at the source every moment that they are utilized for power.  This is just a fact, when we turn on our lights there are negative consequences.  So aside from saving money on the power bill, we can reduce the negative impact of our power by simply only using it when we need it.  Here are some ways:

Reduce Electricity

  • Get compact fluorescent light bulbs or other low watt bulbs
  • Unplug your computer, cell phone chargers and other electronics when not in use. They draw power even when not in use.
  • Plug your TV and entertainment system into a power strip that powers down completely when not in use
  • Turn off your lights when you leave a room

Reduce Water

  • Do not run water when you are not actively using it. (ex. turn off faucet while brushing teeth)
  • Use lower flow shower heads / shower every other day / use efficient toilets or retrofit with low dual flow flushers
  • Landscape with draught resistant plants
  • Fix drips or running toilets

Reduce Heat & Air Conditioning

  • Live in a smaller place
  • In the winter utilize an automatic thermostat and lower the temp while sleeping
  • In the winter wear layers including long underwear and opt for wool or cashmere sweaters and coats over poly blends for warmth and durability.
  • In the summer wear breathable clothing.
  • Allow your body to adjust to the seasonal changes by spending some time outside everyday and adjusting your thermostat down in the winter and up in the summer.
  • Eat seasonally to help your body adjust to the changes in season.  Mother nature has given us food to help us adjust.  Fresh raw veggies and fruits in the summer a cooling. Warm root vegetable stews and meats keep us hearty and warm in the winter.


  • Utilize local and federal programs for insulating your home
  • Utilize local and federal programs for putting solar on your house

Small changes over time make a big difference.  Decide to apply one of these suggestions this week and you will be on your way.


Continue your journey. Follow the link to the category that most interests you next! Here’s to your quality of life and your freedom! Happy Reading.


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About withColleen

I am a simplicity advocate with a love of the natural world, song literature, dance and everything practical and simple, with an occasional flair for the fabulous. I thoughtfully write about life, family, music, solutions for happier more peaceful, equitable world. Sometimes I write from a perspective of practicality, sometimes instead about the big picture. I hope to add to the already shifting perspective on how to live and love well in the world. My joy is my family and music. I sing and dance daily. I enjoy making music with my closest friends and share these projects with audiences. I believe we can change culture with our words and actions; we can awaken our neighbors to their reverent, kind nature. For lasting change we must work small and work locally.

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