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June Challenge: Practice Your Power-Down

[NOTE: The time and date that you do this challenge are up to you. The system is set to 11:45pm at the end of the month to keep the RSVP function open all month.]

One of the fundamental concepts underlying the Transition movement is the idea that fossil fuels' days are numbered (and that going nuclear just isn't an option). At the same time, though, we understand that most other alternative energies a) are in their infancy, and/or b) probably won't provide as much energy as fossil fuels (especially oil). And so we work on Transitioning our households and neighborhoods away from fossil fuel dependence and high-energy lifestyles.

We do this by using alternative energy where appropriate, conserving energy where we can, and also by trying to learn to rely on less energy. One term for this energy transition is "powering down."

For this month's challenge, practice your power-down. Do at least one thing that reduces your dependence on fossil fuels. Whether it's as simple as making sun tea, or as complicated as installing solar panels, do something that gets your energy consumption closer to "sane."

Each month someone posts a Transition-related challenge here. We members go out as individuals and meet that challenge, then post in the comments telling just what we did. The challenge is open the minute it goes live on the Meetup site and runs through the end of the  month.

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  • Zacheus B. O.

    I don't use air-condition in my house and in my car; since my water heater pack up and i cannot enjoy hot shower anymore but instead boil water to watch and clean my body and use lesser energy and still get better result. My electric bill is less for the size of the building; being alone make it easy

    2 · June 8, 2013

    • Siz

      Zack, there's nothing like a good hot shower. You are always welcome at my home for a meal and a good hot bath or shower. Sizwe

      July 2, 2013

  • Siz

    I was just talking about Earth Hour and that it should be Earth Era! My challenge is to unplug for 24 hours on July 1st. Anyone want to join in?

    1 · June 25, 2013

    • Siz

      On my own again.

      July 2, 2013

  • Paul

    I wanna unplug!

    1 · June 26, 2013

    • Jennifer C.

      That's a great goal! How can we help make it happen?

      July 1, 2013

  • Jennifer C.

    Well, I kept using our cardboard boxes for garden chores, so the solar cooker hasn't happened yet. :)

    OTOH, I renewed my commitment to hanging up the clothes, and am proud of the progress made on that. Russell used some birthday money to get a small grill, and went with charcoal instead of gas. (Not as clean as solar, I know, but at least it's renewable!) I'm thrilled to have something around the house that we can use for cooking when the power's out.

    In June we also started getting more of our food from the garden and the Farmer's Market, further cutting our dependence on fossil fuels to feed ourselves.

    And, finally, our grand experiment in carlessness continued throughout the month. (We ditched the car last Halloween, and have been using public transit, car shares, and rides from friends ever since.) We're not sure we can keep this up, esp. with a young child, but at least we're getting some practice at it!

    July 1, 2013

  • Cindy

    our rebuild from the house fire will be well insulated and take advantage of day light for interior daylighting. A chest freezer with the thermostat changed will be our energy efficient refrigerator. No cold falling out when open the door! Will need to learn to organize it to use as a fridge.

    1 · June 5, 2013

    • Jennifer C.

      I'm intrigued by that chest freezer conversion idea. I'm guessing you would use one as a fridge, and have a second one you would use as a freezer? And I'm guessing that for the "fridge," you'll be using a lot of storage crates that you lift in and out?

      June 6, 2013

    • Cindy

      Yes, on both of those. Chest Freezer will require some thoughtful organizing and an improvement in item placement habits. LOL!

      1 · June 26, 2013

  • Bob T.

    Thank you for reminding and encouraging us all to reduce our energy use!

    1 · June 25, 2013

  • Arnold Joseph W.

    Thanks for reading ~ “this”~. It is a TRUE story! NEVER BE DECEIVED that the rich will permit you to vote away their wealth.~ Lucy Parsons NEVER DOUBT THAT a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Ind...~ Margaret Mead

    1 · June 25, 2013

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