I have now experienced almost four weeks of being an intern with the South Coast Energy Challenge. My action steps for reducing my carbon footprint have remained: bringing my reusable bags to the store, increasing my usage of Tupperware/decreasing my usage of Styrofoam, and placing lids on pots and pans when I cook. I have always tried to refuse plastic bags at the store, but now that it is a serious goal for me, it is funny how when I need a plastic bag, it is actually hard to find one around the apartment.
Recently, I went to the New Bedford Home Show and set up a table there to get the word out about the challenge. When the crowds died down a little, I decided to talk to other vendors there. To my surprise, many of the other vendors have already gotten a home energy assessment within the past couple of years. Chatting with the other vendors gave me insight to how people in the area had heard about the challenge originally and what they thought about the home energy assessment. During one of the conversations, I discovered a new way to save energy.
Now, when I do laundry, I will dry my clothes in two steps: 1- dry my heavier sweatshirts and jeans in a small load on high temperature only for 30 minutes, then 2- dry my shirts and other things on a lower temperature for also around 30 minutes, or if it a small enough load, air dry them. Due to the two separate loads, both get dry in a shorter amount of time and the second load uses less energy. This definitely seems better than putting a heavy load in all at once on high and still having damp clothes. So far, I have done this each time I have done laundry, so hopefully I will stick with this new action step.