Happiness month day 13 – a woman who inspires me

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woman-vacuuming-carpetIt’s happiness month and I have to say there is one woman who I admire greatly and brings me a great deal of happiness.

Small Footprints runs ‘Reduce Footprints‘ and I’m inspired and amazed with her energy in running a weekly ‘Change the world Wednesday’ challenge.

Every week she tirelessly rounds up the posts, gives us all glitter and gold stars for our achievements and creatively comes up with ways for us to make our lives greener.

She comments on people’s posts, tweets about them and continually pushes me to be more aware and conscious of how I live on the earth.

This week for ‘change the world Wednesday’ challenge we’ve been asked to reduce electricity consumption.

In particular “This week, for one entire day, do not use Air Conditioning in your home. Instead, employ other ways to stay cool (ceiling fans, adjusting curtains, swimming, etc.)”

This isn’t applicable to us at Chez Green because we live in temperate England where air conditioning is hardly ever necessary. If it’s a particularly hot day we use a fan, keep the curtains shut in sunny rooms and open the windows / doors on the north facing wall.

As you know, we’re never allowed to be let off lightly, so already aware there will be people like me on board, Small Footprints says “If you live in a cooler climate, look around your home at all the ways you use electricity. Choose one and don’t use it for one entire day. Some ideas might be lights, the computer, TV, the stove, the hot water heater, or the radio. The idea is to NOT use the electricity which you typically use in a day.”

Hmmm, I’m wondering where I can go with this.

There is no way Mr Green would have a computer free day. I would, but he wouldn’t, so apart from not running my laptop for one day that wouldn’t really work.

Lighting we need – again Mr Green would not be up for this. He has pretty poor eyesight without bright lighting, so it could even be dangerous to suggest we go without lights for the day.

We don’t have a TV, so it would be cheating to say I’d give up TV for the day!

Could I not cook for a day? I suppose I *could* if it was a hot day but this would be really tough…

I only put the immersion tank on for hot water about twice a week, so I’m not sure I could improve on this.

The radio I don’t listen too – this is Mr Green’s baby so he’s not likely to give that up either.

Wow, I do believe I’m stuck for the first time with these challenges. As I mentally walk through all the rooms I’m left with:

Refrigeration which I can’t turn off because that will result in food wastage.
Kettle – I won’t talk to Mr Green before he’s had his daily coffee; my life wouldn’t be worth it.
Mobile, Ipod, Ipad – all these are charged once or twice a week, so no big electricity usage.
Stereo – I go a few days without using the stereo anyway.

Ok, I’ve got it – the vacuum cleaner! I use it virtually every day out of laziness because it’s quicker and more efficient to vacuum than get down on my hands and knees with a stiff brush. To be honest I tend to brush the floorboards anyway, but I do vacuum them a couple of times a week so that the job is done properly.

For a day then, I’ll give up my vacuum and get a free workout by brushing the floors and carpets. I might even take the rugs outside and beat them on the washing line with a tennis racquet for good measure! Ok, so it’s not going to reduce my electricity consumption by a great deal, but every little helps, right?

Most of all, this has been a real eye opener to how much I rely on the national grid – thanks for the wake up call, Small Footprints; I have some serious thinking to do!


  1. Small Footprints on August 13, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Wow, Mrs. Green … WOW!! You are so kind and your words make me feel so good! You’ve made my day! Perhaps for the first time in my life (lol), I’m speechless! Thank you, my friend! 🙂

  2. Mrs Green on August 15, 2011 at 6:37 am

    @Small Footprints: You’re welcome 🙂 Lovely to make your speechless LOL!

  3. Brenna @ Almost All The Truth on August 22, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    Wow, that would certainly be an undertaking! How much carpet did you have to brush by hand? We are lucky to have a lot of hardwood flooring in our home, but I can’t imagine brushing the carpet by hand! What an inspiration. 🙂

  4. Mrs Green on August 28, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    @Brenna @ Almost All The Truth: Not much Brenna! Most of the downstairs is wooden floors and I was only going to attempt the downstairs. As it happens I did it and LOVED it – it was like a moving meditation and as I have a love of the smell of dust it was most enjoyable. Even more so that I worked out vacuuming just 10 minutes a day uses 78 kwhs over a year !!

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