Carbon budget update: June 2008

June was the first month of our “carbon diet.” I hate the word diet, but I’ll use it here the same way I use it about food. This is about changing the way we use carbon, lifelong. It starts by seeing where we are now, deciding where we’d like to be, and moving there incrementally.

This month was pretty darn good, overall. I installed a clock in the shower and limited myself to 5 minutes. I thought this would be a pretty big deal for someone who loves hot water as much as I do, but it was actually not a problem. Doing this cut our hot water electric usage in half – from 180 to 90 kwh. (The water heater is on its own meter, so we can tell exactly how much we spend just heating water.) In addition, our household electric was also down, probably due to the great weather and needing neither heat nor a/c.

We drove the second car – my brother’s truck – about 30 miles. A third of that was hauling wood for winter heat and the rest was a trip to town for a last-minute work meeting and dumpster diving for pallets and sheet mulching cardboard on the way home. He’s been using our car this month to commute to work, so together we’ve gotten that gas-guzzler off the road for about 700 miles and 55 gallons of gas. And now the bad news…

We drove the Prius over 3000 miles this month (yikes!). Let’s see: 1100 of those miles were driven instead of flying, and 590 of them were driven for a required business trip. But that’s still 45 miles a day, on average. How on earth did we do that? Huh…looks like I drove about 60 miles the day we went strawberry and pea picking. It’s 22 miles round-trip into town for work, so that’s 440 more miles. I have no idea where the other 860 miles happened. Hmm, have to look at that more closely next month. The only good news there is that in summer, Sulie (the Prius) gets over 50mpg and used 63 gallons of gas. If the truck had gone that distance, it would have used 254 gallons.

Prius miles this month: 3050
Truck miles: 30
Gas this month: 63 gallons
Air miles this month: 1200
Elec (household): 193 kwh
Elec (hot water): 90 kwh
Propane this month: 0
Wood this month: 0



  1. Jo said,

    July 1, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    Thanks for the info! On an earlier post, you mentioned a source for locally grown bulk flour. I live in the Ann Arbor area as well, could you please share that website with me, I’ve been searching for a source of local flour.


  2. Jo said,

    July 1, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    Oops, this was posted to the wrong entry. Oh well.

  3. Emily said,

    July 1, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    Jo – Check at the Ann Arbor food co-op for anything from Ferris Family Organic Farm. They’re in Eaton Rapids and they sell wheat berries and flour through the co-op. The wheat is grown in Michigan. You can try their website: though if you live in the Ann Arbor area, they will probably ask that you get their products from the Co-op (their main distributor in our area).

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