Friday, June 13, 2008

Riot Progress

I have a few Riot updates. Last post I didn't have a good estimate of my garbage use, so I took note what day I emptied the trash and one week later weighed in. This was highly unscientific since a) I have no scale and b) I had a friend stay with me a few days of last week. However, I managed to accumulate very little trash and used my resources to calculate its mass. Holding trash and recycling (glass, plastic and metal) in one hand, and a container of salt in the other hand, I felt like a balanced scale. The salt container says it is 1 lb 10 ounces, but it wasn't full, but I didn't include my paper recycling. Even if I round up to 2 pounds that puts me at 6% of the average consumer. The weight was primarily in the glass bottles (we splurged on ginger beer), so I'm going to go out on a limb and say my trash production is really low, and not a personal priority. I'm still waiting on my actual worms, but their compost pile is getting nicely decomposed so they'll be able to dig right in. The decrease in water use for the disposal is definitely a plus.

I received a gas bill today, my lowest yet! This certainly has everything to do with the warm weather and nothing to do with me, but it was still exciting. Seven therms puts me at 9% in the heating and cooking category.

I've been doing some research on how to cut down on water use. Constantly cutting down on shower time is goal one, but its not a very fun goal. Goal two is reusing "waste" water. I've determined that it takes two small containers of water for the shower to heat up, and I use those to water my very thirsty plants. I lost my peas to the heat wave, and the peppers are barely holding on. Outdoor container gardening requires a lot of vigilance! I have also determined that when people instruct you to use a pipe wrench, metal pliers are not a good substitute. The PVC pipes under my sink look like the degus got in there to nibble, but still refuse to release their water. Not gonna lie though, the warning about noxious gases makes me reconsider my planned method of water collection. Plus the fact that I'm renting and my only remaining option is to use that really cool saw I bought... This leaves me searching for a suitable container to collect sink and shower water. Green Bean and I have decided I could become a rich woman selling tub and sink shaped containers or scoops in drought ridden areas. I can't wait to find even some vaguely appropriate container since I discovered (via Riot emails) that I can flush merely by pouring water into the toilet bowl, using even less water than a normal flush and not leaving any grey water to fester in the tank. If you're as curious as I am, here is the explanation of the wonders of your toilet's inner workings. Now I'm off to find something to hold two gallons of water in, I'm starting to see the benefits of being a pack rat!

Update: 6 quart pot worked perfectly! This is too cool.

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