Riot Update February numbers

I just realized that I needed to post my numbers from February. As part of The Riot For Austerity we usually figure up how we compare to the rest of the country in terms of consumption of resources. We are a family of four, living in the USA,  so our numbers are compared to the average American or average American household. There are seven categories.

Gasoline: We purchased 15.2 gallons in Feb which is 8.4% of average.    Our 9 month cumulative total is 193.2 gallons or 13% of average. And as reported last month, this does not include the airline trips taken in November.

Electric: We used 212 Kwh from Feb 14 to March 14. The average household uses 900 kwh/month so our usage is 23.5% of average.

Therms: We used 11 therms of natural gas from Feb 14 to March 14. The average household uses 83.3 per month or 1000 therms over the season, since much of it is used for heating. We are using no gas heat, but do heat water and cook with gas. Our usage is 13% of average.

Garbage: We created 6.75 pounds of trash and 19 pounds of recyclables in Feb. Recyclables count 80% of trash so we are at 4% of average. The average person creates 4.5 pounds of garbage per day. A typical family of four would then produce 540 pounds of garbage per month. We have the smallest garbage can the city provides and we could go a whole month before our can was full. I put our trash out every two weeks.

Water: We used 1 kilogallon from Feb 14 to March 14. I was so excited to see it drop. We have been at 2 Kg since last Oct. The average person uses 100 gallons of water per day. That is 400 gallons per day for a family of four and 12 Kg a month. Our 1 Kg is 8% of average.

Consumer Goods. We spent atleast $33.84 in Feb which would be 4% of average. That is twp purchases. $20 for bicycle tires and one dinner out when I was sick(excuses, excuses). I will concede that there may be purchases I don’t remember, but even so I am sure we are under 10%. The average American household spends $10,000 a year or $833 a month.

Food: This category is always hard for me. I just guess what I think we eat and spend money on and then I double check what my husband thinks. Last month was 20% local and I think that has increased to 25%. The bulk category has gone from 50% to 45% and I think the wet, conventional, processed food is still at 30%

In summary our gas use dropped in half from Jan to Feb, Electric went up 2.5 percentage points, Nat gas use went down by 2 therms, Garbage has been dropping and went from 7% to 4%. Water use dropped in half. Consumer goods is lower because I just have decided not to buy much. And the food category is pretty much the same with a move in the right direction….towards local!                              



  1. Andrea said,

    March 27, 2008 at 10:40 am

    gurl… how do you do it? I know it’s hard work keeping track of all of the information, and making the effort to save in these areas. I feel stuck in a situation that forces me to use more gas than I would like because I am living 17.5 miles away from everything (one way). We try to consolodate trips, and the family tries to carpool, but being stuck with not very fuel efficient cars doesn’t help either. I think a lot of the people are in the same situation, of course… many of them don’t even think about it, which is why I think it’s cool that you are doing this, because it kind of puts some different perspective on it for other people (& me). I commend you! Keep up the good work, it inspires me to pay more attention and try harder where I can (at least think about what I am doing).

  2. wasteweardaily said,

    March 27, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    Thank you for the comment Andrea. I do concede that luck and good fortune have been on our side, but I also know we have made some good decisions. Sharing a household with others not only helps your footprint but helps those you live with reduce their impact. I don’t work outside the home, so I don’t have to drive to work. We spend as little money as we can. Also because I am home, I can hang out laundry and garden and cook.
    I am glad I am an inspiration to you. I hope more people will be inspired to look at how they live their lives and see if they can make changes anywhere.

  3. judithgr said,

    March 27, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    I have no idea what other households here use, although for the most part they are frugal because they have to be. I am struggling to reach the point where I as a foreigner spend the same as the local folks, but I expect it can’t be done.

    Good for you for being conservative. We all must do it. Waste must become a thing of the past.

  4. Meaghan said,

    April 15, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    Wow. I am impressed and inspired by your numbers. We are trying to change our environmental footprint, but I can see that we have a long way to go! Thanks for putting this out there.

  5. wasteweardaily said,

    April 15, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    Thanks Meaghan,
    There are lots of others trying to do the same. This means lots of information and support for how to do it. Please ask for help if you need it.

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