My neighbor is wasteful.
Don't get me wrong, he's a nice guy and all, I'm sure he never even thinks about it. I'm not attacking my neighbor specifically, but this post was brought to mind indirectly by his action (or inaction.) Sunday 19 October 2008 was a gorgeous fall day in North Texas. The low was around 50 degrees, and it didn't get into the upper 70s until the middle of the afternoon. I'd had my AC turned off for over a week at that point.
I open the windows in the evening and let the house cool... closing the windows when the outside temperature begins to exceed the indoor temperature. It hasn't gotten much about 75 degrees inside my house for a week and I haven't spent a dime on heat or AC. By now, you may be starting to wonder what my neighbor has to do with any of this.
Late on Sunday morning it was about 73 degrees. My windows were open and I was pouring a cup of coffee in the kitchen, and I heard my neighbor's AC unit kick on. I started thinking about how much energy and money could be saved if people just stopped for a moment and thought about how they use things. There's certainly an opportunity in many cases to spend lots of money and save energy, but how much energy is wasted just by people who just don't pay attention to how much energy they use? Running hot water longer than you need it, leaving the windows closed and the AC on even when it's cooler outside than in, leaving the TV on when you're not paying attention to it, etc.
Next thing you know I'll be subscribing to Mother Earth News.