The windows of the house are open. The cooler fall breeze is blowing in. I hear my little hens clucking peacefully just outside of my living room. And the light of the day is slowly dipping below the horizon.
There will be darkness soon.
For this house the darkness is intentional, because today (with the permission of my husband and children mind you) I flipped a few of the switches on the fuse box from on to off.
Let me back up a bit! About six months ago, we had a very large yard sale in which we were able to sell many, many things in an attempt to minimize our belongings. Not to mention we made quite a bit of money. Here is a small list of some of the items we were able to sell:
-A bed taking up space in the garage
-Extra cups, silverware, and plates
-House painting supplies (why we needed 5 paint brushes I’ll never know)
-Shelves that we no longer needed because we were selling all the stuff on them
-Basically anything that was not producing something had to go (smile)
Since that time we have been on a mission to maintain our lean toward a necessity-only lifestyle. Often times the temptation is to go and buy all the “stuff” back. Not this time! We have experienced so much freedom…we’ll never go back.
So today we take our commitment one step further. You see, there is no need for the air conditioning any more, praise be to God for a break in the Arizona heat! So that was the first switch to go. Hopefully, that one can stay off till next May (smile). Lights and outlets in the rooms we use mainly during the day were the next to go.
For now, we will wait to see how these changes go and perhaps in the coming days we will be able to live on even less.
We are blessed with a home that has a ton of natural light and lots of energy efficient windows. Many times I have had people ask our opinion on solar power (I know they are referring to the use of solar panels). And I always tell them, we love solar power because it’s free! That always draws a puzzled look (wink). As for the nighttime hours, we already prefer the candlelight that comes from our handmade beeswax candles in the evening; and we have been living without lamps for almost ½ a year already. I don’t foresee a huge adjustment. But then again, you never know (smile).
Besides, there are many benefits to functioning within the bounds of the rising and setting sun. For the most part we listen to our bodies and sleep when we are tired. In other words, we try hard not to push ourselves past what is natural for us. Here are a few resources containing excellent information regarding the effects of artificial light and electricity on natural circadian rhythms.
–Better Sleep with Twilight
–Are you getting enough sleep?
–Circadian Rhythms and Liver Function
–Confused Circadian Rhythms Could Increase Triglycerides
Now it’s your turn! Please share with us how you are moving toward a more sustainable lifestyle.
LOVE this! Our house is very dark but I’ve been trying nonetheless to leave lights off during the day. Our computer, microwave, stove etc still draw power and I’m guessing the minor change in not using the lights which are already energy efficient probably won’t make much difference, but we won’t know until we try, right? We’re in the cold, wet, damp northwest and our summers don’t need AC (for the most part) but we do run fans in the babys’ room and our room to keep the air moving, and heat in the winter. I won’t turn off the energy sucking fans (I think it’s more important than the minor savings, right now) but I want to see if there’s a way to minimize our heating bill in the winter. I tried last year, but some days, you just need a warm house. 🙂 We have millions of candles I can use, but also two tiny babies and a busy, busy big boy. All these fast moving bodies in a tiny space (7 living in a 1,000 sq foot house, on two floors) makes candles a bit of a scary proposition. Still thinking though. Very excited to read your post – gives me ideas! 🙂
I flip the switch on the stove and clothes dryer for weeks at a time…my husband is gone so no need to cook big meals unless he’s home and I make enough for leftovers for the nights my daughter and I make it home early enough to eat dinner. The clothes dryer works on the same premise. I have also turned the AC/Heat off in times when its cool enough to go with only a space heater or fan…I cut $50-75 a month off of our bill!!!