Friday, October 7, 2011

Flipping the Switch on the Fuse Box

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
-Holiday Decorations
-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 refering 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
-Sleep - are you getting enough? (a video)
-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.

See this post and a host of others sharing green home tips here: Monday Mania


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