Got a lot of blackberries? Then check out this recipe for Blackberry Mojito Fruit Leather.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit leathers, but this turned out super good! And, really, you can't go wrong with blackberries, mint and rum.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Freeze Yer Buns kickoff!

Freeze Yer Buns ChallengeWelcome to the first day of the Freeze Yer Buns Challenge! Are you guys ready for five months of energy and money savings? You must be, because I know a lot of you have already started.

First off, I have to admit that we needed to change our temperature ranges a tad. My husband's chemo is making it hard for him to sleep so he's been spending nights in the living room and I don't actually want to freeze his buns. So, we're doing 65 during the day and 62 at night for now.

One thing I wanted to clarify is that I think some people feel that, in order to participate, you need to get down to truly frosty temperatures. That's not the point at all, it's really to get you to drop at least one degree. Now, if you want to push it as low as you can, then that's great - extra savings all around! But if you're used to 72 during the day and 68 at night, there's no shame in pledging for 71 day and 67 night. In fact, for each degree set below 68 degrees, energy consumption decreases by about 6 to 8 percent.

The other thing that people seem to get stuck on is the thermostat business. Even if you don't have a thermostat, you can still lower your room temperatures by not turning on the baseboard heaters, radiators, etc. Also, the same deal goes with wood heating stoves. The idea is to save electricity, gas, oil and wood. Even if you rely on a more renewable resource doesn't mean you have to use it if you can get used to a few degrees lower temperature. So, while you may not be able to pledge a specific temperature range (unless you buy a cheapo home thermometer), you can still pledge to freeze yer buns off. Or maybe just a light frost.

Also, if you want to have a day off on occasion day for visitors or just to enjoy more comfy temperatures, that's fine, too. We won't tell. Of course, the challenge is to stick to your pledge as much as possible, but if it makes it easier to do so when you can look forward to a weekend splurge, then do it.

25 comments:

Anna said...

A quick comment for those readers dealing with baseboard heating--most hardware stores sell thermostats that can be installed in place of the heating knob. The ones we got allow us to choose the settings throughout the day (like central heating). They're fairly cheap and make life a ton easier when dealing with imprecise baseboard heating dials. Ace Hardware has them if you search under "thermostat".

(Hope Mr. Crunchy is doing better--glad to hear you're keeping him nice and comfortable!)

Ashley said...

ooops! i never signed up:

let's try:
65 day
60 night (COLD!!)

we live in apartment though, so we might not really need the heat that much (yay!)

kelley said...

i pledged 65 day and 60 night, but for now we're doing about 62 day and 58 night. and i feel really guilty when i switch it up to 63. we'll see if our resolve holds in january.

Maggie said...

This is my first pledge, as I am a new reader. However, I am a faithful user of the Diva Cup already. So, I'm going to pledge for 67 daytime and 62 nighttime. We may find cooler is okay during the day; we just moved in, so we have to figure out temp control here.

Melinda said...

I have to tell you something funny...

We don't have a thermostat (we have old 1940s electric wall heaters and a wood stove), so we just use one of those cheapo thermometers you mentioned. The temperatures here (in Northern Ca) are dropping outside slowly but surely - into the upper 30s and low 40s at night. But I was so impressed that we were consistently staying at around 72 degrees inside, with no heat on at all.

A couple of days ago I woke up and I was freezin my buns - yep. I put on a sweater. Then I put on a sweatshirt over the sweater. But the thermometer still said 72. Huh. Was I crazy? Was my body temp out of whack?

Just for kicks I brought in our growing rack thermometer to see what it said - it's very reliable (and only a tad more expensive!). I waited for a while, to let it adjust... exactly 60 degrees. And 58 in my office!!

Well, I guess we know we can go that low! We're sticking to our 50 degree pledge, though I shiver at the thought. My asthma gets worse with the wood fire, and the old electric heaters are just scary enough to wait as long as we can.

A little tip: I've learned that if I bring the animals into my office and close the door, the three of us warm up the room to a toasty 70-75 degrees over a couple of hours. Amazing what body heat can do!

emily said...

Wait, we didn't have to start yet?? My apartment has already been chilly for a week--the 62 degrees during daytime/at-home hours are working out okay, but I did have to put a blanket over my lap a few evenings ago while I sat and worked. The 58 at night is tough, though. When I take my Navy Shower, I crank up the electric heater in the bathroom beforehand. Brrr. Good reason not to shower every day!

Dana said...

I just revisited after a long time away, and found exactly what I was already (with little mournful shivers) thinking about doing! So I'll commit to 67 day and 62 night...

prayers and good wishes for Mr Crunchy!

barefoot gardener said...

You know, I have been feeling guilty living in an apt and having temps around 70 deg without the thermostat even turned on. I think for me, the better challenge will be to not open the windows to let all the heat OUT this winter. We'll see how things go...

Susanna said...

we have lowered our nighttime setting to 64 and we are staying with 69 for days. We live in a drafty badly insulated house and it gets cold in here. I have closed the vents in the 2 bedrooms that we don't use during the day. I make sure the space heaters are turned off in the boys' rooms during the day if they are not home. My son is trying not to use the heat at all in his apartment. He bought more blankets. His reasons are economic but benefit the environment anyways.

Debbie said...

I'm going with the barefoot Gardner on this one -- my apartment is often warm enough from the apartments below me that I don't have to turn the thermostat up at all. So my pledge will be to work on keeping the windows closed as much as possible -- though I overheat pretty easily, we'll see.

(My next door neighbor has been running his air conditioner, though the temperatures lately haven't gone above 65 or so. Turns out he didn't know the heat was on. And he left town for the weekend with it that way.)

twoluvcats said...

I'm IN! I found this late yesterday, and I'm glad I did :-) Once furnace is operable, I'm going to set my heat at 68 day and 64 night.

thanks for the inspiration! :)

Kim said...

We've experienced some chilly mornings here in Indiana. It is so tempting to fire up that wood stove. So far though our morning house temps are staying around 57* F. Not chilly enough to warrant a fire. The good news that by 9:30 it is sunny enough to open the curtains. By 10:30 the house will warm up to 62* and by 3:00 we are up to 67*.

I'm keeping a running temperature watch on the blog.

Kim

Christine said...

I'm doing this! The kids and I are just dressing warm during the day, and lighting a fire when we first wake, so they can do their schoolwork a bit more comfortably. Once the sun comes out, the house heats up nicely on its own.

We're keeping it at 62 degrees all the time. We'll use the heater when we have our open house next month (for our church), but other than that, we'll just have guests gather round the fireplace if it's too nippy.

Anastasia-Jane said...

We live in New Mex, just shy of the Colorado border. We have been having 20's at night for a weeks. Thankfully it does warm up during the day. We have radiant floor heating and have it turned down as far as it will go. The only time it kicked on was about a week ago we got snow that stayed for a few days. What we do is get straight out a bed and head to a nice hot shower. Then get dressed as quickly as possible in our warm clothes. Everyone has fuzzy slippers and a nice robe if they need them. Thankfully our house stays warm because of the thick walls. I am going to go get a cheapie thermometer just to see what we are staying. We also open the blinds on the windows that the sun is shining on each day to warm the room. Every little bit helps, just like picking up pennies.

dahlia said...

i'm in!

we're going to try 65-67 day and no heat at night, with the loophole that turning up the heat to 70 while making love is fair game, *grin*.

jill said...

i have been compliant with my pledge of 70 in the day and 65 at night. It seems like I am starting to get used to it and maybe I can get a bit lower in a week or so.

Anna Banana said...

Last year we got a new roof and put in lots of insulation. Haven't turned on the heat yet (but we are in southern CA). When we do turn it on, there will be lots of Put a Sweater On and Do Some Pushups! from me and lots of sneaky turning up the thermostat from the rest of the family.

QT said...

Count me in for 64 night and day. We have a pellet stove, so the furnace is just back-up. We are getting hard frosts at night here in WI, so it is definitely starting to get colder.

Ami Scott said...

Count me in! We're already at a steady 65 during the day, but I'll pledge to 58 at night

SassyBelle said...

I'm in! I live in a tiny, basement apartment. I get some heat from my upstairs neighbor (Just like I got all my A/C) and I just moved my TV into my bedroom (so I can snuggle in bed, do my homework, and watch TV)so my goal is:

No heat!!!

and I live in North Carolina. So while it's not frigid frozen, it's pretty cold. (Already in the 50s. Brrr.)

jessy said...

okay - my spouse is complaining, but we're doing this:

60 during the day (because it's just the dog and our 4 cats in the house and they have their own little fur coats!) and then once we get home it'll be 65 degrees at night upstairs and 60 degrees downstairs. we're also sleeping with an electric blanket. 'cause he's a wuss! ;)

Mel and Moses said...

Count me in...58 at night and 66 during the day. We just turned the heat on - it's been pretty nice here in WI - but now they're throwing around the S word. I love it, but it does get cold. We do have electric bed warmers that we use to 'prime' the bed, but shut off before we fall asleep. We both love heavy blankets, so that's good, but this is the first year our little guy is going w/o an electric heater in his room. He's 2...he was a preemie so we spoiled him when it came to the heat. But now he's older and will hopefully adjust to our ways. He's got 2 quilts in his crib =) We always roll our eyes, though, b/c when we check on him, he's usually curled up in the 5% of the bed that is not covered! Anyway - we usually warn guests to bring a sweater to our house! The only 2 people we really turn it up for are my mom and grandpa. Well, I'm looking forward to this challenge - THANKS!

Rosie said...

I'm all for your challenges (you've managed to get me to use cloth wipes!) but I think you misread the efficiency of dropping below 68. The site you reference says that for each degree ABOVE 68 degrees you increase your consumption 6 - 8 percent. I might just be trying to rationalize not being cold (I hate cold) but that's what I understood it to mean. I'd be curious to see what the numbers are for under 68 degrees. I would imagine it would be pretty much the same. The difference probably is that since it is a percentage of your consumption, the change in consumption is less as you get into those lower temperatures when you're theoretically consuming less energy to heat. Nonetheless, we've lowered our daytime temp about 4 degrees and nighttime another 3 below that. It's a start!

Stacey @ A Measure of Grace said...

Okay, THIS IS AWESOME!!!
I wanted to tell you that we have been heating our home with wood for a few years. I will write my post about it tonight probably so come on over and check it out. I will also link to this challenge since it is exactly what we are all about!!

We are not as "crunchy" on some things but when it comes to this, we are all out!

Sally said...

Hey Crunchy--

Count me in, too!
We've been doing OK here in Iowa at 62 at night, 66 during the morning and evening hours, 62 when no one is at home during the midday. So far so good; even when DH has been working at home he hasn't minded the 62 degrees. So, coming late to your challenge-- but better late than never-- we'll set that programmable thermostat down to 60 at night, and try 65 to get up in the early a.m.
Here's to even lower impacts!
Sally

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