Mar 26: More tales from the darkside

The Murphy Family writes:

We are raising our children to be aware of the environmental impact of everything they do. We have a family of six living in our house, the children are 16,14 and 10. We use our hot water manually so it only gets turned on for an hour twice a week. We have our power consumption down to10 kw and when the bill comes in we celebrate when it is less than the previous bill and then we make a new target.

We live in the country so have tank water, we only have 12000 gallons holding capacity and have not bought water in the 15 years we have been here. We live a comfortable life but the children are aware that water is precious and we must make do with what earth mother provides, bores are not an option, that water is needed by the earth. We are constantly looking for new ways to make change to our lives.

Currently we are reducing our garbage. The children have embraced this, they are looking for products with little or no packaging. Our target is one shopping bag of rubbish per week. The children are our future and it is essential that good environmental choices come naturally to them. We have built a mudbrick house using mostly recycled timbers and they plan to do the same. We lived without power for four years and they reminisce about that time. I am proud to say that environmental thoughtfulness is second nature to them.

And from the Hoy Family:

As with last year our family will be taking the big step again, last year our family turned off the mains power at 09.30 and went all day without grid power we only used what limited solar torches and the daylight hours we had to get through.

Also our family filled four 30 litre buckets with water that had to do us for 48 hours, the mains power, we turned on again at 09.30 the next day so we managed to go for 24 hours without power and as for the water we completed the 48 hours only utilizing 132ltrs of water, this included washing ourselves and washing up, basically all our water needs for that time period.

As a family on low income it would be great to afford solar hot water and solar power however we both learned and experienced what we can actually accomplish, with water savings over a week we could include clothes washing and power saved we could afford home entertainment as board games to use as family time, we also looked at what wastage we could reduce, from this we now have a power bill that only gets to $180 max a quarter lower water bills and a greater appreciation for the environment.

The Hoy Family think they can better last year's stellar effort and will report back to us post Earth Hour to let us know how they went.

Congratulations to both families and a great thankyou to all who sent in their stories.

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