Energy Diet

Falling Off the Wagon

We’ve hit a couple of hiccups in our energy diet challenge since we have been traveling and spent the last week in Cape Town. While not quite a holiday (Mark is working and I am spending time with my sister), I had high hopes for us continuing in the same energy saving vein as we had been at home.

Falling of the wagon is easy to do...

It turns out it is harder said than done. The plastic shopping bag refusal blew out of the window. I probably brought home at least 5 bags this week. Not everything fits into my oversized handbag and I need bags to tie it to the pram, as I have been walking to the shops from where we live. (An accomplishment as this is suburbia, not quite Cape Town City Bowl charm — but lovely nonetheless, because I can see vineyards from my window!)

I visited the laundromat twice to wash and dry some clothes, and so the line-drying concept eluded me. I also drink bottled water at each coffee shop I hang out at (being a stay-at-home mom is such a drag!). Okay. I try to go for tap, but sometimes sparkling water is so refreshing!

We are not mentioning the cloth nappies either. It just wasn’t something I could bear to implement in a house without a tumbledryer and a famously tempestuous climate.

I am saving petrol by not having a car, but Mark’s daily drive into Cape Town is three times longer than his regular commute in Johannesburg. The little Daihatsu Sirion rental car is luckily a tad more efficient than his bigger Honda, so there is a little bit of a fuel efficiency saving there.

Even my plans to introduce my sister to recycling have not paid off. There is a company here that collects your recycled trash for a fee, but at R50 a week (about $8) it just all adds up to extra effort and cost so that notion got vetoed.

At least I can see that I am much more aware of my habits, and I do cringe every time I dump plastic and paper items in the regular bin. For my uneasy conscience alone I think the energy diet has paid off.

Once we get home we will also have to make an adjustment to our consumption tally to compensate for us not being there for a while. We have someone living on the property now, so I hope my bean-counting husband will be able to run some kind of a spreadsheet model to see where we are at the moment.

Okay. All in all I think I need to subtract points for our falling off the wagon this week. Things are looking bleak, folks.

Until next time

Us three