Energy Diet

In many countries there is a range of extreme temperatures going from snow to really hot summers. In Costa Rica we have only two seasons: the dry season (December to March) and rainy season (April to November). The temperature in the place where we live ranges between 14 º C and 27 º C (52ºF to 81ºF) during the year; it is generally a comfortable temperature so you do not need air conditioning or heating. When it gets cooler we solve it with some extra blankets and when it is warmer, we open the windows for some fresh air.

As you could see we have between 8 and 9 months of rain, so drying up your clothes outside is not always possible. At least for us the issue gets complicated because we both work during the day and we do the laundry once a week at night. Furthermore, our apartment is not big enough to dry all the clothes of a week at a time.

Also we don’t want to increase the amount of loads because we would spend more for electricity. However, when we wash clothes by hand or are a few items we always let them air dry.

Some of the actions we have been able to implement at home include:

– Unplug appliances that are not used: This is a matter of daily routine, from the first day we started on this diet we walked around the house unplugging everything that as not in use. The issue is that when you use one appliance it is difficult to remember to unplug it again, yet every day we are more aware of it.

– Turn off lights when not needed: This really is a practice we had before, so it has been easy to keep it on.

– Cooking with gas at least once a week: We have to admit that we love grilled food and it is also a good energy practice, then once a week at least our lunch or dinner gets cooked in the grill.

-Make our own garden of spices: In our house we do not have a garden, but we have an outdoor space that we used to have potted plants of different spices, so we have a little “green” at home and don’t have to buy this type of ingredients for our meals.

-Change the settings of the refrigerator: When we started this diet, we checked the temperature at which we had the refrigerator and realized that we were pretty high with the level of cold. After that we have adapted it to reach a temperature right for foods without overdoing the appliance.

– Use energy-efficient appliances: Since we got married we chose appliances, comparing the energy consumption indicators and chose those that were more efficient, even if this meant paying a little more for them. It was clear that in the long-term was a profitable investment.

– Place a water heater timer: Several months ago we saw that the electric bill was very high and we found that a large part was due to the water heater that spent all day working. We bought a $50.00 timer and indeed our electricity bill has gone down.

We still have some things pending to carry out, but we are proud of what we have achieved. We feel we are hitting the spot!


  1. Christina Nunez
    November 22, 2011, 10:24 am

    That is a great tip about the water heater timer. Sounds inexpensive and easy.