With the colder months approaching we are finding that the house gets much colder than anything we expected, which makes it far more challenging to keep our gas usage down. We have found many different cracks and crevasses that allow cold air in and heat out. The space in my bedroom is about ¾ of an inch, this can simply be fixed with a little caulk and some shoe moulding. Besides the crack we are finding that the windows also let the heat out and the walls lacking insulation doesn’t help with keeping heat in and since the heat is being lost it makes it harder to use less. With the cold coming we are running the heat all day and night to keep the house warm and not an ice box. We are trying to find ways to keep the heat in. We put in all the storm widows and are looking into shrink wrapping the windows to further help keep the heat in. One thing I want to do is insulate the basement and put in some shoe moulding, it might not be much but it can definitely help keep the heat in the house and the cold air out.
One way we tried to use less gas and water was taking timed showers this past week. We decided that each person had to take no more than 8 minutes in the shower, and after the first day a few of us were able to get our showers under 5 minutes! This was not nearly has hard, or inconvenient as only using the toilet in the basement. Unfortunately we were not able to see if this helped reduce gas but we were able to see a drastic change in water consumption. The members of the house are definitely willing to do anything to show that the smallest change in a person’s daily routine can have a huge impact.
As the semester comes to an end we are begging to think of ideas for grants and projects for the house. One thing we want to do is paint the house so it looks like a fun and creative environment. We have been researching how to do this to help convey our message of environmentalism to the other houses, students and staff, and community members. We hope that the paintings would help show people how their house works and how they can change their house for the better. We are excited to see what future weeks bring and how we can continue to keep making the house more sustainable.