Saturday 11 June 2011

Three Months On......

In some respects it seems like such a long time ago, in others it feels like just a couple of days ago. Much of our life is back to normal but there are constant reminders of what happened and of course every little tremor brings the the thoughts of the 'big one' back to mind.

It seems like more survival stories are starting to be told too, part of the healing process and better to focus on the positive that the negative. This story is amazing, three schools full of child were saved due to the drills that had been implemented a couple of years ago, I hope that all schools near the coast use the same drills. We are in a landlocked prefecture so at least I don't have to worry about tsunami's.

One of the big after effects of the disaster is due to the reactors being out of action, we are headed towards the summer and so it won't be long until the aircons get switched on. When I first came to Japan and lived in the north I had no idea how hot and humid it got in most of Japan since the summers up there were not so different from back home, I had a fan but no aircon and it got hot but not so humid. If had known I would have certainly had second thoughts about moving down here, I am a winter babe, I don't do hot and humid!

Anyway, the Japanese government have asked everyone to cut their power consumption by 15% with a hope that it will be enough to avoid blackouts. Friends that work at schools, universities and companies have said that every second light bulb has been removed and many of the shops and stores I have been to have done the same.
uniquo - super cool biz

Another thing that the government is pushing at the moment is SuperCoolBiz, coolBiz has been going for a few years now, encouraging business people to ditch the black suits and just wear a short sleeved shirt and smart pants, I think this will be a big step if the Japanese take too it.
At the head office of the last company I worked for, in the summer they had their aircon on full blast at Arctic cold levels but then everyone would wear jackets/cardigans and the women even worked with a blanket over their knees or wrapped round the shoulders. I asked a couple of times why they didn't just turn the aircon down a bit and I was just given a strange look as if to say 'what a ridiculous notion'! Hopefully, this crisis will sort out such insane behaviour.

So, cutting power consumption by 15% how can we help?
I think our biggest saving is by setting the timer on everything we can, we set it for the washing machine, bread machine, dishwasher and rice cooker so that they do their jobs over night when power consumption is at it's lowest (and cheapest). Generally I don't use the oven until after 6pm and during the day when it is just me at home I only have on the computer or the sewing machine and the fridge, we can't really turn that off! The rest is just the usual, turning off lights and anything that is not being used, I'm not sure what else, as a family we can do. Our house is all electric, we have no gas but we do have solar panels so for most of the year we generate enough to cover our bills, summer is the exception!
So, what do you do to save energy? I would love to hear any other ideas...

1 comment:

  1. Appliances tend to draw electricity as long as they are plugged in -- even when they're turned off, so I like to unplug the television, sewing machines, mixer, etc when not in use.

    We've also installed ceiling fans in the bedrooms of our house. Even if we turn on the a/c, it's still stuffy up there, so I prefer an open window and the fan.


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