But now, I'm finally settled (well sorta) and it's time to start getting back in the enviro-groove, and start kicking a little riotous ass.
Now, as I'm in a dorm where electricity, gas, and water are all included, I'm not going to be able to do anything but a rough estimate, but, frankly, I'm not too perturbed. After all, for all the downsides to living in a room the size of a postage stamp, the upside is that it's incredibly sustainable.
Let's go to the categories shall we:
Transportation: This one should be super easy for me. I'm planning to walk to school most every day, so really, I'll only ever be using the bus or subway when I'm going somewhere else, or coming home late at night. And considering the price of taxis, I am probably almost never going to get into a car! I have a feeling that I can get this down to 10% usage.
Electricity: Like I said, I won't actually know how much electricity I'm using. But seriously. What is going to be using up much electricity? There's a mini-fridge. Some lights. Maybe the TV and the laptop and the cell phone now and then? One of the super-cool things about England is that as far as I can tell, most outlets have switches so you can turn the outlet off and on. It's an easy way to save that electricity without having to keep everything unplugged. Anyway, like I said, no way of knowing how much electricity I'll be using. But considering I was down to 10% in my palatial-by-comparison apartment in LA, I'm guessing this should be at or less than 10% usage.
Heating & Cooking Fuel: The stove and oven are electric, so I think we're only talking about the radiator here (which I'm assuming is gas.) I figured out how to turn off the heat in my room, and have kept it off ever since. I'm not sure I'll be able to keep it off all year, but for now, the ambient heat from the rest of the dorm is more than enough for me. I mean seriously. I'm in a long sleeve tee-shirt right now and I'm hot. I'm guessing I'll be at 10% or less, at least until it starts getting much colder.
Garbage: This one is not so hot right now as I am awash with all the crap they give you when you start school. I'm hoping this will go back to normal levels soon enough.
Water: Again no clue, but considering we're talking about showering, washing dishes, flushing, and cooking and drinking, I'm guessing this will be fairly reasonable. The huge advantage to having my own bathroom? I don't have to keep the toilet flushed at all times for other members of the household.
Consumer Goods: This one will be uphill for a bit while I get settled. I've so far only bought used stuff, but eventually I'm going to have to buy some of the things new that I can't find used. I *still* haven't got pillows yet, so I've been sleeping on a balled up sweatshirt. No fun.
Food: Well the good news is I found a little organic foods store about five minutes away from my dorm! And the woman who works there is suuuuuper nice. Seriously. When I couldn't find any fair trade sugar, she went ahead and ORDERED some for me, and told me it would come in Wednesday. Sweet! Literally. The bad news is that there aren't any bulk bins in the store, so right now I'm buying food in plastic packaging. Also, even if there were bulk bins, I don't have any empty containers to put food in, so I guess I better finish off the organic yogurt fast. Hopefully, I'll be able to check out the farmers' market this weekend. Luckily they run year round in London!
And that's it. All in all, I think I'm well positioned. But let's see how I do. I'll let you know in a month or so.