use10percentless

use10percentless logo - for webCollectively, we are polluting and consuming energy at a level that is very dangerous for the planet. It’s easy to blame energy companies, the ones who find, produce and sell things like coal, oil and gas, but we are the ones who want to buy and use these energy sources.

This is not someone else’s problem. This is a problem for all of us.

The first step to a solution is for me to take some personal responsibility. I can’t keep using energy just as much as I like and complain about the pollution problems of the world and expect something to be done about it. The “something” starts with me.

How can I do “something”?

As soon as I start thinking about doing “something”, I think about stopping using energy like I do. But it’s hard to stop using energy completely. I need the car to get to work, I need to fly to perform my job, I need electricity to heat my house, etc. What can I do?

The answer is to use less. I don’t have to stop, just use less, and keep trying to use less.

Use 10 Percent Less

I find that a target of 10% less usage seems very achievable. No matter what my current usage is, reducing it by just 10% feels possible. There must be ways to reduce my usage by the small amount of 10%, mustn’t there?

But a 10% reduction is very significant. If the worldwide usage of energy reduced suddenly by 10%, it would have a very significant impact on global stock markets. It would definitely be felt.

And, the earth would breath a sigh of relief. Especially if the 10% reduction was soon followed by another 10% reduction, and another. If this happened, the Earth’s problems would be solved (see this post – 10 Percent Less Can Halt Global Warming)

It starts with me!

So this initiative starts with me. I’m trying to use and consume 10% less. If nothing else happens but that, then it’s not bad anyway. I’m starting by tracking my progress here with pages and posts in the lifeintherightdirection.com website. It’s certainly fun and positive and it can only help.

Can you help me or join me?

See the posts in the use10percentless category and make your comments and suggestions where you can. Or provide your input via Facebook or Twitter (hashtag #use10percentless)

Let’s see what we can do together. Have fun, help the Earth and save some money.

My latest use10percentless results

Here, I plan to regularly update the charts that track my progress to use10percentless.

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[Updated 29 Apr 2016] Great trend. The big drop in July coincides with getting an electric car. Before that time I was counting just my main car and, since then, I’ve been counting all three cars in the family, including the electric car. The jump in usage in Jan 16 is due to a long drive for a ski holiday.

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[Updated 15 May 2015] Three out of the last four months with no flying, creating a good trend. The negative of this is that I’m driving more long trips (see the fuel used per month)

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[Updated – 15 May 2015] Still really trying to get the usage down while driving the Toyota Yaris to the office. Driving a little slower. Found a 3% shorter route. Whenever I hit bad traffic, the fuel usage shoots up. Traffic jams are really bad for fuel usage.

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[Updated 15 May 2015] Because of my job, I’m driving regularly between France and the UK up until July 2015. This is the fuel I’ve used on each trip from the UK to France. Notice that the big jump in December was when I changed cars from a VW Passat to a BMW X1. The X1 is a 4WD and it’s heavier and uses more fuel, unfortunately. Recently I’ve been really careful with my driving style and it’s working. The last few entries are significantly down. About the best I can do with the BMW X1.

use10percentless - Fuel used France to UK - 15 May 2015 1100px

[Updated 15 May 2015] Because of my job, I’m driving regularly between France and the UK up until July 2015. This is the fuel I’ve used on each trip from France to the UK. Notice that the big jump in December was when I changed cars from a VW Passat to a BMW X1. The X1 is a 4WD and it’s heavier and uses more fuel, unfortunately. Recently I’ve been really careful with my driving style and it’s working. The last few entries are significantly down. About the best I can do with the BMW X1.

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[Updated 18 Oct 2014] – This graph shows a good trend as I gradually learn to use less fuel by adjusting my driving style. Notice the outlier in the blue circle that was caused by getting up an hour late (by mistake) and getting caught in very heavy traffic. This is a good lesson for the effect of traffic on fuel consumption.