Examine your own unique situation and challenge yourself to the minimum level. How will seeking the minimum level effect the way you live now? What will you reduce today? What can you work on reducing in the future?
Bet you are asking yourself right about now what "minimum level" is. Well, let me give you an example. Let's say you wash your hair every morning by taking a 10 minute shower followed by blow drying and styling. What if you reduce your shower time to 8 minutes, or maybe even 5. Can you get it done in that amount of time? What if you only took a shower every OTHER day for 5 min. You can see that you would save water this way and the gas or electricity of heating that water. If you let your hair dry naturally, that would also cut back on electricity. When you find that point where you HAVE to take a shower at least every other day for 5 minutes and can only let it dry naturally 2 days of the week, that will be your minimum level. You've gone as low as you are willing or able to go.
Hubby and I have incorporated all kinds of minimums. We keep our thermostat low on the heater (thank GOD we live in a place that doesn't get really cold!) and add layers of clothes. We don't shower EVERY day, enough to keep smelling and looking good though. We've replaced all the bulbs in our house with low watt bulbs, lowered the thermostat on the hot water heater, bike and walk for errands and try do to clothes washing only a couple of times a week followed by hanging the wash outside on sunny days. We've made laundry soap, used less soap and shampoo and even less toothpaste. Did you know it only takes just a little 1/4 in. section to clean your entire mouth? We buy in bulk and repackage for freezer and make our meals at home. We've even added some solar panels on the roof to help charge things like our electric bikes. We even put in 2 rain barrels this year to catch any rain we may get to water our garden with over the season. So this challenge really is making me think!
I need to cut back on TV time every day. That would save some electricity and free me to do some other things. And I could probably use less water when I'm getting the dishwasher packed by putting a plug in the sink and reusing the water. We don't use the dishwasher unless it's totally FULL but lately, with my grandkids living with us, we've been washing dishes at least twice a day. Maybe I could do a hand wash load for one of those loads. And my garden... it WAS getting watered nearly every day unless it was raining but I'm in the process right now of getting it used to water every other day. It feeds us so I'm not really sure just how much I can reduce. We've added mulch around the plants so that should help keep the moisture in.
This topic will be tossed around in my head for most of the day as I assess my excesses (try saying THAT 3 times quickly!) and I'm hopeful that I will come up with a few more ways to save.