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Cooper-Young Residents Go Green With Gusto

July 21, 2010

The Smallest User Blog received the following testimonial from three of Cooper-Young’s most energy-saving savvy residents. Check out their story below to find out a few new ways you can go green and help C-Y become The Smallest User.

by Chad Ahren, Beth Tidball & Avery Ahren

We’ve been contributing in every way we know how to help Cooper-Young meet its obligation to the Earth. Where to start?

Back in the day we used to keep our thermostat at 72 in the summer. This was partially because we were used to it, but also because other places we lived had less efficient windows, so we needed the air on more often to compensate. Now we have programmable thermostats, and the AC doesn’t come on at all when we’re away at work and school. And our windows are efficient enough that 77 or 76 is plenty cool for us. We paid just $200 to keep 2500 square feet cool during the scorching hot month of June.

We drive a Prius, which is a really accessible option for anyone now. It costs the same as any other new-ish car, but at 40-50 mpg, gas costs when we aren’t traveling out of town are close to nil. Of course, one of the key advantages of living in Cooper-Young is that you can walk anywhere and do plenty without ever even getting in the car.

We know we have to keep our plants alive, but we’re being very careful about water usage. One way to keep trees hydrated without wasting water is to get a tree gator – it drips 15 gallons into the root system over eight hours instead of sprinkling 150 gallons over an hour, most of which runs off into other areas.

Nothing stays plugged in unless it’s totally impractical to unplug (cable box and TV plugs are behind very heavy furniture). But all chargers and small appliances get unplugged to minimize the small amount of juice they suck even when not turned on.

We were also very fortunate to have been chosen to receive a smart meter for MLGW’s pilot program. Can’t wait to further tweak our power usage once we have a better idea of our patterns with that exciting piece of equipment.


Chad, Beth & Avery

If you have any comments or questions for Chad, e-mail Ashley and she will pass them along. Thanks so much to these super-involved Cooper-Young residents for sharing their story!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Emily permalink
    July 21, 2010 1:42 pm

    At our house we have always been pretty big on saving energy but since the Smallest User Competition we have really changed our habits. Turning off light, keeping shades closed, and of course monitoring the thermostat, but a new thing for us has been to go around the house and unplug all those gadgets that we aren’t using at the moment. Coffee maker, toaster oven, hair dryer, and phone chargers are just of a few of the items we realized didn’t need to be plugged in all the time. Just becoming more conscious of our energy consumption has changed the way we live, and that is a good thing.

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