As the cold weather spreads, so, it seems do the articles in newspapers and magazines about “how to keep warm/save money/increase energy efficiency this winter!” And while I’m definitely behind the standard fixes that all of these articles seem to encourage, I’m discouraged by the fact that they’re all geared toward home-owners. I would love to put an automated thermostat to work in my house, but… it’s not my house. I’d love to hang curtains over the bare, large, three-paneled windows in my living room, but… not my house. I’d love to buy new Energy Star compliant appliances, but, again, not my house (and also, where would I find the money?). Likewise, when these same articles come out in the summer, advocating better window covering during the day and ceiling fan installations and all of that… I will be in the same wow-if-only-I-could boat.
It’s nearly the same problem when it comes to articles on “making your home green.” The smaller things that I can do, I am doing — the energy-efficient light bulbs, religious recycling, using more green cleaners — but certain things are outside of my purview. When my dishwasher broke down, it was replaced swiftly by my landlord, and I was grateful, even though the replacement is probably not the high-efficiency model I would have bought in a perfect situation. Likewise, I’d love to follow directions on how to build my own compost patch in the back corner or dig up my side-yard for a nice little garden, but that’s outside of my jurisdiction. The best I can do is mow whenever possible with the non-powered lawn mower.
There seem to be few useful tips out there aimed at enters, though my guess is we make up a substantial percentage of the reading audience for articles like this, particularly when the headline includes the words “save money.” I wish there was more consideration about this (and if I’m missing some big obvious source of info, could someone point me there?).