Hooray! It’s another mostly sunny day. After our bleak, almost three weeks of cloudy skies, these past few days have been gloriously beautiful. Everyone and everything, I swear, has a little more energy and spunk.
More sunshine also means that we can once again benefit from our solar hot water system. I just checked the temperature of the system. It’s at 108 F. Not as warm as many times, but much better than the 22 F I saw a few nights ago.
When it’s sunny out, Ron and I have been trying to adjust our hot water usage–namely, using more hot water when the sun is out because it’s essentially subsidized hot water. We try to do one of those random extra loads of laundry, or run the dishwasher, or time a bath or shower to take advantage of the free hot water.
It’s interesting adjusting one’s mindset–and practices–to the weather and larger environment around you. It makes sense to use more hot water on days like this, but habits are funny things. Like, wash clothes that hang dry after yoga Wednesday, all other clothes Friday, wash towels and sheets at some point over the weekend. ( <– Just a (not so) random example there.) Does it really matter if loads of wash get delayed or accelerated a day (or more) to match the weather? Probably not. But habits and routines do die hard.
The solar hot water heater has been one of those things about our new house that makes us reflect more on what we do and how we do it. Sure, we could keep to old habits. Our electricity bill would probably go up just a few bucks a month by ignoring the weather and doing whatever is most convenient–or habitual. But part of this whole project is about leading a more reflective life and thinking about our relationships to and impacts upon the natural world. And it’s much easier for First World-ers to ignore things like clean and adequate water supplies, hot water, regular heat, and more.
Happy New Year’s Eve!