Creative Frugality and Intelligent Efficiency

Pinched Penny

America has been known for years as a 'Land of Plenty'. Yet, even the Land of Plenty is not immune from economic recession. But, there may be a silver lining to this darkly clouded economy. The very American ideals of frugality and efficiency have reappeared after years of extravagant waste. I've heard that everything old is new again, including our grandparent's values of thrift and conservation. But just maybe there are some NEW frugal and efficient ideas we can try out too.

Instructables and EarthJustice have teamed up to help spread the news of frugality and efficiency through their United States of Efficiency Contest. Create an energy-saving Instructable (a detailed description of How-To Do-It-Yourself), and explain why or how your project helps save energy! You can improve an existing product, track down energy wasters in your house, or create something entirely new. They're open to creative definitions of efficiency - just give a great explanation, and help inspire others to follow your example. The U.S. of Efficiency contest runs from March 26 through May 6, 2009 and contest voting runs May 7 through May 14, 2009 and the first prize is a 15" Mac Book Pro!

Even small changes in the efficiency standards for appliances, lights, and machines can create huge savings in electricity and natural gas - we can help fight global warming, create green jobs, and save scarce resources and money at the same time! Check out the Instructables Energy Saving Guide for contest inspiration.

What am I going to do? Well, I'm buying a Kill A Watt so I can start tracking down the big electricity wasters in our home. Hopefully I'll get inspired and come up with a creative, new idea for efficiency before May 6th. What are you doing to save money and energy around the house or office?

More Info:

Earthjustice United States of Efficiency Contest

Instructables - Where passionate people share what they do and how they do it. - United States of Efficiency

Rocky Mountain Institute - Household Energy Efficiency

Frugality: Legacy of The Great Depression

Kill A Watt - household appliance power meter