Monday, December 13, 2010

Turning Utility Bills Around with Pizza

During the summer time I stress out when I see bills in the mail from Rocky Mountain Power. In the Winter, my anxiety changes over to Questar Gas. My dislike for the local city utilities usually remains constant throughout the year since their bills don't fluctuate with the temperature. As much as I appreciate having heat, water, and electricity, I sure hate utility bills.

I don't consider myself an environmentalist, but I don't like seeing litter, pollution, or waste either. I try to conserve energy, but I'm mostly motivated by saving money. I think we could solve more environmental problems if we focused on saving money since money is a language most people understand. When I see my kids washing a dish by holding it under hot running water for 10 minutes (the erosion method), I think of my utility bills, more than I do any impact it may have on the environment.

I'd rather spend utility bill money on me and my family than the utility company, so a while ago I came up with a plan to get my kids on board. I put a copy our most recent utility bills on the fridge and tell my kids if they can help me get next month's bill lower than the prior month, then we will have a pizza party. It works. I don't do it because I'm worried about ozone layers, or carbon footprints or any of that crap. I just figure I'd rather spend that money on something fun, so at least this way it shifts saved money from our utilities budget and moves it over into our food budget instead.

Making my kids aware of energy conservation has helped us reduce things like leaving lights and TVs on in empty rooms, taking super long showers, leaving outside doors open, and running a load of wash for just 2 or 3 items. (At least when I'm at home). I guess I could always frighten my kids by telling them stories about polar bears dying and cities flooding instead in order to motivate them to save energy. Never mind, I think the media already has a monopoly on that approach.

7 comments:

Kristina P. said...

So, you are not on board with my plan to destroy the earth?

Dawn (Bee and Rose) said...

This idea rocks my socks off! You are right...money talks. I'm doing this today!

Eric said...

Be careful that they don't string extension cords over from nearby homes in the neighborhood. It *is* pizza after all...

Cheeseboy said...

Pretty smart. I am not going to call you "green" but I will say that you are saving the green.

Or something like that.

Kelly said...

Chaka/Tom,
(I still like calling you Chaka k?) were you not ever a boy scout? Remember "leave no trace"?

Enjoy your pizza party and try not to feel too guilty about the carbon footprints you leave : )

M-Cat said...

My question would be is there a battle over the thermostat? that is the only think I am a real sickler on.

And to reward my boys - I just don't charge them : )

Patrick said...

Great idea! I want to give this a try!