How to... Track Your Energy Use with Mr. Sketch

How to... Track Your Energy Use with Mr. Sketch

Jonathan B.
Aug 8, 2007

Recently, we realized that we had no idea how much energy we used. While it's nice to live in a place where water, power, and gas flow just about whenever you need them, it's also easy to lose track of just how much you're using... or saving. Why not use a graph to track power, water, and gas use, we thought? And put it on the fridge so that information at least stands a chance of sinking into our minds? Would you join us in this effort? Just download and print this PDF, stick it to the fridge, and the next time a utility bill comes in the mail, you'll have the perfect excuse to indulge in one of our favorite childhood activities: coloring.

Here's how to track your energy use so you can feel good about all the conservation efforts you undertake.

Step 1: Track. Decide on a scale that makes sense and jot it down in the left hand column. When you get a utility bill, fill up the bar to the appropriate place, just like fourth grade. Magic markers make this more fun.

Step 2: Target. Based on the previous months energy usage, the weather, and the season, set a goal for the coming month. Draw a green line on the graph. In coming years, you can look back to see your own yearly trends.

Step 3: Tell. Tell yourself that green means using less. Tell your friends you've set a goal... and when you've hit one, have a bunch of people over with the money that you would have sent the utility company. Now that's a green party!

A note on the chart template: we couldn't find a design that we liked, so we made our own. (You're welcome to edit the original Illustrator file... email us to request a copy.) And, to preempt a likely question: we didn't just make a graph template in Excel because 1) we wanted to keep this information front-and-center on the fridge and 2) it just seemed more fun to color.

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