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

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

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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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