Last week I wrote about my trip to Lake Ballard, north of Kalgoorlie in the Goldfields region of Western Australia. While I was away people stayed in my house through Airbnb. In fact, for about three weeks my house was occupied through Airbnb. Prior to travelling out to the Goldfields, my friend Frances invited me to come and stay to keep her company while her partner was overseas. This was lovely of Frances especially as she knew this would allow me to rent out my house. A change of scenery with Frances was great. She’s not only a fantastic cook but has a large house full of art and a beautiful garden. As Frances lives not far from me I passed my house most days in my comings and goings.
When I passed my house in the evenings I always noticed it was lit up like a Christmas tree; every light in the house seemed to be switched on. My electricity, along with the water and gas bills doubled in this period. The high cost of electricity and gas is an ongoing debate in this country with the general public outraged at how expensive it is. Yet in my experience of letting out my house I’ve generally found that people don’t seem to know how to conserve resources. In an earlier post I commented on how paper products disappeared so fast from my house when people stayed, it was hard for me to figure out how they could have possibly used so much. Naturally I accounted for the factor that one consumes more if you’re not paying for it. But this was more than that; for instance I could tell my washing machine had been worked overtime greatly increasing water, gas and detergent consumption. All with consequences for our environment. Does anyone realise this, to the extent where they think about what they are doing? Is it really necessary to wash clothes so frequently, use THAT much detergent and water or whatever product? It would be really easy to save so much money by looking at what you do, thinking about how you consume and then working on ways to rein it in. I wonder if perhaps I could run classes or make little videos on this theme? Hmmmm, maybe I could make money!