Feedback from friends and family about the Climate Challenge has been very encouraging. Thanks to everyone who has our back! But a small clarification seems in order... when we (meaning John, it's entirely his fault) made the comment about keeping the thermostat in the 50s, we didn't mean to imply that we'd freeze our family all month long in the name of "winning" this challenge. Everyone who comments on the story says something along the lines of "gonna set the heat to 50, huh?" and that's not really our strategy.
A good line I read recently goes something like this: Energy conservation does NOT mean shivering in the dark or wearing parkas all day long.
So maybe we'll keep the down comforter on the bed, but we certainly will not be freezing our children overnight, defrosting them in the morning, and putting on five sweaters and a flannel to get through the day if this May turns out to be a chilly one. We will use the heat if it's needed. It's just that we'll redefine our idea of "needed." And we won't heat an empty house. Maybe there will be three weeks during which the thermostat stays untouched at 58. But if it's cold and the heat is on a lot out of necessity, we'll conserve somewhere else. Maybe we won't turn any lights on.