The Holmans have come together as a family in their efforts to save energy, even if it means turning their backs on their appliances, but don't shed any tears for the Holmans’ dishwasher.
Neglected though it may be, it has plenty of company like the poor dryer sitting unused in the laundry room.
Donna Holman says, “It started out, we got our electric bill, and it was going a little higher than it was even the month before, so Billy said, okay, no more clothes dryer.”
Now the Holmans dry their clothes the old-fashioned way, hanging from a line. It's one of many measures the family's taken to cut energy costs.
In the kitchen, they installed a gas stove to replace the electric one they used to have, but they do much of their cooking outside on the grill. And those dishes?
William says, “I told the children you'll go washing by hand like I did.”
The Holmans have also changed the way they think about light.
Donna says, “As long as there is natural lighting outside, we don't turn on the light switches, and it's a habit. When you walk into a room, and many times we've learned, you don't really need it.
In fact, the lights aren't on much at all in the Holman house; the kids even do their homework by the sunlight that streams through the windows, and when the lights are on they're burning the more energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs.
With no dryer, dishwasher or incandescent bulbs burning, the Holmans have found another savings.
They still use it; it is the south after all, but without those appliances giving off heat, their AC doesn't work as hard to cool the house.
The kids have made a game of it, checking the meter, and logging the results on the calendar. The results are undeniable. Just check out their back-to-back electric bills.
Donna says, “This month's bill we saved $130 approximately just by doing the little simple things anybody can do.”
But if energy savings was the goal, the Holmans just may have found an added benefit.
Daughter Ashleigh says, “You get to enjoy spending time with your family while you are doing your chores. It's bringing our family closer together.”