This weekend my wife and I decided we should track how many bags of trash we take out with the idea that this would encourage us to find ways to reuse, compost and recycle more. I tossed in water and electric meter readings and built a google spreadsheet to record this info on a weekly basis. Then created graphs.
The problem with this is that we'd only see the info once a week and this just wouldn't be quite as engaging. I've been floating around the idea of a home digital billboard for awhile so thought this would be a good first start. I tossed together a shell script that pulled down three graphs from google spreadsheets, made an image out of them and set it as the background image on a computer.
With this script applied to our media center linux box, the whole family will frequently get a chance to see the graphs and see how we're doing with utility consumption.
There is plenty of room to expand this in the future, but this was a fun and quick solution to get things started.