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enviro friendly time

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Today I am dubbing project Earth!!

We need to do rennos to the house this year and I have been looking at all kinds of websites about heating options etc which lead to green cleaning options and recycling.

This house is going to go through a VERY big shake up.

1) I am committed to not buying any more "regular" cleaning products and am going to try all kinds of recipes to see how it goes for the next six months.

2) Time to get serious about recycling. Did any of you see the "green garbage" preview on TLC this wknd? OMG we (my house) are soooo bad!

3) Once I am through the diapers on hand, going to pull out my cloth ones (he might finally fit them soon)

4) THis summer will see all new windows,and doors, an ultra high efficiency furnace and tankless hotwater heater.

All of these things will save money at the end of the day even if some will have significant costs at the outset. We pay $227 a month year round just for heating!! That is the reasoning for the rennos to help decrease our NG usage and carbon print.

So, to all of you....

1) What have you found in terms of "green options" that have helped you?

2) What is one thing you will try doing "green" to help make changs to our planet?

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Michelle, great minds must be thinking alike. :lol: We have replacement windows on order, should be installed in the next month or so. Our house was built in 1941. It has the original wood windows, which are pretty leaky. We're also researching additional insulation for the attic.

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Two years ago I changed every lightbulb from incandescent to flourescent. It was hard to get used to at first but we do not notice a difference at all now.

I recycle more the I used to. The whole family is doing it. Before it was hit and miss with the garbage but chelsea is a General about it.

I hung up a clothesline. I have used it quite a bit so far.

Fred wants to buy a scooter to drive to and frome work to save on gas (more monetarily then enviromentally).

I planted a veggie garden in the front of the house. Tomatoes, bush beans, zucchini, summer squash, french breakfast radishes (Yum), raddichio, and japanese eggplants. So far....

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1) I am committed to not buying any more "regular" cleaning products and am going to try all kinds of recipes to see how it goes for the next six months.

I clean with a solution of sodium hypochlorite (household chlorine bleach) and water with a dash of antibacterial dishsoap for scrubbing; I use sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) for all scouring.

2) Time to get serious about recycling. Did any of you see the "green garbage" preview on TLC this wknd? OMG we (my house) are soooo bad!

Didn't see the show in question, but we have always recycled: we compost all non-stearate kitchen garbage, reuse grocery bags until they fall apart and then either use them for finish-sanding wood projects, recycle into mini dh flooring or use for fire-starting. What newspapers we buy wind up as either fire-starter, shredded into insulation or used as packing material. Wornout clothing & linens get recycled nto rags if they cannot be donated, and we donate a lot of items to various thrift shops (since we can no longer donate money, we can support good works in other ways).

3) Once I am through the diapers on hand, going to pull out my cloth ones (he might finally fit them soon)

Huh? I alwaysused cloth diapers on all three of our babies, and once you learn the basics of the "kite" fold one size can truly fit all bottoms!

4) THis summer will see all new windows,and doors, an ultra high efficiency furnace and tankless hotwater heater.

Our inline water heater paid for itself within a year of installation, plus we have "sold" several since then. We heat & cook with propane and the $aving$ is considerable. BTW, have your propane people check both the tank & the valve; we had our valve replaced almost ten years ago; we'd had no idea we were losing so much gas! We have been using compact fluorescent lightbulbs ever since Lowes began to carry them, almost 20 years, now. Because we live where we do, we can usually keep the housewarm enough with our heat pump, and pile on clothes/ covers for the rare occasions our temps go so low the heatpump can't bring the temp above 50; if we lived in Canada we'd have to have a furnace, but here we haven't used our wood-burning stove in so long DH has his N-scale buildings collected on it.

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Our house came with a tankless water heater. It is THE best. Never a cold shower.

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Well my bit at the moment is recycling what is recyclable, except our compost. Really have no-where to put it! A big downside to a flat. I also hate getting bags from the shops. they don't do paper ones here, so its always plastic. Ok, they can be recycled at some supermarkets, but if I don't have them, I don't need to recycle them! I'd rather balance things high on my arms carrying them than get a bag (if I forget to put my cloth bag in my handbag!) We go grocery shopping with collapsable crates to avoid bags.

We've also got the long lasting bulbs in some lights - we're renting, so replace them as they run out. Hopefully our new flat/house this summer will have a garden so we can compost!

Muriel :lol:

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My bf and I are moving in together soon, and talked about some of the things we could do to be a little more green. I like the ideas here... we are going to by canvas bags for groceries so we don't get tons of plastic bags. We're also going to buy those weirdlightbubs that look like spirals.

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We replaced all of our windows two years ago with triple paned etc with all the seals and such. Have one glass slider to replace yet probably by end of summer. We had to replace major portions of the siding on one end of the house and I had them put on additional insulation before the new stuff went up. For some reason that end was always cold. Solar panels will not be practical for us but eventually a wind mill might be possible. There is still a lot of resistance by the locals here to the windmill "farms". We recycle all our plastics, paper, glass and tin where ever possible now. Have tried the garden thing but we don't have very good soil and a short growing season. We will try a couple of those hanging bags and plant some tomatoes in a week or so. Hubby has been switching us over to the new bulbs bit by bit. Will need to replace our furnace in a couple of years but that will be a major expense and hassle for the house and there are a couple of more critical items to address first. We have the house divided into zones and installed programmable themostates in each. We do use our fireplace a lot during the winter and it is one of those old Heatilator kind that is very efficient for a fireplace. The hard part is reminding DH to turn off all his electronic gadgets when he is not using them. I have been looking at the instant water heaters. We had them in Europe when we lived there and I really liked them. Eventually intend to talk to our plumber about costs and installation process and see whether and when it makes sense for us to do it. As for driving we are retired now and except for my dog rescue work we usually do not go much anymore and we double up on the trips to minimize the travel although that is more due to gas cost then trying to be green. We looked at a hybred this last fall when we replaced his car but he wasn't all that impressed with the state of the technology. By the time we replace my car in another couple of years it will be a serious contender. (I know, two cars are more then we really need, but mine is the more fuel efficient of the two and I need four wheel because of the weather and rescue work. He needs one that is comfortable because of back surgery.)

It will be a long process for us and I doubt we will ever be as green as we could be but every little bit does some good.

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we started buying those light bulbs until we started doing some research after reading a newspaper article about them. I won't use them again. Please see article http://www.energystar.gov/ia/partners/prom...eet_Mercury.pdf

Read all the way to the end. I know some cities are now refusing them in their landfills. I think it is another one of those "gotcha" things that haven't been researched thoroughly before recommending them. If we continue to use these bulbs, our planet is going to have a much bigger problem than energy usage.

Please make up your own mind, but we are not using them anymore.

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Home Depot will take the spent lightbulbs to recycle them in an enviro friendly way. I know Canada, or British Columbia atleast is looking at a recycling program for them.

Today I have tried my first green cleaning recipe!! :) I made an all purpose spray cleaner.

1/2 t washing soda

2 t borax

drop liquid soap

2 drop essential orange oil

2 cup hot water

mix well in a spray bottle. I used it throughout my kitchen, appliances, cupboards, the grime under the fridge etc and it worked great!

The cleaning I did today I would have used about a half a trigger bottle of lysol orange and a roll of paper towels. Instead I made a cleanser for less than 10 cents and used a dishcloth and rinsed it in clear water. Saved a tree and a bunch of money right there. I am sold and as I use up my other cleaning supplies I will try more green recipes. Tomorrow will be the hard water scale in the bathroom...that will be a good test!

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Mercury was an issue in the old bulbs, but newer ones have far less; that's one of many "news" stories that are nonstarters because newer developments correcting problems don't seem to rate headlines (DH is a retired environmental engineer, and keeps up with this stuff).

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I appreciate everyones input on the "new lightbulbs", however, I am really leary if an article from the EPA is telling me that the amount of mercury in the new bulbs is not harmful and then takes 2 pages to tell me what to do if one gets broken. My husband just read something that said if one broken bulb gets in the water system, it can destroy over 10,000 gallons of water. Sorry, but I don't think these bulbs are the answer and believe they create a bigger problem to the environment.

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Not to discount anyone's concerns, but the mercury content was a sort of non-issue; when the compact fluorescents first came out there was so much commotion over the mercury content that the manufacturers decreased the content to negligible levels; but the story is still around, like the one about arsenic in chicken compost (that one's forty years out of date, but still gets quoted). The corrections don't make front-page headlines and the old versions still get folks worked up.

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We are already in studies for our shop for our recycling. I replaced the windows in the house a few years ago (it was like having swiss cheese for walls with the old windows). I bought canvas bags for groceries. I stopped buying water in individual bottles. I use candles at night often. I have a garden started. I planted 2 more trees in the yard.

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Okay so I have a question about the florecent bulbs. We have tried them several times and even though they are supposed to last for years we can never get them to last for more than 2 months. We do not leave lights on 24/7 or anythign like that. I won't buy another one cause they are 3 times the money and don't last even half as long. I don't think it's just a case of a bad bulb. They have all done this. Does anyone else have these problems?

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Well, as I have stated before, I won't use these. We did buy 2 when they first came out and both have burned out sooner than the regular bulbs. But for those that want to use them, I think the instructions said that you cannot have them on for longer than 4 hours at a time in order to give them the longevity that is advertised.

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Hmmmm....I have never had a problem. My porch light is often on up to 20 hours a day in winter due to our Northern darkness and it has been going a year and a half at least!

I have never replaced one yet, some are as old as 4 years in my house now.

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Here in southern California, I replaced all windows and both patio doors with Anderson double paned low E slidirs and casement windows. Each wall that was opened for window replacement / rearrangement got new insulation.

I added a venting slylight over the kitchen....lets out the heat while cooking, the only time you need a light in the kitchen is after dark.

Outdoors solar lights on the walk in front of the house Lights on garage are on a motion sensor come up the drive they turn on for 5 minutes (halogen bulbs)

I am seriously considering a 3-4 Kw solar installation on the roof. I dont use that much power I just want a near $0 electricity bill after net metering. I would produce electricity by day and consume by night.

As far as cars go I WILL NOT GIVE UP MY 2 BMWs my 635CSi gets 22mpg and my 528e gets 25mpg average.

Common sense conservation is a good thing. We do need to drill for oil in ANWR (Alaska) deep wells offshore and even in Santa Barbara (where oil oozes up from the sea bed and leaves tar balls on the beach) Once we announce drilling will begin at those locations, oil prices will drop like a rock.

30 years ago the talk was global cooling now it is global warming. Human impact does NOT have as great an effect as Al Gore wants us to believe.

Ed

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Cathy,

I have the same bulbs in all the light fixtures except the one out in the back light. I had to replace that last month. All the rest are still working after 2 yrs.

I agree with you there Ed!

Did you all hear on the news that the guy who predicted the $4.00 gal price ($3.79 here in CT) will most likely rise to $10.00 gal in 2-3 years?

Connecticut and California are paying the highest in gas prices right now because we are paying the highest gas taxes in the country.

It is sickening. I do not know if I should cry or get really mad. Not like either will make any difference...Now where is that bus schedule???

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Also, a secondary note on compact fluorescents. Anyone with seizure or migraine issues of their own, or in family members, might want to be wary of where in the household they use them because, like strobe lights, they are an inconsistent light source that mess with visually triggered issues like those. I can't have them in the house in lights that I use all the time because of my migraines and often have to limit my evening time at the houses of friends who have switched entirely to fluorescents for this reason.

I ride the public bus to my college campus from home

I take my lunch and water to school every day in reusable containers, not a slew of prepackaged things and baggies

That and the usual turning off of lights and electronics I don't need, unplugging the ones in stand by mode that I don't bother to keep set, limiting shower length when I can, etc.

I recycle, and our community has separate green waste bins that get taken out every other week, so we try to keep a separate bin under the sink for green waste stuff that can be put in there.

A lot of major cities have a slightly more expensive green energy option from major power companies too, you pay a tiny bit more for it, and the some of the extra money you pay goes in to expanding their green energy production, so if you can spare the money you should look in to it with you electric company!

A ton of other great green ideas are available at http://www.thegreenguide.com/ !

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Fluorescent bulbs in general have a stroboscopic effect and may cause the optical illusion of the blade drill or cutter not moving. it could be a hazard. My drillpress has a rough duty bulb in its flex arm light and my bandsaw has a small floorlight bulb on an appropriate location as well.

Let common sense rule

Ed

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Ed-you are right on about Anwar. We keep wanting to have the use of oil but then refuse to drill in our own country. How insane is that?

On the lightbulb issue, I think it is interesting how we all seem to have different experiences with them. I wish they were as good as advertised, but that has not been my experience.

Sometimes I think the EPA hands us things we are supposed to follow cause "they" say we aren't good citizens if we don't climb on board. However, not everything they try to shove down our throats is as good as "they" say. Case in point is the gasoline we have to buy in the metroplex (Dallas-Fort Worth area). It is suppose to be extra special in order to cut down on carbon which is supposed to save the air, but tests show that it doesn't do near what they claim and it cuts down on gas mileage. So what are we saving with that?

I may open a can of worms here, but I personally don't believe in global warming. If you really do research on the earth, this is a natural phenomenom. Doesn't mean we shouldn't do all we can as far as recycling, but I think people have about as much power to control the worlds temperature as cow farts have to do with the ozone layer. Sorry, but that is my opinion. :)

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Cjack

Global warming comes under the category of BOVINE SCATOLOGY. I will be careful with theresources that I consume but I will not subscribe to global warming. Case and point there were trees and vinyards under the glaciers in Greenland! There was evidence of the vikings living in that area.

Do you think the US EPA is bad CARB California Air Resources Board is even worse. Here in teh San Diego area $4.00/Gal regular and we can only buy "special California blend " gas mind you more expensive.

I dont want the strobe effect of fluorescents anywhere near my power tools. task lights are and will continue to be incandescent bulbs either conventional or halogen. Compact Fluorescent bulbs are not going to save the planet.

Ed

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Lloyd has been trying to replace our lightbulbs with the compact fluorescents, but they hurt my eyes and bring on headaches. I really tried to get used to them. My task lamps all have incandescent bulbs, as does the kitchen ceiling fixture.

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I think we have made an impact on the earth with all the pollution, but the earth also has cycles. I laugh when people say how low the lake levels are, but if you drive around areas with houses built on the water in the 1930's, they are on dry land. 15 years ago they had to sandbag these houses to keep them from flooding.

We should be drilling our own oil. What happened to the oil in Alaska that was supposed to be for us to use? I heard a news report on Exxon. They made $88,000,000 last month. Not a big deal you say? Well, that was per MINUTE!!!!

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