Little Green Things?

Annie DeighnaughJuly 30, 2014

Just wondering what you do on a regular basis to be more green, if anything. Thought it would be fun and helpful to share ideas that were easily accessible.

We have curbside recycling so it's easy to recycle newspapers, bottles, cans, junk mail, plastics, magazines.

We compost our fruit & veg scraps which reduces our trash by a lot.

We regularly take reusable bags to the grocery and recycle other plastic bags we get.

We don't leave outside lights on all night long like many of our neighbors.

We wash our laundry in cold water.

I have this thing about scrap paper...I use both sides, all the time.

I've switched to a number of green cleaning products with some mixed success.

How about you?

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We installed a water barrel on a platform on a corner of the garage when it was built.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 9:35AM
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I have this thing about scrap paper...I use both sides, all the time.

My sister does that. She'll even reuse envelopes for mailing if possible.

My list would be similar to yours. We started composting a year before we dug our first garden in 1986. It's so easy and incredibly rewarding!

Most of our outdoor lights are motion detection. We do have low voltage landscape lights that are on dusk to dawn.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 9:44AM
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I was doing pretty good until you said "reuse envelopes". Even if I can't use them for mailing, I could use them for paper. Duh.

In addition to those mentioned (except the rain barrels. We have them at the house, but the upstairs neighbors use them. They have full responsibility for the yard), I use as few chemicals as possible. Many of my cleaning products are one chemical, such as ammonia or vinegar, or baking soda.

No outdoor lighting for us, since upstairs uses theirs and we are so far hidden (the backside of the house and underneath the deck), you'd really have to know how to find us.

Cars. I really recycle cars. I would sooner replace a motor from a body destroyed junk yard car, than buy a whole new car. My two solidly running cars are 24 and 18 years old. I buy junkyard parts when something goes bad, except the mechanical things. They're both very fuel efficient and I only drive 50-60 miles per week total. I'd walk if I could.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 10:21AM
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I work in energy efficiency, so that's a focus of mine. When I bought a fridge last year, I bought a CEE Tier 3 model (that's way better than Energy Star) that saved me $5 a month off my energy bill compared to the early 90s one it replaced.

I had CFLs almost everywhere in my house, and am now transitioning to LEDs. I do leave my outdoor light on all night (not a great neighborhood), but it is a 4W LED, and has a photocell so it turns off during the day.

My clothes washer is also high efficiency, and I mostly do large loads in cold water. Home electronics are all Energy Star.

I use reusable shopping bags mostly because my county requires stores to charge 10 cents if you want a bag. I tried before they instituted the "stick" but would never remember to get the bags out of my trunk and bring them into the store. Now, If I forget them, I just load the loose groceries in my trunk and load the bags at the car.

Water conservation is big here (CA) with the drought. I have a drought tolerant garden that I haven't watered in 3 years, though I will need to soon with the stress from the drought.

We have curbside recycling and curbside compost. Very little goes into the actual trash, mostly nonrecyclable plastic packaging, which I try to minimize.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 10:29AM
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The county next door to ours has a "Master Recycler" program patterned, probably, after the "Master Gardener" one that is so popular. I'd really like to take it.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 10:39AM
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I've used the CatalogChoice web site to reduce significantly the number of catalogs and junk mail I receive. I only subscribe to the digital version of magazines and only buy e-books, except for an occasional decorating picture book or cookbook.

I recycle everything which is easy because we have single stream curbside recycling. I wish we had curbside composting because I would be willing to compost, but I'm not willing to entice more critters to my property by using the compost on my plants.

I have drought tolerant plantings although the citrus trees do have to have a small drink daily. All my landscaping is on a drip system.

I've been using reusable bags for years. I have no trouble remembering them at the grocery store, but I tend to forget to take them into other types of stores. When I forget, I try to take my items out of the store without bags.

I keep scrap paper by my computer to use to jot down notes.

I have an HE washer/dryer, but a dreadfully old refrigerator that is probably costing me a fortune to run. Unfortunately, I can't afford an energy efficient replacement, if they even make one in the size I have.

I have outside lights that stay on all night, but I use LED bulbs. I've switched the most often used bulbs inside the house to CFL or LED. I'm a fanatic about turning off lights not in use. I've unplugged all electrics that aren't in daily use.

I consolidate my errands and plan out the most efficient route to accomplish them, so I use the least amount of fuel possible.

I don't use central heat or air conditioning, just a ceiling fan and a portable fan. I have solar shades on west-facing windows to reduce heat gain in the house during hot weather. I won't talk about the huge skylight in the kitchen that bakes that room.

I wish I had a grey water capture system and solar panels, but a retrofit of my house isn't possible for me.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 11:03AM
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I bought a bunch of micro fiber cloths that we are trying to remember use instead of paper towels.

Our city also offers curbside recycling. When out of my trash day morning walks, I do notice that the recycling bins are almost filled as much as the garbage bins.


    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 11:09AM
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Recycle, and I'm fastidious about sorting it; I hang my laundry to dry/only do laundry on sunny days; use environmentally friendly cleaning products; turn lights off when I leave rooms; only have outdoor lights on if I go out, just so I can see coming home, then off they go; heat doesn't go on until it's 50 or lower; I use blankets, socks, and sweaters instead; I just had a new furnace put in which is 95% efficient, versus the old 80% efficient furnace; I turn my water heater down if I"m away for a week or more; Turn water off while brushing my teeth; switched to energy-saving lightbulbs; I hypermile when driving, since I have a manual transmission car; and I dispose of toxic materials appropriately, when the dump has hazardous waste days; I use LL Bean canvas bags for grocery shopping.

Glad you mentioned the outdoor lights, Annie. My job has me staying at different places, and some places, the neighbors have their outdoor lights on all night, screaming into the window of the room I'm TRYING to sleep in. I like open windows, so closing shades or curtains is not an option. It makes me positively nuts, esp. since these are all in profoundly safe neighborhoods.

This post was edited by Tibbrix on Wed, Jul 30, 14 at 11:24

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 11:21AM
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We have recycling and green bin waste pick-up by the city. Pretty much everything gets recycled (aluminum foil, plastic bags including the outer bags toilet paper, paper towels, etc come in), paper etc.

I keep any glass jars I can find, it's harder and harder to find them. I keep dried goods in (pasta, quinoa, oatmeal etc).

The city takes any food material and kitty litter for composting.
I also do worm composting. I love these little guys, and any worm compost that I can't use, I have ready takers on Freecycle for it.

I hate seeing good water go down the drain, waiting for it to heat or cool. I keep a bucket beside the sink that the water goes into, and it's used for rinsing cans etc for recycling, a quick rinse of a mug, watering my houseplants, etc.

We have 1 livingroom light on a timer, we only use the one light unless we're reading. Our apartment is nice and bright so very few lights are on for any length of time.

I get our daily newspaper, and I fold it into pouches, to use for my indoor green garbage, which gets put into the large bin for curbside pickup. (are you confused yet?) LOL

Paper.....oh, I'm such a paper-holic. I hate, hate seeing waste of paper. I re-use paper for writing and for the printer. I love binders and notepaper and pens. I fear pens are going to be obsolete, then panic will set in.

Any errands, we do while we're out. We don't go out for just one thing. We wait till the grocery store sales start and do them at once. Either drive to a couple of stores, or price-match if necessary.

I like cruising some select second-hand stores. I despise clothes shopping with a passion and won't do it, unless I absolutely have to but I hate it. But I love looking for kitcheny things and seeing what is there for sale.

Freecycle, freecycle, freecycle. Both for getting and giving. I don't mind getting other people's cast-offs at all.

We were in the market for an indoor grill/griddle to cook out on our balcony. The only ones in the stores are the 2-sided George Foreman styles, and that's not what we wanted. I posted a request on Freecycle for one and was gifted one. In virtually new condition, it was too big for them, and it's perfect for us. Every time we use it, I'm so grateful to the person who gave it to us.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 11:23AM
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I wish we had curbside composting because I would be willing to compost, but I'm not willing to entice more critters to my property by using the compost on my plants.

I've heard people say they don't want to compost because it'll attract animals to the bins; to the plants is a new one to me.

We live in the middle of the city and have frequent visits from raccoons and opossums. I know the raccoons rummage through the compost bins, but they've never bothered plants.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 11:24AM
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We do many of the same things listed, and in addition we do the following:

Use handkerchiefs instead of kleenex when possible (both mr. sandyponder and I carry one, getting the teenager to, well, that's another story, because *no one* uses hankies except us)

I use a washcloth instead of cotton balls, q-tips, etc. to remove eye makeup, just wash the washcloth along with my towels 1x a week

Keep paper towels in the pantry, out of temptation's way, but full disclosure: pet puke = justifiable use

Use washable dishcloths and towels, no sponges

Have two indoor clotheslines and two outdoor clotheslines, I can't think of the last time anyone used the dryer, maybe last summer during a humid stretch

Wash and reuse plastic freezer bags

Use glass or plastic storage for fridge and freezer when possible

Buy all meat locally (I would like to say we use it as sparingly as we should, but we don't, we are all major carnivores)

Buy fresh, local veggies and freeze them for winter use

No central air, ceiling fans in most rooms, heat with wood cut from our land

Use low everything detergents and no fabric softeners, perfumes or dyes in anything we use, "odor pollution" is a real thing and I can't stand the artificial smell of laundry detergent that allegedly smells like something good, but just reeks of chemicals

To be done someday, hopefully within 5 years, solar panels on the roof and maybe a windmill!

Great topic.


    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 11:39AM
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Oh Sandyponder reminded me that we haven't used the dryer in years and years.

Everything gets put on a foldable indoor clothes dryer in the winter and out on the balcony. They come in frozen solid and then dry indoors. LOL They smell so fresh!
In the summer, we're fortunate to have an outdoor clotheseline......5 lines on T-bars. Love, love it.

Osagecounty, friends of ours moved to our city from the the country and she can't keep a garden! She loses her kohlrabi, tomatoes, etc to rabbits and chipmunks. She says that she never had that problem when they were out in the country! LOL

Every year our city give away the compost that they make from the green bin program. But with the kitty litter and other things that get composted and who knows what people put in, a lot of people don't use it on their gardens. Fine for flowerbeds, but not edible food.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 11:46AM
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That's gross that they allow kitty litter in the compost.

I'm not saying animals don't visit the garden, but it's not because I've added compost. Fortunately, it seems to be squirrels who visit the most and that's to bury or unearth their pecan stash. Some years birds like to peck at the tomatoes, but that wasn't an issue this past season.

My sister lives in California and never uses her dryer either. Here in the deep south we'd be screwed if that wasn't an option.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 12:32PM
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Overall, my report card would be bad,

But, I can add a few I don't think I saw above.

1. We buy a lot on line (NOT Green), and unfortunately get a lot of packaging. We keep it for reuse for ourselves, but we also take it to Costco and add it to the pile ... people are always looking for boxes there

2. Kids need permission to print something. Drafts get turned upside down and printed on again.

3. We try to take everything we can't use to Goodwill, etc. That might involve washing, folding and even repairing something so that it isn't wasted.

4. We eat leftovers, and what we don't eat usually becomes breadcrumbs, stock, compote etc. We don't throw away much food.

PS Light pollution --- it should literally be against the law to leave lights on all night. Wasteful, and annoying.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 12:38PM
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it should literally be against the law to leave lights on all night. Wasteful, and annoying.

I'm sure the criminal element would agree with you.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 12:55PM
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I am a master gardener so you know we are pretty green. I do not subscribe to using the same envelope. My blood pressure will not allow that. I figure 5 more years added to my life is worth that little bit. I don't use paper towel like I once did. I use those reusable thingies. I use all green cleaning products, grow herbs for deterring fruit flies and moths, use a lot of vinegar for cleaning. I do bathe frequently, I admit. Some of my green friends smell sort of like they are overripe. I don't want to get so green I do a 180.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 12:55PM
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Osage, where crime is an issue, motion sensor lights are a better answer IMHO.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 12:59PM
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OC, I never thought of the deep south people having to use the clothes dryer. I figured it was hot, so clothes would dry.I didn't think of the humidity factor. Our summers are usually hot and humid as well (Ontario) except this one, where it's cooler than usual. We've been experiencing fall-like temps this week. I love it!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 1:01PM
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And I use the AC very sparingly, if at all. Only when it's humid. And the heat is on at night only when there is a risk of pipes freezing, meaning, when it's be low 20 degrees outside. Otherwise, it's off.

This post was edited by Tibbrix on Wed, Jul 30, 14 at 13:12

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 1:11PM
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DH rides his bike to work most days (3.5 miles each way). I'm lazy and out of shape, or I would too (2.5 miles each way). Maybe next week...

I just had my 20-yr-ols dryer repaired, rather than scrap it for a new one. Same with my washer - I'll keep using them until my wonderful appliance repairman can't fix them any more. They may not be quite as efficient as new models, but they are staying out of the landfill and I'm not using up the resources it takes to make new. We wash in cold.

We fill water bottles at home, and rarely use bottled water. I hate the waste of bottled water - the production and disposal of plastic bottles, of course, but mostly the fuel to haul it around the country. Luckily our tap water tastes really good.

I water flowers, but not grass. In a dry year, it goes dormant, but recovers as soon as it rains. That means less mowing.

I try to donate whenever possible, instead of throw things away.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 2:29PM
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I forgot about my switch to washable cleaning cloths and napkins. I'm not sure if the water and energy needed to wash and dry the cloths is a true savings over the energy, disposal and raw materials needed for the paper version. Does anybody know?

One of my cars is 18 years old and the other is nine years old. Both run very clean from an emissions standpoint according to their smog inspections.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 2:42PM
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Husband bikes to work, I work from home. We drive a small hybrid.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 3:04PM
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The only way I ever heard of anyone having bad critters in their compost was from putting meat or dairy in it. I don't do that. We don't use much meat anyway and I try to use the dairy before the expiration date.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 3:29PM
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Patricia, what's a bad critter?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 3:42PM
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I have buckets in my shower, so that when the water is running while warming up, I am collecting it to water my plants.

I have all energy efficient lightbulbs throughout the house. I've been here for 6 years and have yet to change a bulb.

Recycle everything I can, as we have a county program. Use cloth bags for grocery shopping. Energy efficent fridge, washer, dryer. Keep thermostat at 78 unless having company.

Would love to install rain barrels around the perimeter of the kills me to see the water running off the roof without saving it. Also need to start my compost heap again.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 4:11PM
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for me, a rattlesnake or a copperhead and there are many, many in my area. My area was once called Rattlesnake Hill. It's a chain thing. A rat goes in for the meat, a snake goes in to get him, a larger animal goes in for the snake and it becomes a nasty pile, not a compost pile.

This post was edited by patricia43 on Wed, Jul 30, 14 at 16:15

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 4:13PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

When DH and I go for a walk, we bring bags with us to pick up cans with nickel a treasure hunt, helps mother earth and it helps pay off the new house!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 4:24PM
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Great topic! I think we do pretty good, but many of you do much better!

We recycle and we live in the county (somewhat rural) with no pickup. We drive to the city each week and take our trash and recyclables, also MIL's, although she doesn't recycle (insert big fat sigh LOL). Plastic, paper, cans (which we have very few of) and glass go there. Plastic bags (grocery bags) we keep and reuse until we get too many to handle - then we can take those to a store nearby, also a church nearby asks for newspapers. We have all energy star appliances, but yes we do use a clothes dryer. I use cold water on some items, but there are some I feel need hot. We don't use many paper towels, etc. My husband is the light police in this house, he is fanatic about that.

Even in our spot, I don't see people with lights on at night - other than the landscape lights, which most use solar nowdays. You can get the security light through our electric company - I do have one at my grandmother's house (which is empty) and it is much more efficient. Even though we are out from the city, we don't leave on lights all night.

In our little area you do see people carpooling to the city, but because I don't work full time and hubby is on a 4 10-hr. day schedule, that doesn't work for us. Great idea though!


    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 4:30PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

This is an area that I find amusing: all those green endeavors are pointless compared to the big items: regular new cars, non green homes ( with any knick knack you want), regular electric use ( a few of you use a solar oven and no ac, I imagine, but probably for economic reasons), car use whenever you want, the list is nearly endless for western civilization.
And is a drop in the bucket to whatever big corporations do on a whim.
Ever not taken an air/ship vacation to be "green" and biked around home instead?
I am not slamming anyone, it's the entire feel good movement I despise. Although I do think sorting recyclables is significant with populations involved.

So, no, I do not do green!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 4:37PM
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Bumblebeez, I get your point, but the fact remains, every little bit does count.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 4:38PM
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the fact remains, every little bit does count.

Yes it does. I don't do what I do to feel good. I've been composting for almost 30 years. That's something that I get a huge return on. As far as recycling ... our city has a very successful recycling program. They make it easy to participate with curbside cans on wheels.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 5:41PM
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Y'all want to see outrageous waste? Rent your homes out. It is UNBELIEVABLE how renters waste. I went to my house the other day to do a dump run, 10:30 in the morning, sunny day..EVERY light in the house was on. I don't like AC, but I put it in in order to attract tenants, but I guarantee, they'll run it with the windows open, when there NO humidity and is absolutely delightful outside. I swear they wash, and dry, one item at a timeâ¦I suspect I'm lifetimes away from their actually hanging clothes to dry while they're at the beach.

So, what this goes to is, when it's one's own expense, many of us pull back and conserve, but when someone else is footing the bill, it's throw caution to the wind.

We've got to get over that too. plus, it will help us keep our rents down!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 5:46PM
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What's strange is that our city was the pioneer for blue bin recycling, but the green bin hasn't taken off at all. People are very reluctant to do it. They think it's all icky and attracts flies, and raccoons and stinks, etc etc. It doesn't need to, if done properly.

Please don't put all renters in a wasteful category. I'm a renter, and I'm very cautious at what I do and am frugal. I won't use the oven until the weekend when the rates are low.

There are many households where people leave lights on needlessly (outside lights on during the day) and don't even pretend to recycle....bags of garbage and no blue bins in sight.
Most home owners use rain barrels to water their flowerbeds but there are a number that use city water instead with a hose.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 10:24PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Re composting, we just bury it in the ground, deep enough so animals don't dig it. We put only fruit and vegetable products, not meat. The animals will go for egg shells sometimes if we're not careful burying it deep enough.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 10:53PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Re feel good, yes taking steps to be greener does feel good, and every little bit helps.

For example, the US goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually. It is the #2 most common ocean refuse after cigarette butts. It costs retailers, and us, $4 billion/year. If everyone did something as simple as using a plastic grocery bag twice instead of once, we could cut those numbers in half.

Or if people just stopped asking for paper receipts at the ATM, it would eliminate a ribbon of paper that's 2 billion feet long...enough to encircle the earth 15 times.

So yes, every little bit counts.

We also do big things which I didn't mention as they may not be an option for everyone. We have 5kw of solar panels, we have geothermal heating and cooling, and even at that we seldom use our a/c as we have casement windows and have positioned the house to make best use of prevailing winds as well as convection to move air quickly through the house. We supplement our heat with wood. We have closed cell insulation, passive solar house design and tankless hot water heaters which receive preheated hot water from our desuperheater on our geothermal unit. We have a fresh air heat exchanger so we capture the BTUs before exhausting stale air for fresh. All of our duct work is in conditioned space and the lower level is bermed so, while we can, we don't heat or cool it during the year and it maintains temps of between 60 and 78.

So yes, the big things can have a big impact, but don't underestimate the impact of little things. Not only do they matter, they also feel good.

This post was edited by AnnieDeighnaugh on Thu, Jul 31, 14 at 8:34

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 11:15PM
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Tibbrix, do you pay the utilities on your rental? It sounds like a house that they might be renting. If so, you're too generous!

Renters typically pay their own electricity.......heat and water is covered by the landlord in smaller bldgs like triplexes.......we rent the top floor of a 3-unit triplex, all of these bldgs, the renter pays the cost of their own electricity. The large multi-unit bldgs, the rent is all-inclusive. Houses are never inclusive. The renter is responsible for heat and hydro. Water and taxes are paid by the landlord.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 10:12AM
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This one is so all-consuming that I completely forgot about it.

I'm a climate control slave around here. I need it cool, and the basement-installed AC just doesn't do it on the second floor in this old colonial. Also, the house tends to hold a temperature pretty steadily even when no AC or heat is pumping.

So we installed a whole house fan this spring. Now, in the cool mornings and evenings, I watch the indoor and outdoor temps, open and close windows and run the fan.
This takes a lot of time running up and down the stairs, opening and closing windows, monitoring the temps. The bedroom temperature, with just me, DH, and a 9-pound dog, goes up 4 or 5 degrees over night even with the windows open.

Having open windows does mean that I have to have them washed on 4 sides, my sills get dirty, and I suppose the drapes and shades are getting dirty, too.

But I do manage to reduce the number of days my forearms stick to the papers on my desk, and to sleep.

Confession: I had to buy one of those rolling AC units to supplement in the bedroom. I'm sure that rinsing and re-using aluminum foil and green produce-storage bags does not balance out my footprint.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 10:33AM
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Interesting thread. We live in the county and don't have recycle pick up but do have a station about 2 miles from us so we drop off our pile of magazines and excess paper when it gets huge. We don't use a log of cans or plastic bottles so those just go in the trash mostly for convenience. I mostly use reusable bags at the store, or DH (who forgets) has a stash of plastic bags which we re-use to give out extra produce or we return them for recycling.

We do have a compost pile and a bin so those are heavily used and I garden a lot by the lasagna method so many shipping boxes, newspapers and shredded waste from the shredder gets used for garden mulch.

We have outdoor lighting on a timer that goes off around 10-10:30 at night and a couple of motion sensor lights for security reasons. The indoor bulbs are mostly replaced by LEDs or CFLs now. Hot water heater temp is turned down some and I air dry a lot of my personal laundry (I'm a picky laundry person).

I don't keep every scrap of paper but we do use the shredder (and use the shreds for compost - see above).

I've never used too many throw-away cleaning cloths, except paper towels in the kitchen and for certain tasks. Housekeeper is good about this too.

We had extra attice insulation blown in a few years back but overall our electric bill is very low anyway. Our ductwork is also under the house where it is a fairly constant temperature, almost like a cave.

We clean out our closets and excess household items about twice a year and give to Goodwill. Building material or furniture we don't want to sell go to the Habitat Re-Store.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 10:41AM
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DS2 and i both drive Priuses, and last year DH drives an all electric car. We have programmable thermostats and use a combination of creek water and recycled water for irrigation.

This post was edited by kswl on Thu, Jul 31, 14 at 11:07

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 10:47AM
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jasdip, my house is a vacation rental. It's actually my home, but I rent it to visitors and vacationers to Cape Cod. So, yes, I pay the utilities. In theory, they're included in the rent. I don't mind paying the bills, including if they've run high legitimately. It's the waste and the "Why should I care? Someone else is paying it - or I paid for it" that I objet to. I think we should always be considerate of how we're affecting others. I also think we should always be mindful of being wasteful and not do it. I ask them to do only full loads of laundry, but I'm sure they don't. So many people tell me that, when they're in a rental or a hotel, they'll open the windows and not turn the AC off, and admit that they don't care. I think that is amazing.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 11:15AM
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Tib, thanks for the explanation, now I understand. You're right about some people ( a lot of people) who don't care if they're not footing the bill. They wouldn't act like that at home (would they) but they do on vacation, or if someone else is paying. Like not flushing public toilets! Arrrghh!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 1:50PM
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I do several of the above mentioned recycling but one thing I haven't heard yet is double showering! I have been sharing a shower with DH for years. Think of all the water I've saved. I highly suggest it for many reasons.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 4:10PM
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Cardboard, shredded paper and all fruit and veggie trimmings are saved to add to my worm bin.

The only time I use papertowles is when cooking bacon. I use rags for cleaning etc.

All grocery bags are reused - mostly for cat litter and as trash cans

I am neurotic about recycling. Luckily we have mixed recycle bin.

Freecycle or donate everything I don't want anymore. I even donate/freecycle for my neighbors because they just throw things away.

1 porch light and 1 indoor light are on timers so they are not left on all night.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 11:20AM
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I abhor condo building where all utilities are included in the HOA fee. Individual meters reduce energy use by up to 20%.

Son's friend in his first shared apartment had no clue about turning AC to a higher temperature when not at home until they got their first electricity bill. They had it on full blast, even when nobody was at home. Quickly changed their behavior.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 4:50PM
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Natesgram, we do the same fairly often.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 5:08PM
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We are average I would say - recycling, lights off, CFLs etc. I have friends thought that put me to shame. More than a few of our friends don't use toilet paper. They use family cloth, which is cut up squares of flannel that they wash. I can't bring myself to do that. Lots of friends also use washable sanitary napkins and I personally love my menstrual cup (did I share too much? lol).

Bumble I agree that these small things we do in our homes really make a negligible difference in the broad scope. However, it does keep our environment top of mind and that in and of itself is a reason to keep doing it.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 5:28PM
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Lots of friends also use washable sanitary napkins and I personally love my menstrual cup (did I share too much? lol).

OMG, never thought I'd say it, but menopause isn't all that bad. Sanitary napkins were nasty enough, but washable? And menstrual cups? Never knew they existed. Did I say I'm so happy to be past that stage? ;)

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 9:26PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Oh Osage, it's a topic in The Tightwad Gazettes....that's the only reason I know what all that is about!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 10:20PM
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Great thread Annie. There's a similar one on the kitchen table board. I found an idea there I plan on using and am sure I'll find more here too.
A quick list of some of what we do...

Mop and handheld sream cleaners.
Recycle all plastics.
Two heat pumps for heating and cooling. Often leave the main level off to save more energy.
Sorry, braces and tablet keyboard donot work well together. Be back when I can.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 12:04AM
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I'm reminded of some poster-worthy sayings from my college days when we celebrated the first earth day.
Natesgram: "Save Water: Shower with a Friend"
Nobody in particular: "If it's yellow, let it mellow. If it's brown, flush it down."

And one from the old, old days: "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without".

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 3:03AM
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