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How Green is Your Home?

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Was it built with sustainable materials?

Do you compost? Recycle?

 

Robin in Chicago

by on Sep. 16, 2010 at 5:19 PM
Replies (21-27):
bhwrn1
by on Oct. 5, 2010 at 7:03 AM

This is a list I posted in another group where they asked me what I was doing to be more green. It's long, but it can give others some great ideas of small things you can do to be more green and save money, too!

Replaced all bulbs with CFLs and only use CFLs from now on.

Have motion sensor for the lights in our kitchen and our downstairs bathroom

Turn lights off when not in a room and open shades for as much natural sunlight as possible

All vampire power items are on a system called Bye Bye Standby. This allows us to push one button to shut vampire power off when not in use (TV boxes, computers, baby monitor). You would be surprised how many items use transformers (feel the plug and if it's warm it's zapping power!).

Unplug all unnecessary items: coffee pot (clock takes power), toaster oven (clock takes power), rechargeable toothbrush (we plug it in twice a week to charge).

We have a whole house fan in our bedroom window. We use it to bring cool air in from outside instead of turning on the AC. We also have ceiling fans in the family room and bedrooms.

We keep our thermostat fairly high: 85 when we are not home during the summer/65 when we are not home during the winter, 74 when we are home during the summer/70 during the winter.

We have 45 solar panels on our roof which generate energy and feed it back into the system when we don't use it. We also are signed up for using sustainable energy through PSE&G (rather than coal).

We wash all our clothing in cold water (unless it's abosolutely necessary to use another temperature). We hang our clothing on a line outside in the nice weather and in the garage in inclement weather. We do all our laundry at once (that way the dryer only has to heat up once when we do use it).

We have 5 rain barrels set up outside our house to collect water. We use this to water all our plants and fill our makeshift kiddie pool in the summer.

We do not use any type of weed killer or fertilizer on our lawn. This allows it to require less water and still stay green. We did not water our lawn once this past season and it remained green and actually grew very quickly so that it DH had to mow it pretty often. Oh, we have an electric powered mower. And all our powered garden tools take batteries only.

We grow our own garden in the summer/fall months: tomatos, green beans, peppers, squash, eggplant, pumpkins, butternut squash, basil, cilantro, parsley, tarragon, oregano, sage, mint. We change it up a bit each year. We have two Aerogardens in the house so we can continue to grow herbs during the colder months.

I buy all organic produce when available. I also buy organic milk and dairy products when possible. I try to get as many other organic, fair trade, or locally grown products as possible.

We do not buy bottled water at all. We have a Brita filter in our fridge. We also have reusable water containers that we use for work and taking drinks outside the house,

DH has a Prius that he converted to have a plug in feature so he gets more battery power and uses less gas. We use this car for longer trips whenever possible.

We had insulation blown into our attic last year to help keep heat in and decrease our need to use gas during the winter. DH also insulated the attic hatch to keep heat in.

DH insulated all our air-conditioning duct work in the basement to make it more efficient.

We put weather stripping around our front door to keep the cold air out.

We have 4 composters: a worm composter for food in our basement, 2 food composters in our backyard and a dog poop composter ( this has helped cut our garbage in ½). You would be amazed at the things you can compost (dryer lint if you are using environmentally friendly detergent, coffee grounds, egg shells).

We recycle all 1,2 and 5 plastics (our town dose not take 3,4,5,6, or 7 plastics; we bring the 5's to Whole Foods). We recycle all paper products (this has also helped to cut our garbage in ½).

We do not throw away food if possible. We eat leftovers for lunch and dinner. I use the crock pot when possible to cook food.

We use biodegradable garbage bags in our Kitchen garbage. We do not use any plastic cups or paper plates. When we have parties, we buy eco-friendly, biodegradable products (birch flat-wear, cups made from corn)

We use reusable canvass bags whenever we go shopping. If we do get plastic bags, we recycle them whenever possible.

All our faucets and shower heads are low flow. Our downstairs toilet is a 1.2 gallon flush and we converted our two upstairs toilets to dual flush (they use 1 gallon and 1.6 gallons for the flushes).

I use eco-friendly biodegradable diapers (gDiapers) on the baby. I use the flushable (which can go down our toilet if pee or poo or in our composter if pee only). I also have cloth inserts for them and use those (though not as often).

I buy eco-friendly laundry and dishwasher detergent and dish and hand soap. We use water and vinegar to clean most things. We also use baking soda.

We do not use paper towels; we use microfiber cloths instead. We do not use paper napkins; we use cloth. We buy tissues and toilet paper made from recycled materials.

We use eco-friendly/natural products on the kids for showers/baths and our baths when possible (although we have a large collection of shampoo/conditioner and hair products that were given to us so we are using those up b/c it's wasteful to just throw them out and buy more).

We have gone paperless in almost all of our bills (pay online). We also signed up for a service that keeps advertisers from sending unnecessary stuff to your house (although I don't know how well that has been working since we still seem to get a large quantity of that stuff on a daily basis!).

DH buys carbon offsets when we fly (ok, not a part of our house, but still part of our environmentally conscience effort). Also not a house effort, but still going along with the them, is the fact that I breastfeed Christopher and have since birth (saves on all the effort it takes to make the formula and cans). And I do purchase some natural/organic clothing from time to time.

Bmat
by on Oct. 5, 2010 at 9:09 AM

What is a carbon offset?

I'd heard about wood disposable flatware but not about corn cups. I like this idea and will check it out.  You do a lot more to be green than I'd thought of. :)

MLPO
by on Oct. 5, 2010 at 11:52 AM

I am thinking the only things we have in our home that's "green" is the energy saving appliances and light bulbs.

Kara1977
by on Oct. 5, 2010 at 6:58 PM

Was it built with sustainable materials? I have no clue its older than me!

Do you compost? Recycle?  We recycle, have energy star appliances, changed all the light bulbs to the twisty looking ones.  I tried to clean with vinegar and bakingsoda but never felt things were really clean!

bhwrn1
by on Oct. 6, 2010 at 7:07 AM

We dug a hole in the yard. Then we took a garbage can and poked holes in it and sunk it in the hole. DH put some of that septic enzyme stuff in there and we just fill it with the poop. You have to be sure to keep adding the enzyme to help it break down. You can use it to fertilize the lawn and things that you won't be eating. Feel free to PM me.

Quoting AM-BRAT:

Could you please tell me exactly what you do with your dog poop? Maybe I'll PM you...

Quoting bhwrn1:

Oh boy, where do I start? 45 solar panels on the roof, all CFLs in the lights, vampire power zappers, 5 rain barrels, plug in Prius, organic fruits and veggies and many other organic products, low flow toilets and sinks, compostable sponges, microfiber cloths instead of paper towels, cloth napkins, compostable diapers, worm composter, 2 regular composters, 1 dog poop composter. I am sure there are other things that I just can't think of right now.



Lilypie

REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE, REPURPOSE...

spinning globerecycling sweetpeaturning into globeplant a treechanging light bulb

Meditate on your own Self. Worship your Self. Respect your Self. God dwells within you as you.”  Swamni "Baba" Muktananda

bhwrn1
by on Oct. 6, 2010 at 7:08 AM

A carbon offset is when you pay money for the amount of carbon you will be creating by doing something; like flying on a plane. The money goes towards clean energy.

The corn cups are cool. You can just put them in the composter! here is the link to where we get them:

LetsGoGreen

Quoting Bmat:

What is a carbon offset?

I'd heard about wood disposable flatware but not about corn cups. I like this idea and will check it out.  You do a lot more to be green than I'd thought of. :)


Lilypie

REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE, REPURPOSE...

spinning globerecycling sweetpeaturning into globeplant a treechanging light bulb

Meditate on your own Self. Worship your Self. Respect your Self. God dwells within you as you.”  Swamni "Baba" Muktananda

rkoloms
by on Oct. 6, 2010 at 3:39 PM


Quoting MLPO:

I am thinking the only things we have in our home that's "green" is the energy saving appliances and light bulbs.

Why is that?

Robin in Chicago

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