AviP Posted November 12, 2009 Share Posted November 12, 2009 I thought of posting this in that low waterflow faucet thread (hilarious) but I think it deserves it's own thread. Here's my list, show me yours. I'm looking for ideas but debate is welcome. Conserve: - I don't wait for the water to warm up. I use cold water all the time in all faucets. Even if it is 35 degree water. It saves me water and electricity. - I don't use paper napkins for spills/cleanup. I use cotton towels that are reused many times and then get used lower down the cleanup list to cleaning my auto wheels, underhood cleanup, etc. before being discarded. It saves the trees and landfill. - I don't use face wipes, I use a cotton handkerchief (or hanky) instead. It saves the trees and landfill. - I don't keep the thermostat at 68F. I keep it at 60F and wear an additional layer. It saves the oil and reduces emissions. - I don't throw organic waste into the garbage. I throw it into a compost pit behind my deck. It saves the landfill and gives me free fertilizer. - I don't bag grass clippings. Every alternate mowing gets mulched into the lawn itself or is dumped into the compost pit. It saves the landfill, time and gives me free organic fertilizer. - I don't bag fall leaves. I blow them into the woods and the compost pit. It saves the landfill, time and gives me free organic fertilizer. - I don't use chemical fertilizers or weed killers on my lawn. I weed by hand. My lawn does not impact the water quality. - I recycle newspaper, paper sheets, shredded paper, paper food packaging (that's not dirty), cardboard, bottles, cans, plastics (1 to 7), aluminum foil, glass, metal. I do this diligently even though it's additional work and I have to take the garbage myself. - I don't discard hazardous waste into the drain or landfill. I store it until hazardous waste day and then the white-suited professionals take over. - I don't make multiple trips for errands. I usually do 3-6 errands during the same trip. This saves me time and gas on my guzzler pickup. - I don't use tungsten bulbs. I've switched all lights that stay on for over an hour to CFL. The slow startup doesn't bother me. It saves me about $20 a month. Note: It does trouble me that these lights have a small amount of mercury in them. I'm unhappy about the tradeoff because it's created a new problem. Never throw CFL bulbs into the garbage, take them to your local recycling center. - I don't cut trees in my lot for cosmetic reasons, only if they are a hazard. I live in a very wooded lot and the trees are right around my house. In summer they provide shade and I didn't have to turn on the AC except for 3 days this year. In winter they lose their leaves and the sun shines right through keeping the house warmer. It saves me electricity and reduces CO2 in the air. Caveat: There is the risk of a tree falling on my house in a wind storm but these trees are decades old and healthy. - I don't use a snow thrower even though my driveway is 240' long. I use hand shovels and have the little ones enjoy some quality time with dad. I plan on doing this until I get too old to shovel. Splurge: - I take a luxurious 20-30 minute hot water shower. I don't plan to change this since the conservation process has got me too cold anyways. - I drive a pickup truck but I need it for the home improvement business. I don't see myself getting a 4th auto. I get a horrible 11-13mpg city and I hate it. - I buy water in gallon bottles. I don't trust well water anymore because there are too many pollutants in it. This will not change. But it is recycled. - I use a gas powered lawn mover. My lawn is about 15000 sqft and in 3 disjoint sections but it is much smaller than most of my neighbors. And electric lawn mower is not a good option. - I use a gas powered backpack blower. For the distance I need to cover, an electric blower is not an option and raking by hand wore me down. Potential Changes: - I will install an electric (not gas) tankless water heater. This is a given that is expected to pay off within 2 years. I currently have a huge 80 gallon electric hot water reservoir. - I will look into geothermal energy. I'm not so sure that this will be cost effective. I think 10 years is the break even point but I need more research. - I will consider an electric or 40mpg vehicle as a replacement to my PT Cruiser but only when it croaks - I am considering solar energy solutions but since my lot is covered in trees, its not as straightforward as a roof mount. Wind energy is out of the question. - I will love buying electricity from renewable sources like wind, solar, tides, etc. The current rates are not competitive. Link to comment
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