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Jan. 7th, 2009


(no subject)

this may be the dumbest/most obvious thing ever, but i'd never done it before:

i put the stopper in the sink while im washing my hands- i let the water run only until im done lathering up, then i turn it off, finish washing, and rinse in the semi-soapy water.

now, this may not sound astounding, but i have an 8 month old daughter; i wash my hands after every diaper change, so that is quite a bit of water in the course of a day.

Oct. 6th, 2008



DYI Solar Heating

In my search for various things, I recall running across some sites that had some DYI solar heating projects. I haven't had much use for those, since I've so far lived in an apartment that is normally ungodly hot year round. With the exception of the few days it's it's way below freezing, of course.

But, now that I am about to move into an older model trailer and will actually have to pay for my heating costs, I am diligently searching for these sites so I can send the specs to my father and brother so that one of them may decide to start building some of these units.

First there's this site. Ultimately helpful in many of my trailer-life endeavors. Although reading the articles make me stare blankly and drool after a bit. I am hoping my brother and/or father can understand them a bit more and will help me out.

My favorite unit, though, belongs to this site. Granted, in Michigan, we have deposits on most of our aluminum cans, so we just turn them back in for a 10 cent refund. But we have some other cans that don't have the deposit. Also, we live right near the Ohio border where they just toss their cans. So getting cans for this project would be very easy. This is also a design that I could see myself being more able to accomplish on my own.

What is cool is that Tim and I went to the trailer today so I could show him around the back of it. We peeked in the shed and there's tons of extra wood lying in there. I also have a couple of aquariums that I no longer use and I could dismantle them for the glass. Barring that, Plexiglases is pretty cheap around here, and I could save myself some time by having it pre-cut. The guy at the hardware store that I normally buy things from likes me (in a fatherly sort of way) and tends to knock a bit off the price for me.

I could easily see a unit like this effectively trimming at least 15% off my heating bill, depending on how big I build it and also how well.

Sep. 18th, 2008


a small piece of paper

i HATE the waste of paper when im given these massive reciepts that i dont need and always get lost in the bottom of the recycling bin-- and today, i had a great idea- use the blank side of reciepts for grocery [or any other] lists! fits perfectly into your wallet, can still be recycled once youre done! yay!

Sep. 7th, 2008


(no subject)

At my work we get a lot of mail. SOmetimes the mail comes in large, easy to open without tearing envelopes.

Now, while we can't re use those for clients (they would look unprofessional) I have been using them to send mail to our General Office and our service centers.

In order to do this I have to use an extra label to cover some information. But I think I save more than I am using.


COyou2 Saving the planet one breath at a time

This site looks interesting, it's talking about personal carbon capture and storage as a strategy to prevent climate change:

"The COyou2 patented technology works by filtering the air you breathe out, capturing the carbon in a convenient lightweight backpack.

As you breathe out into the tube, the carbon dioxide passes through a solution of ammonium nitrate and the reaction allows the carbon to be isolated. The carbon is then stored in exchangeable inner bags that can then be sequestered in any nearby location including your own backyard."

I've just ordered a catalogue, it's definitely worth checking out, after all, every little thing makes a difference. I never thought about human beings as being responsible for major carbon emissions, but I'm always looking for ways to lessen my carbon footprint.

What do you guys think?

Sep. 4th, 2008


Lights in Public restrooms

I work in a rather small office building. The restroom on each floor is only shared by, hmm, less than ten offices.

It occurred to me as I walked in one day to change (I walk to work) that if the lights are off when I come in, why not turn them off when I leave? It seems to be accepted when you enter a public restroom that you should leave it in the state you enter it in. Why?

If there is a light switch in an easy to find place, and the restroom is not occupied, I am now going to try to remember to turn it off. It might stay off for hours.

Aug. 19th, 2008



Water Conservation

Lately I've been doing a lot of thinking on the topic of water conservation.

Here are some of the things I've implemented in my life that I find helpful when it comes to saving water (and energy!):

1. Taking shorter showers. As it is, I only shower about every three days (it's better for your body, in my opinion), but when I do shower, I sometimes even go so far as to turn the water on, get nice and sopping, turn the water off, soap up, turn the water back on and rinse. Saves hundreds of gallons of water a month.

2. Not pre-rinsing my dishes before I put them in the dishwasher. This is a hard habit to break, but according to a lot of research, it uses much much less water to use the rinse function on the dishwasher. Here's some more tips related to dishwashers: http://www.aceee.org/consumerguide/dishwashing.htm#tips

3. Re-use water. This sounds silly, but... have you ever gotten a glass of water and not been able to finish it (either because you don't want to, or there's a cat hair or something in it that makes it unappetizing)? Well, what else could you use that water for-- watering plants, washing your hands, etc.

4. Turn off the faucet, and get that leak fixed. The average leaky faucet wastes around 10 gallons of water a day. Use this link to figure out how much your dripping faucet costs you: http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/sc4.html Running the water for an extra 5 minutes at full blast, while you brush your teeth, can be greater than that.

5. Catch your extra water. I don't do this, but during the drought last summer (in NC) one of my coworkers did this: she took a plastic bin/tub, and put it in her tub. She would 'catch' the water that would normally go down the drain that was still clean (for instance, while waiting for the shower to 'warm up'), and use it to water her plants/lawn. But you could use that water for a lot of things!

Anyway, just a few thoughts.

ETA: Also, this is /really/ interesting. How much water does it take to grow a hamburger? How about a car? http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/sc1.html


New member :)

Hi, my name is Dinah and I just joined. I love seeing communities like this popping up all over LJ! Interest is growing and it's only a matter of time before we see some real results :)

I have a tip for those of you who are hooked on coffee, especially the people who visit places like Starbucks, Coffee Bean, Etc. every day.

Fact: Americans consume over 14 billion cups of coffee wrapped in disposable sleeves every year! Some coffee shops even practice the notorious "double-cupping".

I handmake an eco-friendly alternative to the disposable sleeve called CupKozy. If you're not quite ready to commit to using a thermal mug (I know I'm having a hard time with that), this is a super easy way to help reduce the amount of waste being generated.

For those who DO use thermal mugs, you are precious and few. On those days when you just plain forget to bring your mug home and it is now fermenting on your office desk and you have a paper cup emergency, don’t grab one of those disposable sleeves. You know the contraptions that keep you from burning your hands on that cup of essential morning elixir. Grab a CUP KOZY

You can also find me on Etsy :)

Thanks for all the green tips in here. Keep them coming!

Aug. 15th, 2008



A little help?

Hi, I'm Kira and I'm still REALLY new to the "go green" movement (though I don't really like referring to myself as such, because well... I kinda feel like it's sort of a ploy for companies to say their products are "green" and sell them for higher amounts...) but I really want to do something to help. To make the world better for my future children. Living in the midwest it's a bit harder to find things that would help. Of course my mom and I use the reusable bags for the local stores, and we recycle the cans through my friend who takes them for a charity, we use sponges and towels until they fall to pieces (sometimes we even use the pieces), and we use the energy efficient lightbulbs.

Other than that, we are pretty stumped. I mean things like those and keeping plasic containers are easy, but where I live there's not a ready market for that kind of thing. I live in an industry town, though my boyfriend and I are planning to move to Madison in about a year for college, so we, or rather I am looking for ways to help the environment, but since we are college students, we are pretty much broke and need to do it cheaply. I know Madison has Farmer's Markets (at least in the summer) where I can buy produce, but other than that I'm not sure. We will be living in an apartment and most complexs don't have recycling so, how do I find out if there is a plant where I can take our recycling? What other things are there that can help save the planet and at the same time cut costs?

Aug. 13th, 2008



Composting ideas

I live in an apartment with no way of doing any gardening aside from maybe some small planters on my window sills. But I hate that I have all this lovely stuff that I can use for composting and it would end up going to waste. So I started a compost bin with an old coffee can. Whenever it's full, I give it either to my parents or to a friend of mine. They both have large gardens with compost piles and really appreciate my little contributions. As a thank you, they'll often bring me some veggies from their garden.

I was thinking about this in the shower this morning and I realize that many of you might not have friends or family nearby that could make it easy for you to give the compost to them. Especially those of you who are newly transplanted to where you are. My solution was FreeCycle. I have used it successfully to trade of any number of things I don't need, and I thought "Why not compost stuff?" I'm sure SOMEONE in your area could use it. Give it a try.

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