Looking for Sustainability ideas

I thought I find a way to keep costs down while still trying to stay eco-friendly. Trying to keep striving for sustainability. This a record of that journey.

Sometimes blunt and straight forward then sometimes sarcastic

This frugal crunchy hipster single momma is doing what she can to save Mother Earth while not breaking the bank!

Monday, June 29, 2009

A low Impact house of my dreams

I want this house!!
The Hobbit House in Wales. The family build this house out of materials from the site and reclaimed goods from the rubbish pile. Trying to get of grid..........
Oh please go to the site and look around. They include the plans...
The only thing I would change is the composting toilet...... Not sure I can go all there

Still Bugs Me

I had to replace my windshield of my car. When I said something about the windshield becoming a new kitchen back splash or bathroom enclosure, the tech told me that it was going to the landfill...
My daughter told him wrong thing to say to her.........

Oh yea....

Guess Northeastern Ohio needs a glass recycling plant! What a waste that all that glass was just ending up in the landfill. His truck had many broken windshields plus a few new ones that would be replaced by the end of the day...... he tried to explain that there is plastics mixed in and that it wasn't easy to recycle. I just looked at him with this yea right look. I know I have seen products on Planet Green that where made from recycled glass including windshields from airplanes....

Then at work I notice that we recycle plastic and paper but not glass the easiest thing to recycle, there is less carbon footprint and it can be used for so many new things like new bottles...........

The closest I found to dealer that sell recycled glass tiles are Oceanside Glasstile at Virginia Title Co. in Warrensville Heights and Brooklyn Heights

Plastic bags and animals

I have using reusable bags for years. Granted most places I have shopped like Save a lot didn't have bags (well they would cost you if you needed one) so it wasn't to hard for me to grab a bag. My favorite place to get string bags is Reusable Bags. I got the deal for many of them and gave them as Yule Presents. I have a couple store bags and they are falling apart, but these string bags are still holding on, a little faded but still working.

Now I have the urge to try to crochet a bag and might try my hand at that. I don't really know how to read patterns but might still give it a try!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Becoming a Lovavore

Lovavore which combines "local" with "omnivore" or "herbivore"

1/5 of all the oil products used in the United States is used in Agriculture. So if your are going green, learn to eat locally. Which is now the term Locavore. Many Locavore will only eat ina 100 mile radius from their homes. (This started out as a diet!) While some will include their home state.

It is changing the retail markets! Giant Eagle has signs on where the food is from and including signs for local foods. Krogers, Walmart and Sam's Club are now looking for local producers to cut cost for thier customers.
Best Buy, DreamWorks, and Nordstrom are using local farms in their cafeterias.

Why Go Locavore?

Food at local farmer markets are picked 24 hour before hitting the shelf. PLUS it isn't picked green and sprayed with chemicals to keep for along trip to your store,

Many plants are sprayed with chemicals that can cause things like miscarriages and cancer. Because it helps them stay fresher for longer trips that could be hundreds of miles, not with local farmers they just take it to the local market!

Eating local protects us from bio-terrorism. Food with less distance to travel from farm to plate has less susceptibility to harmful contamination! Really after what is happening with peanut butter lately, why not eat locally

Build your local economy.
More money in means strong local economy.
New Economics Foundation in London reports that it brings in twice the amount that a bused in product does!

Can't find locally grown? How about locally produced? ( I live near Smuckers! how lucky am I?? Fruit spread is a sweet treat!- the just friut stuff doesn't taste much different than jam) Try to get as much as you can locally if you can't get all your food that way. It is a step to the right direction for our environment!

Being that this is the winter and I not trying to lose weight but the more I buy local grown the less of a carbon footprint I leave

NE Ohioian And Proud

Did you know the first man to build a windmill was from Cleveland?
  • Charles F. Brush.
Thomas Edison was born in Milan.

Paul Newman who put a face to Organic and fair trade goods at Newman's Own

Wow I never knew... Can anyone add more to this list??

Small steps: BIG ripples

At work I used to be able to take a water bottle to the register and drink from it as I needed. But then a water bottle that most of my fellow workers use is the bottle of water we sell. I really hate having the bottle fall over and leak out. And the fact that it is huge and is hard to find a out of the way spot for it. SO I started to bring my water in a reusable bottle. It was smaller. I could wash it and place in my little cubby in a great spot to keep it out of the way. Yea fellow workers looked at me and said wow what a cute water bottle. I said yea I like the taste of my filter water better. Plus it is cheaper and less land fill. I started to see a couple of my fellow cashier doing the same thing. One told me that hey the fountain is free so I can fill up my water bottle and not have to pay for another bottle of water... Because if they think about it they may only be 75 cents but if they work 5 day a week that is $3.75 a week if you don't buy more than one......$15.94 a month, $191.25 a year (that includes one week vacation.) gee I could use that almost 200 dollars a year if you want to throw your money away!! I even fill your bottle up with tap water if you ask nicely.

I got a promotion and now work full time!! Yea. I now have to take a half an hour lunch break. So I am a single mom and money is mostly for bills... I started to bring my lunch. I used a old 6 pack cooler soft pack. Still wonder if it the plastic that will leak poison into my food but still researching to see (maybe I will just make a lunch bag on my day off) but I have gone one more step from that. I pack in reusable containers. I found at the dollar store a sandwich container that I get wow that's cute when they walk by me when I am eating. So the company put in shelves so we could put our lunch bogs/ boxes etc in the lunch room. It is getting fuller by the day with peoples bags and lunch boxes. Even one co-worker asked that a cooler not a lunch box huh? I told her yes it is. So She started to bring her lunch in her soft sided cooler....
Even the fact that some of my stuff that I pack my lunch are in reusable containers, I do use glass reused ( not recycled) containers to keep my stuff it........ Wow a glass jar that you should put in the recycling bin (oh yea we do have recycle bins at work!) you use for food to heat up in microwave... I can hear Mariam right now teasing me " who would have thogght it! That pretty cool idea... "

So they see they learn and I am making small step to lessen my carbon footprint and seeing the ripples of others learning from me.... and I smile......... I just hope that the ripple will get bigger by the day.

Planet Green Idea CHPs

Combined Heat and Power system.... hummmm

they are about three times more efficient then fossil fuel. CHPs aren't emissions free (they run internal combustion engines with natural gas) but because they capture the heat produced by the power generation, they produce a lot more energy per ton of CO2 released. CO and nitrous oxides that are released is said to be that of your kitchen burner. They can heat the water and make electric at the same time. You can sell your unused electricity back to the grid. Plus if you add radiant heat you can lower your gas usage yea something to dream on..........
But then geothermal would cost $30,000
CHPs well one for my small house would be $13,000
Geo has problems with sanding soil or too much solid rock in some areas, plus the fact the house is already build may cause problems........ so I dream,

Japan has started to use these systems. Japanese government promotes them and they are in use in many factories, commercial buildings, restaurants, spas, hospitals, schools! Right now the states are focusing on commercial and industrial sites not the homeowner. But then again that is quite alot of money. Japanese business joined together to share the cost of improving the system. The gas company working with the equipment manufacturers. That would like Dominion East Ohio working with General Electric. They started big then moved to improve to help produce one for the home.
In my researching this area I have found out that Kent State University right in in Norhteastern Ohio is working on gas-fired electric generators (turbines) with heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) for the University. Great going! This project started in May of 2002... not sure where it has gone from there. I have learned that they capture about 55% of their steam needs. Not sure what are their steam needs but sounds great. Check it out.

Guess if it wasn't much more than replacing your heating system it would pay off in the long run, but not to just get to help the environment most of us couldn't afford. Like replacing your toilet with a low flush that will only run you around a hundred dollars. Maybe when you build your new house??

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The basics

Easy ways to be green and help the environment:

Turn off lights when not using.
Change to LED lights
  • generate very little heat.
  • uses half the energy then CFL
  • Last longer, sometimes up to 10 years
  • they cost more however
compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL)
  • uses 75% less energy then regular bulbs
  • last longer then regular bulbs
  • Prices are coming down due to demand

Unplug unused appliances
  • It's called vampire energy loss, some of your appliances still use energy if when turned off. Check out Berkeley Lab to see the energy they are sucking up in standby mode
Turn off water when not in use

Take shorter showers not bathes. Bathes use more water. Purchase a water saving shower head and save more. Most of the time they are reasonably priced and help you save money

Low flush toilets, use 1.6 gallons of water compared to 4 to 7 gallons! You can make it a lower flushing toilet by adding a milk jug filled with sand or rocks that is placed in the tank away from where the water comes in. But plumbers do not recommend this.......


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