Going Green

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Main Question or Discussion Point

What are you doing/using in your daily life to help the enviroment?

I have EnergySaver appliances. Use GE Smart Bulbs. Plant a small garden every year. Use Seventh Generation products. Recycle everything I can. Walk to destinations as much as I can.
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
JasonRox
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I don't eat beef, or pork.
Recycle when I can.
I'm walking everywhere right now!
I re-use my paper and then recycle. I'm using my thesis rough draft as rough paper right now actually. It's like I'm double recycling.
I don't watch TV.
I have plants in my room.
I use 30-40 watt bulbs. (I won't blow money on those GE bulbs that cost much more.)

I don't really know much more.
 
  • #3
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I buy offsets.
 
  • #4
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I walk whenever I can.
I use energy efficient bulbs.
I reuse containers when I can.
I recycle aluminum cans.
 
  • #5
lisab
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We just bought a push-mower. It's a pain in the neck, but it always starts :smile: .

We're switching from a traditional gas-burning furnace to a heat pump (but we're keeping the furnace for when it gets very cold).
 
  • #6
Moonbear
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We just bought a push-mower. It's a pain in the neck, but it always starts :smile: .
I just wait until the neighbors complain about the height of the grass, then call the landlord, who does nothing about it, then the neighbors complain to the HOA, and the HOA secretary leaves a note on the door, to which I reply with the landlord's phone number and address. We've gotten it down to only one or two mowings a year. :rolleyes: (I don't mind the tall grass because it's filled with wildflowers too, and property is such a steep hill it's unusable land anyway, but apparently that's not what the HOA covenants require...but that's the landlord's problem, not mine, and the reason I rent rather than own here.) That reminds me that I need to explain this system to the new neighbors (so they know I'm not the one responsible for mowing the grass and don't get mad at me).
 
  • #7
mgb_phys
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A friend discovered HOA facists when he moved to the USA.
Solution was to abandon the lawn to local weeds, then identify each weed and put a little label naming the species on it - then claim that they were all protected wildflowers
 
  • #8
vanesch
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I use mostly fluorescent saver bulbs, do waste sorting and recycling and I plan to work on weapons of mass destruction :approve:

(for the totally humorless, the last part is a joke).
 
  • #9
vanesch
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We just bought a push-mower. It's a pain in the neck, but it always starts :smile: .

We're switching from a traditional gas-burning furnace to a heat pump (but we're keeping the furnace for when it gets very cold).
Do you bake pizza on a heat pump :confused: :redface:
 
  • #10
Evo
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I have always conserved without ever thinking about it. I don't waste water. Unless I have something I'm holding under the running water, I turn it off. I like it dark, so there is very little light on where I live, and only when I am in the room. At work I have made them remove half of the over head lights, they're too bright anyway. In the winter, I keep the heat at 65F and wear warm clothes. I don't run the dishwasher unless I have a full load, which rarely happens because I tend to wash dishes as I use them, and when I use it, it's the short cycle and no heat dry. I also don't run the washer or dryer for small loads and I wash my clothes in cold water. I have a small fuel efficient car and I shop on my way home from work at stores between my office and my house, with only a rare exception. If I run out of an item, I don't run to the store, I wait until my next scheduled trip. I take short cool showers. I reuse plastic containers that food comes in instead of buying new ones. I don't use my disposal very often, that is what the cat and dog are there for. I rarely use paper towels. If I could find a use for the hair my dog and cat shed, I'd probably be independantly wealthy.
 
  • #11
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I have always conserved without ever thinking about it. I don't waste water. Unless I have something I'm holding under the running water, I turn it off.
Good one! my GF is always yelling at me to turn off the water
 
  • #12
Evo
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  • #13
I'm not very environmentally conscious but there are a few things I do.
I try to buy used books, they're cheaper and environmentally friendly, but unfortunately I can not always find what I want in a used book store.
I try not to drive around alot and I always walk places that are near by.
I reuse my water bottles. Ever since I was taught as a kid to cut those plastic rings that soda sixpacks come with it has become an ingrained habit. If I see one in someone elses trash even I'll pull it out and break it up.
Ummm.. that's about it really. Like Evo I have a tendancy to conserve in various small ways just because of the way I am and not so much because I think of it. Short showers, reusing things, extending the usable life of things, ect..
 
  • #14
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Live in passive solar, straw bale house with in floor radiant heating and a woodstove.
Recycle paper, plastic, glass and cans.
Grow plants indoors and out. Outside we have mainly sagebrush and rabbitbrush for landscaping (low water, native)
Drive a hybrid.
Yeah, I'm to tired to figure the rest.
 
  • #15
russ_watters
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Do you bake pizza on a heat pump :confused: :redface:
That would be an oven. A furnace is what you use to heat your house.
 
  • #16
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Ha, pizza in a solar oven...ha ha...ha
 
  • #17
Chi Meson
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High efficiency "Quadrafire" woodstove heat. 1-1/2 cords of wood, and 75 galllons of oil was our total heating bill this last winter. Gathered, cut and split wood myself, so include about a gallon of chainsaw gas for that. The wood was about 50% fallen and standing deadwood. The rest were trees in the neighborhood that friends asked me to cut down.

Clothes dryer is vented indoor. Here's the trick: put a nylon "knee stocking" over the hose, then point the hose into a 5 gallon bucket with a gallon of water at the bottom. No "dryer dust" at all. And you keep all that warm, moist air.

Umm... 90% CF bulbs in my house (a few incandescent for color balancing). I never water the lawn, and no fertilizer! (it makes the grass grow extra fast)

And I bike to work. And last summer I installed solar hot water panels on the roof, reducing our already low electric bills by 1/3.

And no, I do not believe I am doing anything that will save the environment. I'm doing it to save money.
 
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put a nylon "knee stocking" over the hose, then point the hose into a 5 gallon bucket with a gallon of water at the bottom. No "dryer dust" at all. And you keep all that warm, moist air.
Sounds like a reverse bong...
 
  • #19
Chi Meson
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Sounds like a reverse bong...
A gnob. yes. It's what it sounds like too.
 
  • #20
Evo
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High efficiency "Quadrafire" woodstove heat. 1-1/2 cords of wood, and 75 galllons of oil was our total heating bill this last winter. Gathered, cut and split wood myself, so include about a gallon of chainsaw gas for that. The wood was about 50% fallen and standing deadwood. The rest were trees in the neighborhood that friends asked me to cut down.
I was going to say I should be burning things, but isn't that what AGW advocates are against? Burning fuels are bad according to them. I used to use peat logs, but they are bad since they release C02 that was previously sequestered. Burning any oil, coal or peat is bad. I guess using recently dead wood is ok. But then you have the smoke.
 
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  • #21
Moonbear
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Okay, since my first response wasn't terribly serious (as sadly true as it is), here are some of the little things I do that really aren't intended to conserve, but achieve it anyway.

I only use plastic water bottles to take to the farm with me (keeping my water supply closed between sips is kind of important there and the water fountain hasn't worked in over a year, so I have to bring my own water if I don't want the unfiltered tap water out there...though, it's drinkable, it just tastes too metallic...high iron content). Otherwise, I don't use water bottles at all. At home, I just use a glass and get it from the tap. At the office, the water fountain is close to my office if I just want a sip, or else I fill my coffee mug with water (when I'm not drinking coffee).

Like Evo, I reuse plastic containers (though, also don't buy very much that comes in plastic containers...this does mean sometimes supplementing my stock for larger cooking/freezing projects). Part of avoiding unnecessary packaging automatically comes from cooking a lot of fresh foods rather than pre-processed heat and eat stuff. I don't buy produce from the stores that put it into cellophane wrap on a styrofoam tray (it really annoys me when they do that...produce comes in a perfectly good wrapper of its own, called the skin...and I don't want to buy 3 zucchinis in a package, I just want one).

I don't turn on the heat unless the inside temperature drops below 65 with the heat off. I keep the heat set with a programmable thermostat so I don't have to remember to turn it up and down when I'm not home or getting ready to go to sleep or getting up in the morning, etc. (I used to forget to turn the heat down during the day when I'd leave for work when I had a manual thermostat control.) When I'm not home or sleeping, it's 65, most of the rest of the time, I keep it set about 68 (good insulation and windows make this comfortable when there aren't any drafts) and only turn it up to 70 or 72 for a short time when I'm first waking up in the morning and showering because I can't get myself out of a toasty warm bed if the room is cold.

I usually keep air conditioning off until the temperature is above 90 (sometimes not even then...depends on the humidity). I prefer just keeping the windows open in summer.

I take short showers (though I do like hot showers), and let my hair air dry rather than blow drying (that's as much for avoiding damaging my hair as anything, but it does help conserve electric).

Lights are only on in the rooms I'm in, and only one usually.

I avoid using things like paper towels when a cloth towel or kitchen sponge will do the job (yes, the cloth towels need to be washed, but they don't take a lot of space in with a load of other laundry...I've never had to do a second load due to kitchen towels).

I'm going onto week 3 with a single tank of gas (and only about half way). I only drive to work and home and combine as much of my shopping into a single trip as possible, and maybe once a week drive someplace else, but most of the places I even go out are close to work or between work and home, so doesn't add much driving. With gas prices going up, I'm being even more conscientious about extra trips out for stuff.

These are all just things I normally do anyway, not something specifically intended as conservation though.
 
  • #22
turbo
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I have always conserved without ever thinking about it. I don't waste water. Unless I have something I'm holding under the running water, I turn it off. I like it dark, so there is very little light on where I live, and only when I am in the room. At work I have made them remove half of the over head lights, they're too bright anyway. In the winter, I keep the heat at 65F and wear warm clothes. I don't run the dishwasher unless I have a full load, which rarely happens because I tend to wash dishes as I use them, and when I use it, it's the short cycle and no heat dry. I also don't run the washer or dryer for small loads and I wash my clothes in cold water. I have a small fuel efficient car and I shop on my way home from work at stores between my office and my house, with only a rare exception. If I run out of an item, I don't run to the store, I wait until my next scheduled trip. I take short cool showers. I reuse plastic containers that food comes in instead of buying new ones. I don't use my disposal very often, that is what the cat and dog are there for. I rarely use paper towels. If I could find a use for the hair my dog and cat shed, I'd probably be independantly wealthy.
:!!)Wow! You'd fit right in here. If only you'd learn to skin and gut moose and re-build outboard-motor carbs - this 10% ethanol gas is screwing them up,big-time.
 
  • #23
vanesch
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That would be an oven. A furnace is what you use to heat your house.
I stand linguistically corrected... :redface:
 
  • #24
vanesch
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I was going to say I should be burning things, but isn't that what AGW advocates are against? Burning fuels are bad according to them. I used to use peat logs, but they are bad since they release C02 that was previously sequestered. Burning any oil, coal or peat is bad. I guess using recently dead wood is ok. But then you have the smoke.
Have you tried burning cat and dog hair ? It's a biofuel...
 
  • #25
Chi Meson
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I was going to say I should be burning things, but isn't that what AGW advocates are against? Burning fuels are bad according to them. I used to use peat logs, but they are bad since they release C02 that was previously sequestered. Burning any oil, coal or peat is bad. I guess using recently dead wood is ok. But then you have the smoke.
If you are going to heat your home by non-solar methods, no matter how you do it (there is one exception) you will be burning something. Even if you use electricity, somewhere a lump of coal is burning. (The exception is nuclear-ly generated electricity).

The question is: which method puts less CO2 and polutants into the air? IF you burn oil or natural gas, there are less bad things coming out of your chimney, but the real bad stuff has already come out during the processing (during mining, drilling, refining, delivery, etc). The least impact involves the least transportation to the point of use. I get wood from a radius of 1/4 mile around my house. The amount of wood we burn is not ridiculous because the woodstove is extremely high efficiency (Aladdin Quadrafire: I can't recommend it enough!). Less than 2 cords got us from October to April, with house temperatures staying around 70 degrees.

The gasses and particulate matter are reburned and re-reburned and there is very little smoke or creosote created. About 70% of the heat is kept inside the house.
 

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