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What green thing(s) are you doing to contribute?

Post in 'The Green Room' started by dave_dj1, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. dave_dj1

    dave_dj1 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
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    Loc:
    Eastern NY
    My wife and I recycle. I keep my heat set lower than most. Don't make frivolous trips in the truck any more. Shut lights off when not needed and run cfl's. When building I try to be as green as I can given the customers budget, needs and wants.

    Add your contribution, I'm not judging, just curious.
    dave

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    South Puget Sound, WA
    We've been serious recyclers since the early 80's and try to make a lot of food at home instead of buying prepackaged. We make our own bread, yogurt, salads, pancakes, pizza etc.. And we compost all that we can. That keeps our dump runs down to 3 times a year, recycle runs 6 times a year.We grow a substantial amount of vegetables and fruit that we eat.

    Our house got a major energy refit and rehab in 2006 that dropped our energy bill for heating by 4/5ths or 80%. We also bought a Prius that year which knocked our emissions down considerably, and we use public transportation every week. Solar panels went in last summer.
  3. jimbom

    jimbom Combustion Analyzer

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    Loc:
    Missouri Ozarks
    Super insulated house with radiant floors and passive solar since 1991. 100% wood heat this past heating season. Solar clothes dryer, ie clothes line.
    fishingpol likes this.
  4. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    Northern MN
    Probably the biggest is 100% wood heat since 1990 (yes, a little electric backup when we take off for a few days). Next is 25% reduction in electricity usage through CFL's, shutting lights and other things off, etc. Recycling, compost, etc. Biggest naysayer is auto use because of living in a rural area, 14 miles from nearest town, and active community life - but the Toyota does get 30+ mpg.
  5. fishingpol

    fishingpol Minister of Fire

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    2,052
    Loc:
    Merrimack Valley, MA
    Recycling, composting( a hot composter is next), using the clothesline in good weather and had more insulation put in the house. I installed good energy efficient windows a few years back. I check tire pressure every few weeks for better gas mileage. We burn seasoned wood cleanly, use a rain barrel, and have a chemical free lawn. I am not a tree hugger, but I try to instill responsible environmental behavior on the kids. I wish the neighbors would do more, instead of putting four barrels of trash out every week compared to my one, half full barrel. I would do more solar, but we have too many crappy cloudy days like today.
  6. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
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    2,527
    Loc:
    N.W. Ohio
    100 % wood heat. Water 100% heated by wood, CFL lights, Compost to reduce trash, Upgraded insulation,
    We don't make very many unnessasry trips in the auto. Will be buying somthing that has better gas milage in the
    near future. We recycle some of our trash. I also catch rain water to water the garden. I have lots of trees in my yard, and plant a few each year.
  7. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    Jan 27, 2008
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    SE PA
    Since I bought my 1960s vintage house in 2005, DIY airsealing and insulation has dropped my heating and A/C BTU requirement >50%, switched from 1100 gallons of oil heat/yr originally to ~8000 kWh of wind power/yr now (w/ASHP). Annual savings: ~$3,500 and ~15 tons CO2. In process of switching DHW from oil to hybrid electric....should save another $1000 and 3 tons CO2 per year.
  8. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    12,099
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    I'd say being vegetarian is our single biggest contribution - haven't done the math, but food production represents a large part of individual energy use.

    Recycling of the basics (paper, cardboard, plastics, glass) has ben mandatory both back in NJ and here in MA.

    I'm very light on the gas....really! :)

    All kidding aside, I think real "greenery" in the end is going to be a society-wide problem and effort. I'm always referring to the charts of "energy use per capita" among the states because some states use double or triple what others do! The larger policies such as building codes, public transit, planning and CAFE MPG seem to make even more of a difference than turning off a light bulb.

    As old housing stock is replaced or upgraded, the efficiency goes way up. Same with appliances, furnaces, water heaters, cars, etc.
    Even never jets use much less fuel per passenger mile.
  9. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    SW Virginia
    We do many of the things already mentioned. Along the lines of what webbie said, I think many underestimate the impact of what they eat and where it comes from.
    Commercial meat production really takes a heavy toll on the environment when compared to production of other food sources.

    I don't think it has been mentioned yet... we try to buy American and to buy local. Many countries don't have the environmental controls on production that we do.
    I even consider this when buying things like beer. Though I love many imported beers, I try to buy the local stuff, in cans if possible, to cut down on the energy and pollution created during transport.
    Many think that beer from a bottle is best but beer makers point out that its light that degrades beer and cans block light.
  10. dave_dj1

    dave_dj1 Member

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    23
    Loc:
    Eastern NY
    For those of you that compost, do you have a problem with critters? Skunks and others?
  11. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Commonwealth Of Massachussetts
    No, but I have a 100 pound alaskan malamute.
  12. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    To be honest I really don't care about being "green", it's more about saving money. Turn off the lights, keep the nat gas heat low, drive a fuel efficient car, etc.
    I drive around 2000 miles a month, fuel is about $200 in my 45mpg diesel car.

    To recycle here you have to pay in extra in addition to having to have trash pickup. I either burn my trash it or toss in the dumpster at work.
    I do "recycle" used oils from my garage I guess though, one of my friends heats his place with it so I give it to him. I only have a 5 gal pail every couple months though.
  13. chuckie5fingers

    chuckie5fingers Member

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    Feb 20, 2012
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    Loc:
    60 S. of Chicago
    we burn wood in the winter, use CFL's in our house. I take military showers whenever I can (you know, get wet turn the shower off then lather up and wash the hair and then water back on to rinse off. We also have a high effenciency washer and dryer. I guess I could use a wash tub like my grandparents did. LOL.:)
  14. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Northern Virginia
    CFLs (Which I have found to be a rip. Cost a ton and don't last for squat), burn wood, drive an average of twenty five miles a month, total electric and the bill is a hundred a month or less. Buy five year old computers that were headed for the landfill. Ain't touching anything that was ever green and leafy but I moved from Texas just so webbie wouldn't be pissed at me for the per capita energy consumption. ;lol

    Biggest recycle effort last year was selling three thousand pounds of computer power cords to a metals recycler. And a whole bunch of aluminum beer cans. ;em
    Realstone likes this.
  15. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    I put all CFLs in my house when I moved in over 3 years ago, so far have only had 1 that I have replaced. My electric bill runs about $60/month.
  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    South Puget Sound, WA
    The first gen CFLs sucked. Even the major brand's didn't last. But lately I am getting good life out or our CFLs. They seemed to have worked a lot of the bugs and overheating issues out. I date my bulbs and find that our kitchen lights are lasting a bit longer than the halogens I used to use there, about 2.5 years. These lights are on a lot and in warm recessed cans. Now I get them in 4 or 6 packs and they are actually cheaper than the halogen floods they replaced. We have a CFL in a reading lamp in the living room that is going on year 4 now. It's on every night from dark until about 2am.
  17. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Not hard to tell when a CFL craps out. I am learning to recognize that smell instantly. Yuck! the first couple of times I was afraid the main panel in the basement was on fire.
  18. johnny1720

    johnny1720 Member

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    Loc:
    The Great North East
    Geothermal Water to Air Furnace, completely stopped using fuel oil. I have a pellet stove that I use as a backup. I stopped driving my Jeep Wrangler that got 14 MPG to work and started driving a small Nissan that gets 28 MPG. Replaced 75% of the light bulbs in the house with CFL and installed a ton of insulation into this house. I went from originally burning 1500 gallons of fuel oil to burning none. When redoing this house we bought real hardwood flooring and real tile. We did not want the chemicals from the fake stuff in our home. We replaced about 30 of the 100 year old windows and replaced them with energy efficient ones.

    We will be purchasing a share of a local co-op garden to off set the purchases from the grocery store.
  19. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    I pee outdoors.

    Every chance I get.
  20. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Northern MI - in the mitten
    +1 on the peeing outdoors. If the dogs can do it.......
    Cfl's for the past 4 years or so, and only 1 has crapped out. We live about 30-35 miles from the nearest large-ish city, so we only recycle oil from the machinery. USUALLY one grocery trip/month, sometimes a bit longer to save gas. My wife does a weekly "stitch and groan" with some friends that uses a bit of gas.
    Electric use is 250-300 kWh/month normally, but that's taken the last 5 years to get that low (my wife likes convenience:confused: ), and the only nat. gas is to heat the water we use. That bill is 11-12 ccf/month.
    Solar clothes dryer in the summer, and the heavy stuff gets put in the stove room to dry in the winter. Most stuff is on power strips.
    Trying to get the garden going this year.
    Um, ....we burn some wood in the winter.
    Laptops for both of us, and the bigscreen is used infrequently to watch a movie, either streamed, rented from the library, or borrowed from my nephew.
    Only one or two bags of trash/week, and we're going back to a 2 yard dump bin since it'll be cheaper and only need to be emptied once every 2-3 months.
    BB, I didn't notice a smell, but the one cfl that died flickered for a couple days and lost brightness before it died.
    I use a Kuerig coffee maker that our son got me for Christmas. I got the little filter container to use regular coffee instead of the k-cups. That thing warms up and makes 2 cups of coffee faster than the regular maker. Very efficient.
    None of this is really difficult, it just requires a change of habits.
  21. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    As I personally don't believe in the green movement ( no insult meant to anyone ) but instead believe in taking care of gods earth I keep it clean. I do the rest as more of a cost saving effort for our family such as energy bulbs and fixtures . We insulated which lowered our gas and wood consumption as well as noise from outside. I suppose the biggest energy saver has been the wood stove because it drastically lowered our gas usage. I like to recycle simply because it nags me to throw perfectly good plastic and glass in the ground that could still be used for something we are the same about our belongings and donate what we do not want to charity's.

    Pete
  22. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Pete, it's the same whether you believe in a movement or not. Acting wisely and treating the finite resources of this incredible planet with respect is a great way to start. It's kind of like the opposite of littering which implies one doesn't give a damn and a willingness to make it someone else's problem. For me I just try to live conscientiously and smarter and wait for the day when society as a whole does the same. I don't attend green meetings or belong to clubs. But I do keep an ear and eye open for new solutions and bright ideas.
    Dune likes this.
  23. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    Very well put Begreen !

    Pete
  24. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    The thread made my remember what my Pepere (grandfather) used to do.... the old days weren't so green I think.

    Tractor, trucks, car (he was a farmer) needed an oil change? Pull it over the ditch, drop the plug and let it drain to the ground. Asked him about it one day and he said "it comes from the ground, what harm is there with putting it back".
    I think after a while he did start to put it in buckets though. Kept on it about it.
  25. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Standish, ME
    No.

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