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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. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,121
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    We compost what we don't feed the chickens. We also compost the waste produced by the chickens, garden waste, and large amounts of leaves. We grow a lot of our own food which also means we can. I do not drive, we have a car that is 8 years old and I haven't looked lately but I doubt if there is much over 65,000 miles on it. The house has with 5 exceptions all CFL lights, all five of the exceptions are rarely used. Pellets have replaced our 600 gallons of oil for space heating and I keep looking at the DHW and I'm not quite certain I can break even yet going to electric.

    I'm currently making 18 panels of interior storms (well I have almost all of the parts needed), the goal is to cut a ton of pellets or better per year as well as even out the temperatures on the main floor.

    I hope to get electrical usage down to an average of 400kWh/month.

    We don't do it to be green, we are cheap ornery old Yankees and can really put the squeeze on the buffalo (that is how we pay for our vices).

    We try to do the reduce, reuse, and recycle in that order.

    ETA: For some of my vices consult the last line in my signature.

    YAE: We stopped using hot water to wash clothes in years ago, and when our old washer sprung a leak we bought a new He model.

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    48,089
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Frugality used to be considered a national virtue. As did the ability to make some wicked homebrew. >>
  3. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    .

    When I was little my father put a new engine in our family car and didn't know what to do with the old one that was dead. So instead of keeping the good parts and scrapping the rest he dug a hole and threw it in ! A couple of years ago he dug it back up and cleaned all the dirt off and to his surprise it looked like it was still in good shape 25 years later lol ! He probably looked crazy as he used a cherry picker and a chain fall off the back of his truck to lift it out of the ground ( chain fall was holding the cherry picker in the truck ) lol.

    Pete
  4. dave_dj1

    dave_dj1 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
    Messages:
    21
    Loc:
    Eastern NY
    What is the smell? Like an electrical fire?
    thanks,
    dave
  5. DBoon

    DBoon Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Messages:
    804
    Loc:
    Central NY
    What everyone else said already....plus - we try to avoid buying anything new, or even anything used if we don't need it, or if it won't reduce our costs (energy or otherwise) over time. Learning to understand the difference between needs versus wants, and restraining purchases accordingly, is one of the keys. It's not only green, but it is also profoundly liberating in a lot of ways.
  6. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Messages:
    936
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    According to my 8 year old girl scout, if you fill a 1pt. 9oz. plastic water bottle half way, that is the amt. of oil it takes to make that bottle. Therefore, I will be installing whole house filters and a small UV unit to wean wife and said daughter from their addiction.

    Ehouse
  7. jimbom

    jimbom Combustion Analyzer

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,022
    Loc:
    Missouri Ozarks
    Critters and skunks take a little longer, but still compost out pretty well. With the others, I try to remove the plastic ID, shoes, and belts.
    Gary_602z and SmokeyTheBear like this.
  8. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Messages:
    2,793
    Loc:
    Commonwealth Of Massachussetts
    Likewise, I reuse or repurpose or recycle constantly. I have replaced all my exterior doors with good used ones, including my slider.
    I insulated my rim joists with closed cell foam re-sawed from broken dock floats. Because it was free, I made them 4" thick for best effect. I re-insulated my attic with fiberglass salvaged from a motel being renovated. I built my boiler and the rest of my hydronic system from mostly reused parts, with the exception of fittings needed in the nick of time,
    going so far as to purchase a bucket of ball valves, a heat exchanger and many lengths of copper pipe from the junkyard, and several superstor tanks from the warranty pile at the plumbing supply, which I then repaired. I am presently building a solar hot water panel which will be at least 90% salvaged.

    Repurposing/reconditioning works very well for me, since I have a complete machine shop/fabshop on my property and worked over the years (and aquired tools for) virtually every building trade. Further, being self employed, I can fill my down time with such projects.

    I had an apprentice who one day questioned why we were wasting time fixing an old free cement mixer. When we were mixing concrete in it less than four hours and zero dollars later, his tune had changed.
    begreen likes this.
  9. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,473
    Loc:
    SE Mass
    Yes, although it's not always obvious.
    Seeds from squash disappear. Bread disappears.
    With a light snow cover I find raccoon prints. Not quite sure what they take. Squirrels take the bread.
    I'm not feeding squirrels if I can help it so I'm thinking of getting a food grade barrel and making a compost barrel mostly for kitchen scraps.
    I haven't seen any signs of mice or other animals. With no snow to capture foot prints who knows what comes and goes any other time of year.
    I take a 25 foot roll of fence in a circle for a compost pile and can fill three of those in a Summer with lawn clippings and leaves.
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    48,089
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Dune, you need a blog with photos. You're doing great man.
  11. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,121
    Loc:
    Standish, ME

    Squirrels, mice, rats, chipmunks, and various birds will take seeds and bread, here no large seeds or bread make it to the compost pile. The egg layers get that stuff. I also cover fresh stuff with a bit of dirt. If you keep the "good" stuff as the bottom all of the time most animals stay away.

    I reuse pellet pallets to make my bins.
  12. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    15,051
    Loc:
    Northern IL
    I have planted more than enough trees to compensate for all of my co2 output. Burn wood for heat. Re-use, repurpose, rebuild much old stuff (more of a hobby than a movement). Garden. Working on improving the house envelope. Pee outside.
  13. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2011
    Messages:
    1,529
    Loc:
    Carroll County, MD
    CFL's have been in my house for 6 years, have not had a burnout. I think it has to do with the wiring, my electric was updated to 240 when I moved here. Before that house ran on 2 fuses.
    Composting, paper metal and glass recycling, use gray water for outside watering, but don't have rain barrel yet. Keep TV to a minimum, raise my own vegetables, and try to keep my money local by supporting local vendors (does that count?). I make my own bread, buy in bulk, and only go the the grocery store once a month (I live alone), and even then it is in conjunction with another errand. In fact, unless it is an emergency, I rarely make a trip for one item. I only have one vehicle. My house was chosen because it is small, easy to insulate (invested in some serious insulation) and kept in good repair.
    I could go on, but the bottom line is I have always subscribed to this mantra, even though the derision of others goes in and out of vogue over the decade:
    Use it up,
    Wear it out;
    Make it do
    Or do without.
  14. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
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    15,051
    Loc:
    Northern IL
    Heck yeah it counts. "Keep it local" is catching on.
  15. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,473
    Loc:
    SE Mass
    Due to recycling so much, it has taken me as long as three months to fill a 13 gallon bag of trash to put out.
    We've even avoided purchases due to too much plastic or the packaging being #8 or #9 (or not marked at all) which isn't in the recycling program here.
    My front lawn was a garden years ago and I'm slowly turning it back to one again. Cutting less and less lawn.
    Planting dogwood trees close to the house so the roof doesn't get shaded for solar DHW panels and maybe even some day PV. I've even planted trees on my neighbor's property. Some I buy to be further along sooner, most I just transplant from the woods.
  16. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
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    2,793
    Loc:
    Commonwealth Of Massachussetts
    Thanks BG, I have been thinking about a blog for a while. I need a new computer, I can barely keep this one going anymore.
    I have to restart it several times a day, and it has a redirect virus that makes google very time consuming and frustrating.
    Thanks for the kudos, that helps a lot.
  17. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3,687
    Loc:
    Indiana
    I have pretty much 100% wood heat.

    I hang my clothes up in the basement (where the stove is) in the winter and outside during the summer. Haven't used the dryer in years. This is for a family of 6!!

    I grow a garden, 100% organic. No pesticides or fertilizer. I don't buy hardly any produce anymore (pesticides, fertilizer) unless we are completely out. I'm still working on tomatoes, peppers, green beans, and broccoli from last season.

    I fix things rather than throwing them away and buying another.

    Putting a couple deer in the freezer every fall has to be greener than buying beef.

    I've started raising my own "nearly free range" chickens with my FIL (and neighbor). They eat all the organic scraps, left-overs, grass, bugs, seeds, etc they can find and only get a little feed each day. Basically anything that isn't a rock and didn't have a mother goes to the chickens.

    My truck is a gas hog, but enables me to do most of what is described above, so that's how I rationalize having it.
  18. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    2,663
    Loc:
    Eastern MA
    Much the same list of things here... Not sure it is a "green" thing, being "furgal/cheap" or what... but it is what it is.

    I avoid buying anything new if possible - or buying things when possible. Reusing things is best, from the obvious things down to washing plastic utensils for kids lunches. Have found a nice pile of kitchen cloths handy for just about everything one uses paper towels for and thus we rarely buy paper towels anymore.

    We recycle what we can - lucky for us that we have curbside pickup of most recycling (rinse and place in bins every other week pickup next to trash) so it is really easy.

    Have worms to compost year-round, but they have a limited appetite as we only have 2 bins of them. They do eat all the coffee grounds and most veggies, but with 6 in the family we generate some overflow that lands in the trash in the winter. In the summer this overflow goes into the backyard compost pile.

    Laundry is washed in cold, and we dry clothes on lines either outside when weather is dry and warm or inside the rest of the time (by the stove essentially). This has reduced our dryer (electric) use to only a few times a year for "finishing" loads or when guests visit.

    Heating is mostly wood now like many of you. Oil still heats our DWH - working on finding another solution for that one...

    We reduced our electric use in the house in many ways from cutting our computers from several desktops down to one notbook that is on most of the time (occassional second or third when needed). I believe most of our light bulbs have been replaced now with CFLs and the heaviest used lights are now being upgraded to LED bulbs. Family is well trained to turn off lights and other appliances when not in use. TV (rarely used anyway) is on a power strip. Many other measures taken - hard to remember or list them all... Overall we've taken what used to be over 1000Kwh/mo down to less than 475Kwh/mo average in usage. Still improving this.. Solar panels went up last fall and have been generating an excess for us which is nice, hopefully that will continue and we can choose where to put this energy to good use in the future.

    Driving we keep to necessary, but this is where I'm sure we can improve. I'd like to drive a plug-in hybred if/when they come down in price, but cost is a major issue. We drive cars and maintain them the best we can until they are unreasonable to keep up. That seems to have been around 200K miles for us so we have a few more years on each of our cars before we have to replace them again. Perhaps the options will be better by then.
  19. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    We stopped havin kids.
    btuser and firebroad like this.
  20. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    That's the big one. Kids are great but even with an inexaustable engergy supply we can't keep going the way we're going.
  21. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Jan 12, 2009
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    2,346
    Loc:
    SW Virginia
    We stopped at 2 for this reason.
    If everyone wanting kids stopped at 2 we'd have a net population decrease.
  22. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    We had one, and I'm not even sure it was the ol' fashioned method. I swear my wife cloned herself to out-flank me.
  23. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    South Puget Sound, WA
    Frugality used to be considered an important and patriotic virtue. One doesn't have to be obsessive to abhor waste.
  24. sesmith

    sesmith Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2009
    Messages:
    188
    Loc:
    Central NY
    We tried. We already had one. The next one was twins and we couldn't decide which one to put back so we kept them both.
    RoseRedHoofbeats, semipro and BrianK like this.
  25. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    Amen. Thank you.

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