Monday, September 20, 2010

I'm trying to be green - ish.

I grew up in the hippie era, where everyone was going to live in communes and live close to nature.  While that didn't happen, I have been trying to be more aware.

I've switched almost all of my light bulbs for CFL bulbs.  Although now I am hearing that the mercury content of the CFL bulbs may not make them quite as green as previously believed.

I've put most of my electronic equipment on a switch so I can prevent vampire energy.

I had my 13 year old air conditioner replaced with a more efficient unit.  And when the nights are cool, I use window fans to bring the cool air in and turn off the air conditioner entirely.

My thermostat is set at 88 during the day and 85 at night, supplemented with a couple of fans to circulate the air.  I am quite comfortable at those temperatures, but if I get warm, well, it is summer in the desert.

I had the insulation in my attic doubled.  That has really helped keep the hot air out of the house.  Does it count if I also benefit from lower electric bills?

I had the patio cover extended along the whole south of the house.  The sun stays out of the house and those rooms stay cooler.

I hang my laundry out to dry.  Why not take advantage of the extreme Arizona dryness?   And if that prolongs the life of my 13 year old dryer, even better.

I use cloth napkins, and cloth cleaning rags.  I gave up paper plates for real plates.

I use a push mower on my small patch of lawn and put the grass clippings on my flower garden.   That the push mower is so much quieter than the electric mower that preceded it is an additional benefit.

I've cut back on irrigation to most of my plants and discovered they do just fine with less water.  Maybe even better. 

I put leftover bread, fruit, and vegetables out for the wild birds and bunnies.

I sweep once for every time I vacuum.  I think it's quicker.  And it is definitely quieter. 

But still, I have far too many gadgets with batteries that must be recharged often.

And I drive alone to work every day.

I am hoping that everything else I do compensates for that.

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