Active things your household is doing to reduce energy consumption, recycle, reduce carbon emmissions, and fuel costs
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Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Active things your household is doing to reduce energy consumption, recycle, reduce carbon emmissions, and fuel costs on 05/04/2008 14:21:51 MDT Print View

Sort of a continuation of the economic doom thread in the G-Spot.

Like most of you (I hope), we recycle glass, plastics, metals, and paper.

We also have a worm farm and some chickens to deal with kitchen and garden waste. When possible we choose products with the least packaging. We have replaced our old wood-burning stove with a pellet-burner. We shower no more than three times per week, and those showers we have at work. We bike or walk to work, grocery, doctors, post-office etc...and only use our 660cc car when the distance or weather is not practicable for biking or walking. We only heat our central living area, and use hot water bottles at bedtime for warmth in those other areas. Naturally we have those highly polluting energy-saver bulbs. A 40 watt 'daylight' bulb is an awesome thing to behold in the middle of winter ;). We sell or give away stuff that we are pretty sure we will no longer use. We plan many of our meals around "what's left in the fridge". We buy locally grown, in season and organic where ever practicable. We turn stuff off if we're not intending to use it for at least the next our. We have an attic ventilation system which captures heat lost or gained through the ceiling to both warm and dry the house. We say a big "NO" to junk mail in our letterbox. We prepare our own meals from fresh produce 6 days of the week, but buy fast foods for ~one day each week. We make or modify much of our own clothing and gear, and buy virtually ALL of our casual clothes from second hand shops (fun shopping!!). We dehydrate most of our backpacking meals, though not sure how the electricity cost of dehydrating compares to buying freeze-dried. All of our electricity is from hydroelectric sources (this is something many people in the world don't have a choice over, and it comes with it's own environmental costs) and our pellet burner fuel comes from the sawdust left from the forestry industry.

Most of all, we are always looking for ways to improve our existence on this little fragile planet. This includes joing clubs where we meet up with and go hiking with like-minded people. This allows us to not only car-pool to our destination, but meet a diverse range of folks that you might not have otherwise got to known...

Edited by retropump on 05/04/2008 14:22:46 MDT.

Joseph Reeves
(Umnak)

Locale: Southeast Alaska
re:"Active things your household is doing to reduce energy consumption, recycle, reduce carbon emmissions, and fuel costs" on 05/04/2008 16:29:21 MDT Print View

On April 16 an avalanche took out a number of Hydro towers that brought cheap clean energy to Juneau, Alaska. Our local electric company turned the diesel generators on, and they will remain on for the next few months while snow melts and repairs are made. Initially, the electric company predicted 100K gallons of diesel a day to provide power for Juneau's 32,000 people. WIthin a week that figure dropped by 35%-40% as everyone conserved power. Our electric rates have increased 500% (from 11 cents a kilowatt hour to 52 cents); a great incentive to conserve at home and at work.

That afternoon, I had half of our office lights turned off, the water heaters lowered and a lights outs when not in use rule. With increased light, and a week of sun in the rain forest, we found it possible to work most of the day without any lights. We now unplug all of the copiers, computers and printers each night -- anything that has an led when on is now off when the last person leaves. At home there are no lights until its dark and then just the CF in the dining room. The G5 is turned off at night as is the airport that streams music to the stereo. The dryer isn't used- the rain returned so it takes a while to dry the towels.

We have also decided to spend the weekend sleeping on the beach and have found that fire does us well for cooking and heating.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Well on 05/05/2008 08:17:51 MDT Print View

I do well in most things - for instance we live centrally located so we don't drive a lot - my husband takes transit into Seattle for work (he is on the bus for 3 hours a day), but overall we don't drive a lot except for when hiking.
My yard would be considered green in most ways (water conserving/native plants/don't keep up grass/no chemicals)

Sure I recycle both yard waster and regular recycling. We put out a tiny amount of garbage. We have a water/electricity conserving washer and dryer.

But...I'll say this: I shower daily. I have lived on an island where I couldn't, and did that for over a decade. Nooooo thanks. Where I live water is rather plentiful so I don't feel bad. I do keep the temp down on the water though. Safer overall.

As for the comments on backpacking food - yes, doing your own is cheaper overall and better. Why? You are not paying to have it shipped all over. Yes, your food is still shipped but not at such a huge cost in packaging.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Active things your household is doing to reduce energy consumption, recycle, reduce carbon emmissions, and fuel costs on 05/05/2008 08:56:21 MDT Print View

1. Reduced energy consumption massively, from old days of hundreds of KWH/month to now averaging about 50 KWH/month
2. Bike commuting to work most days in cooler months.
3. Combining errand running trips.
4. Carpooling to backpacking trips.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
RE:Active things your household is doing to reduce energy consumption, recycle, reduce carbon emmissions, and fuel costs on 05/05/2008 14:41:14 MDT Print View

Thought of a few more over the weekend:

All our clothes are washed in cold water.

We don't even own a clothes dryer, so everything goes out on the line to dry.


We don't own a dishwasher, wash everything by hand.

We have a very small water heater, and it has been turned off now for the winter, as it's connected to our pellet burner as a 'wet-back'.

Curious observation: I was not allowed to use the word Wet-Back without the hyphen, as the software thought it was profanity!!???

Edited by retropump on 05/05/2008 14:42:31 MDT.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: RE:Active things your household is doing to reduce energy consumption, recycle, reduce carbon emmissions, and fuel costs on 05/05/2008 15:36:51 MDT Print View

Wet-back would/could be an ethnic slur in the western world against persons of Mexican decent.

Edited by jshann on 05/05/2008 15:37:34 MDT.