Becoming More Green

DH and I are reading and looking for ways to be more "green". Isn't that the latest catch all term. Really we know that we have not done our part towards recycling, etc.

We first read and reviewed books on living off the grid, moving to a small farm and living off the land, etc. There are still books that will tell and show you how to butcher a hog, cow, etc....(DS was thoroughly grossed out....)

Yesterday we received Money magazine September 2008 and it was really helpful.

  • Think before you build: it's green to reuse and remodel. The house you fix up will probably be much greener than anything you build in its place, no matter how cutting edge the new design or how much recycled material you use. (Do you know that landfills are taken up more with debris from building projects than anything else.) So DH and I are happy to look at staying in our modest older ranch home and working to improve what we have. That means bye-bye to my secret desire to build a new home eventually...:(
  • A roof should overhang walls by at least one foot. We are blessed to be in a house where this is true. It keeps the sun off windows and exteriors which helps the house stay cool in summer. We also have our larger room with a southern exposure of windows which helps to heat our home in winter.
  • Size of a home does matter, don't pay for wasted space. A bedroom is for sleeping and a kitchen is for cooking. So they recommend having no more than 4 feet distance between your counters and an overall footage of 20 feet or less for a kitchen. My small kitchen fits this optimally. I guess no big expansions planned in that area.... and our bedrooms have a little spare room for the boys...
  • Opt for standard ceiling heights. It will save you lots of money in heating and air costs. We have standard 8 foot ceilings. Compared to new homes it seems cramped but we are adding in crown molding to visually add to the height of the rooms. Also we have a long term plan about changing the ceiling in our great room to a trayed ceiling to be more visually attractive, but that is way down on our home improvement list, but it is there...
  • Insulate, insulate, insulate....One of our more immediate home improvement plans is to add tons of additional attic insulation and a storm door to our front door. Our front door opens up directly to our living room, so when the cold wind is blowing and the door is opened it takes awhile to recover. We also have a longer term plan to add an enclosed small entry to our front porch area, thus minimizing the impact on the house with opening the front door. A longer term plan is to also have all of our current home windows replaced with double pane windows in the future to help minimize our energy drains. We also have an attic fan that helps pull out the hot air in our attic area in order to minimize our AC use.
  • Buying used and using till they are dead. Cars, that is, this is a major accomplishment in mine and my husband's thinking. What could be more green than keeping your current car and maintaining it and driving it for as long as possible. Luckily, my DH is skilled at car repair and maintenance, so this makes it more realistic as a goal. We currently have a 98' Cobra Mustang and a 2003 Explorer. These cars are really old, during our previous life we would have replaced these already...but we are determined to do good maintenance and repair and keep them as long as practical.
We will consider the energy ratings on our future appliance purchases. It is possible that we might be able to get either a rebate or tax incentive...

We are going to replace our light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs with our next payday. My DH has found that the GE bulbs are the most energy efficient and it looks like the best deal is to purchase them at SAMS club, so I am supposed to add up the lights in the house, in order to know how many to purchase.

Other actions, we need to recycle plastic/paper/glass. It is going to be a challenge, our nearest recycling units are about 40 miles away, but we need to do something...even if it takes more effort on our part. So I will look to find some large containers to store items in that will fit into our Explorer and find a place in the house or garage to store in order to stock them as needed.

Plans are to also add in a gas fireplace to our greatroom. We know that we are dependent on electricity for heating and running our home and want to establish some more sources for gas systems. We have explored changing our electric stove to a gas unit, which I prefer anyway, it shouldn't be too hard since we have a pier and beam house.

DH is also reading on steps for storage and use of rainwater.
Family is setting a priority to design and build a square foot garden system to be less dependent for our vegetables from the store.
We have considered installation of solar panels, but the expense so far is too great and the units would only be paid for after 25 years of use, so not a realistic option at this point for us.


  © Blogger template 'Fly Away' by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP