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What simple things do you do to green up your home? Tell us your ideas here!
Green as in plants or green as in recycling, composting, etc?
"Green" as in environmentally/eco- friendly:)
Although not really "simple" measures, I have recently added blown-in insulation to my 80 year old house & garage.
I firmly believe in this procedure, especially for older homes, as a way to greatly save fuel usage in the winter months.
Many older homes of this vintage often had no insulation installed in the walls at all.
Blown-in insulation is amazingly easy for the contractor to do in one day, and the cost is only a few hundred $$$.
I have 3 oil-fired boilers that I have done all the servicing on each fall for the past 30 years.
This is not rocket science, most homeowners can do this work if they don't mind getting their hands dirty,
But clearly, this is not everyone's cup of tea, but if not inclined, everyone should have their oil-fired equipment cleaned & adjusted every fall, or early winter.
The money saved on a well-adjusted heating system will more than pay in fuel savings for the service charge; a cleaner burning system is also friendlier to the environment.
My experience over the years is that many servicemen coming in for an annual boiler or furnace cleaning want to get out of the basement within 1/2 hour.
The dedicated homeowner is more likely to to a thorough job, even if it takes hours.
The vacuuming, filter-changing, adjustments, combustion analysis & component testing takes several hours for each boiler, but it's what I was trained to do, & I enjoy doing it.
I've always felt that residential oil-fired boilers and furnaces in the U.S. should follow the lead of Europe, where low-sulfur fuels are manadatory, and are priced competitively with natural gas, so that the homeowner has more options when buying fuel-efficient domestic heating equipment.
My hope is that this will help to lower propane & natural gas costs to the homeowner who has heating equipment that uses these fuels, through market competition of the various fuels.
The longer range view is that solar, geothermal and hydrogen fuel cells will also become practical for home heating.
Any homeowner doing basic service on their heating equipment is going to save big $$$ on heating bills & help the environment.
Here are a few things my wife & I have done:
- Use only solar landscape lighting.
- Re-use plastic grocery bags as garbage bags/dog poo picker-uppers.
- Reduced the number of plastic bags we get at the grocery store by using reusable grocery bags.
- Installed screw-in light sensor on porch light so it turns on at dusk and off at dawn.
- Investigating the use of a worm bin to reduce waste.
- While I know riding a bike would be greener, I ride my motorcycle to work when possible to reduce gas consumption.