Thursday, June 21, 2007

Thirteen non-green things we do

I don't claim to be the most environmentally friendly person out there. My goal is to be more so, but I'm not there yet. So, I give you 13 habits I should change.

1. I drink my soda from cans. And I drink lots of soda. Granted, I recycle the cans, but I really should cut down on the soda consumption for many reasons. One of which is the energy spent to make it. Another is the implicit support of evil corporations (i.e. Monsanto) who poison us with things like aspartame.

2. I am having trouble convincing Wirenut to focus on organic farming. He hates aphids and ants. And he likes to poison them. I found white pesticide residue on some basil plants. BASIL!!

3. I'm not so good about taking my own bags when I shop. I justify this by saying we use the plastic shopping bags for other things, like cat poop. I will turn down bags for small purchases, and I try to rebag purchases to minimize plastic bag use. But I still use them.

4. I HATE cleaning paint rollers. Therefor, I buy the contractor pack of rollers, de-lint them before painting, and throw them away when I am done. I freeze the rollers between uses of the same color (it allows me to reuse the roller without cleaning). But when I am done with a color, in the trash it goes.

5. I love my air conditioning. I grew up in the hot, humid southeast. Some might say I should be acclimated to heat and humidity. Instead, I acclimated to sweet, wonderful, cool, dry conditioned air. I mitigate this with a programmable thermostat.

6. Wirenut loves lighting. All sorts of lighting. Lots of lighting. I guess it come with the electrician license. He also dislikes the quality of the light from CLFs. The other problem is I like dimmers. I want every light on a dimmer. Hallways - dimmer. Bathroom - dimmer. Kitchen - dimmer. Everything - dimmer. CLFs are generally not compatible with dimmers ("they" are working on it). So, we have lots of incandescents.

7. I have not yet switching to low/no VOC paint and stain. Partially because its difficult to find in our new area, and partially because of cost.

8. Wirenut drives a full-size pickup truck. Granted, its a late-model Japanese truck, and he does kind of need it, being in the trades and all, and its the 6-cylinder, non-4WD option. But still, not that great on the gas consumption.

9. We don't really recycle paper. I have no justification for this. We do compost some paper. And when I clean out the magazines, those go in the recycle bins. But everyday mixed paper goes in the trash.

10. Speaking of paper, we use too many paper towels.

11. We buy veggies from the supermarket (in general) rather than farmer's markets or organic stores.

12. Tivo and the cable box are on 24/7.

13. We buy stuff made in china (although, its very hard not to these days :( )

13 1/2. We fly too much. Somewhat due to my job. Somewhat due to living 800+ miles from lots of family. And somewhat due to the travel bug and the fact we have already have seen the entire east coast.

In short - I'm better on the big stuff then I am the little stuff. And the little stuff adds up. This was kind of eyeopening.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Saved from the landfill!

Although we closed on the house over a week ago, we had a two week overlap with the apartment we have been renting. The apartment complex has been remodeling with turnover. Today, they were doing the kitchen across the hall from us. We noticed them piling the old cabinets on the ground in front of our place. As some of you know, Wirenut has a thing for organization, and we had been talking about picking up some used cabinets from a salvage store to put in the garage/workshop. So, we asked the contractors and sure enough, they were just going to throw away the old cabinets and were more than happy to let us take them. Score! Free cabinets for our garage AND we saved them from the landfill!

In other news, we have been working our tails off. The strangest part, Wirenut has unfinished our basement. It had to be done, as it was VERY old paneling and 30 year old musty carpet. Here are some pictures so far!