Thursday, October 09, 2008

With All Due Respect...

Sometimes this "going green" thing sounds a little silly...

Because, for now, I am a stay at home mom I watch a lot of t.v. and I have seen a lot of popular day time shows giving tips on how to save money and energy.  Some tips are really useful such as using the reusable shopping bags and riding your bicycle to nearby places... although it seems a little impossible when you a.) don't have a bike b.) have twins however there are a few ideas that I have heard of that seem a little ridiculous to me:

1.)  unplug all appliances 
One lady suggested unplugging every basic fixture and appliance when you are not home and/or when you are not using that particular appliance. (Lamps, t.v., kitchen appliances) It may save some dollars on your next electric bill but how inconvenient it is the next time you need light or to see what time it is if you have to bend down on all fours to reach the plug that is nestled back behind the couch or 100 pound dresser.
2.)  trade furniture with a neighbor next time you want to redecorate your home.
Who is up for trading your ole couch for someone else's ole couch... or mattress, ew.
3.)  Brew your own coffee and lattes instead of heading to Starbucks.
I only know of one person that buys enough Starbucks to affect his monthly "mad money" budget and I'm pretty sure I am not going to be able to convince him to give it up.
4.) (and this is my favorite)
Rip up your carpet insulation and use it as wall paper or a cool message board for bills and receipts...

What is the line you draw on being "green?"  and what are some actual tips you would recommend?


Laurel said...

I've never heard the rug decor suggestion...that's plain ridiculous.

We are pretty conscious about turning lights on and off, using less water, etc..but have found that we really make the greatest impact through good ole recycling. Really, our trash intake would easily be triple what it is now if we didn't recycle. Luckily, we have an excellent recycling program in our city so it's easy, convenient and fulfilling.

Jason said...

I recycle ...have for about 2 years now and its amazing how many pounds of newspapers and cans we send out.
I am switching to the low energy bulbs. I did not go out and buy 100 new bulbs but when I need new ones i get the energy saving kind. The "color" of the light is a little off to begin with but you get used to it quickly.
Installing a new thermostat saves ALOT ....
I have used the Publix "green" bags for almost a year now and love them...They hold TONS.
I have also started buying "green" household cleaners and soaps.
and finally I go out every weekend and plant trees ....the neighbors get pissed at me for coming in their yards but hey ...every little bit helps !!

Liz said...

Yeah, the carpet thing is ridiculous! But unplugging little used items can be helpful. What we do in our office is try to plug things into a surge protector, then we can just flip it off when needed. And I long ago switched to (re-chargable)battery operated alarm clocks due to my tendancy to unplug them while sleeping. :) I am also trying to make a serious effort to learn where my products and food items come from. The less it has to travel, the better for the environment.

Mary Tyler S. said...

Carpet insulation as wallpaper??? are you serious??

Electronics that which show the time and have a remote are fantom loads. That means that unless you unplug them, they are always sucking electricity which costs you money. I have started recently:

Plugging those phantom loads (TV, VCR, DVR, Microwave) into power strips and turning the strip on whenever I want to use them.

CFL's, CFL's, CFL's - They used to cost more than regualar light bulbs, but now places like Home Depot, Wal-mart and Lowes are lowering there prices to about the same. (it's called energy marketing so they'll look good but hey, it saves your money)

Replace the weatherstripping around doors and windows to seal them. You'd never dream how much money goes down the toilet (or out the window).

Also, if you have fans in rarely used rooms, turn them on a medium speed - it circulated the air in your home so your AC/Heath doesn't have to work as hard---just be sure to switch the rotation in the winter

Recycle, Reduce and Reuse....

hmmm...I could blog about this! I have so many other tips! Can you tell where I work??

Mary Tyler S. said...

PS - weps for all the mispelled words...gah I need to edit!

The Howell's said...

Trey and I use the Publix bags, and I agree that they are awesome, the low energy bulbs, we do unplug things that we don't use everyday (but for the big things like tv, or items hard to get to there is a program called "Greenswitch" that takes care of all of this and can be installed in new and existing homes and is reasonably priced, and when it comes to bottled drinks like water and gatorade (things that can be refilled) buy a big one and then when you pick up a smaller bottle just hang onto it and refill it, not only does this work for the environment but it also saves you money. Another one, which is tasty is to cook your entire meal on the grill if you are grilling something! I too could go on forever...about like that one loooong run-on sentence!!

Kara said...

Okay, this might sound ridiculous (p.s. Shea's sis-in-law here checking up on the mommy of the twins) but we have very expensive water bills (in excess of $200.00/mo.) where we live... so.... when I am running the faucet to get hot water in the kitchen I get out a pitcher and fill it and use it to water my flowers... that I would otherwise let die because I forget to water them. That is about as green as I go.... :)