I've got a lot of ideas and even more questions. Did you get the dates mixed up and are looking for green face paint for a Packers game or Saint Patty's Day?? Are you referring to recycling programs ?? Are you looking for Solar water heating or solar lighting or Grid tie electric systems or Off Grid electric systems or...........????
Thomas, the first thing is to make sure the companies that you are interested in aren't "greenwashing" you into believing they are green when they really aren't. This is really tough because everyone is on the bandwagon right now. And just because they say they are green, doesn't necessarily mean they are. Do your research!
I recommend reading this fabulous book that encompasses all green aspects (not just design) "World Changing: A User's Guide to the 21st Century", by Abrahms, and foreward by Al Gore.
I also regularly watch the Planet Green Channel (check you local provider for channel info), as well as Sundance channel for the latest tips on building and products. If you have any questions on specific products, let me know. I am an interior designer in So. California that specializes in green consulting and product selection!
Have fun with your project!:thumbup:
Best "Green" tip I know of - Paint! Insulated paint is a fairly new product to the remodeling scene and its benefits in terms of energy efficiency are pretty impressive. I like this little blog. It's short and concise.
I would totally agree with that. A few years ago I converted my basement into office space. I piped in sunlight using a sunpipe and it worked fantastically well: during the day - even in the depths of winter - the sunpipe provided enough natural light to the underground offices to not need additional lighting.
When the sun shone, the lense reflected rainbows over the walls and floor - wonderful!
So whereever you are in the house, there is no excuse - you can have natural daylight. It saves energy, it is natural light and it vastly improves your living and working environment.
Now there's an interesting link. No real information, like the specification of the system he built for $206 (if all he did was power his shed, you could buy the bits off the shelf for around $70-90)... and the photograph of the home with a solar panel is definately not linked to anything the author has claimed to do.
How do I know? It's a solar hot water panel whilst the text is talking about solar electricity. D'oh!
Switching to pine kitty litter (you can spread it under trees, shrubbery, smells better, too).
Washing and reusing baggies (can't stop using them just yet).
Switching to low energy light bulbs.
Timer on hot water heater.
Landscaping and vegetable gardening using organic methods.
Vermicomposting kitchen waste and paper/cardboard and using for fertilizer.
Doing everything possible to limit garbage produced.
Reading news and magazines online rather than buying printed form.
It all adds up, particularly if a lot of people do it, too. :thumbsup:
I wouldn't reuse baggies because I can't see them being airtight after use and washing. They're designed to be thrown away, and as such, they are very thin. This is kind of the same "problem" caused by bottled water manufacturers recently "going green"; they make their bottles thinner now to "reduce landfill space usage", but ironically that makes it harder to reuse them.
If your water heater is sufficiently insulated, a timer isn't going to save any money because it will not have cooled down significantly by the next time someone demands hot water. More effective solutions include insulating the hot water lines in the basement, reducing the water temp to 130 degrees F, wrapping the tank or replacing it with a more insulated tank*, and switching to an "on demand" system.
* Who the heck has all these uninsulated tanks? Mine is 20 years old, and it feels just barely warm only on the top.
I have a question about the on-demand water heaters. I have an older electric water heater that works but isn't quite large enough and our electric in PA just went up 30% so I'm considering replacing it with a gas one.
I read that with lots of usage in small amounts, the on-demand type may not be as cost effective as a tank style. Is this true, does the type or style of usage matter much when comparing the on-demand vs the tank style? The on-demand are about double the price but if they are more economical I might consider it especially with the 30% tax credit possibility.
I'm in Northern Illinois and have serviced and installed both electric and gas type tank heaters. I also have installed gas type tankless heaters. From what I have found over the years assuming a "level" playing field: 1) You have to go up one size in electric tank style to more closely compete with a gas tank style heater. 2) Doing this will mean the initial cost of the electric tank will be higher than a gas fired heater, but the response time and operational costs will be about the same.
3) The tankless heaters initially cost 2 1/2 to 3 times as much as a gas tank style heater, but the tankless have a far faster response time, the operational costs over time are much lower than either electric or gas/electric tank heaters, and currently there is not much in the way of operational histories or dependablity. Tank heaters have been around for 60+ years; Tankless have been around for 10. Anything can fail right out of the box or somewhere down the road it just takes time to sort it all out. A rule of thumb regarding tankless heaters though is if there are 2 or 3 tankless heaters that could handle your needs, go with the one that is one step up from the unit that appears to just cover your needs. Or use two smaller units in parrelel. You will still make out and be much happier.
I have lots of ideas, have your local power company or a partner of theirs do an energy audit of your house. They just did mine and I have a list I am working on now. Insulate the rim joist (box sill), insulate the exposed basement wall in the inside to a foot below grade, insulate the attic, insulate crawl space. Install a water saving shower head, install ceiling windows, to let in natural light instead of using electric lights. Use sensor power strips to minimize vampire electric usage. Have a great day!:no:
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