Jennie looks at making draft dodgers, and we talk about energy audits.
Want to join the Weekend Winterizing Challenge? Read all about it here. We’ve owned two homes in the past nine years, and lived in plenty of rentals. Thus, I’ve experienced a whole slew of window options. In turn, I’ve seen a lot of ways to add insulating power to those windows:
‘Tis the season for winterizing. In addition to our challenge, there is a lot of great information on the Web. If you want to look beyond today’s earlier post on winterizing windows, I came across this post on some non-heating ways to save energy in the winter.
To help motivate myself — and you — to get into a winter energy-saving mindset, I’m collaborating with Jennie Dorris, who writes Denver’s 5280 Magazine’s Cheap Thrills blog, to put together an eight-week Weekend Winterizing Challenge. Join now! The rules are simple …
Spring is here, and it’s a great time for all of us to create backyard replicas of those classic springtime images of clean clothes whipping dry on a clothesline. (Why is there no ACTUAL image today? I tried, but the camera is not cooperating.)
Ladies and gentlemen, grab your wrenches …
The EPA has announced “Fix a Leak Week” in mid-March. It’s the perfect time to save water by fixing those household leaks. You’ll also prevent home damage, avoid cleaning those nasty hard-water stains, and feel good about the environment — and maybe save a few pennies.
The Internet is buzzing this week with ways to save money on adding efficiency to your home. Most likely, January heating bills have been rolling in, and with the economy in its current tizzy, belt-tightening is the watchword.
Fortunately, even if you’re living pretty lean, odds are good that you can save some more money by tightening up your house. With utility costs rising, a penny saved is truly a penny earned — or, today, one you don’t have to earn. Here are some suggestions to get you started.
It’s wintertime, and the heat bills are soaring – especially for those of you in the frozen upper Midwest and Northeastern U.S., or in Europe.
Heating time is big business: According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average American home will spend $990 on heating this year. Here are some tips on saving energy in the wintertime courtesy of Bills.com – with some extra notes on what we do.
Recently I bought a Kill-a-Watt device to measure electricity usage, and I’ll be posting here periodically about what it’s teaching me. True confession: We have a fancy Bunn coffee maker that keeps the water heated at all times so we can brew a fresh, excellent pot of coffee (into the dishwasher-safe thermal carafe) within 3 minutes.
Get Rich Slowly this week posted a terrific tip to subscribe to a search on Craigslist. Mwah ha ha, when the right Kromski Prelude spinning wheel comes along, I will be all over it! It is ceiling fan season — and The Simple Dollar posted a simple list of ways to get your ceiling fan to work for you (and reduce energy use/costs in the meantime).
This week, we received our utility bill. It included a newsletter encouraging us to consider solar power, and to do it now to take advantage of a combination of utility company rebates and federal tax credits. If you are thinking about going solar, note that the federal tax credit for solar panels and solar water heaters is currently set to expire at the end of 2008.
Organic Needle reminded me to do an update on our performance during the Riot for Austerity, which I started 10 months ago. This is the 90 percent challenge that I’ve mentioned on this blog — with the goal of cutting consumption by 90 percent from U.S. average consumption. Here’s the update on what I did and how it turned out:
On Saturday night – March 29 – from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m., it’s Earth Hour. Dozens – or hundreds – of cities and millions of people around the world are participating. You’re invited to turn off your lights (and any other energy-using device) for one hour. The event was created by the World Wildlife Fund last year, and this year it’s spreading around the world. There are 25 “official” Earth Hour cities representing every time zone, and many others are participating (including my hometown of Denver, and a shout out to little La Plata, Colo., which is listed on Earth Hour’s home page earthhour.org).
Spring is coming, which means most of us will have more uses for extraneous water. Here are some ideas of how to make the most of your water: Save the pasta water. Many Italian recipes have you blanch veggies in boiling water, then cook the pasta in the same water. Then, this same water can go to moisturize your compost pile or water a garden — within reason. If you’re a pastaholic, you might produce enough starch to choke your plants, so take it easy. Put a bucket in the shower. Catch the flow while you’re waiting for the water to heat up. Use it to flush the toilet (dump it in the tank or right into the bowl). If it’s clean, use it the same day to get a head start on your kid’s or pet’s bath (don’t let soapy or grey water sit for re-use — it’s too […]
First, for those of you outraged at us Coloradans’ not being allowed to harvest our roof water, the Colorado Senate is working on it: The Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources & Energy Committee approved a plan to allow homeowners to collect water that drains off of roofs up to 3,000 square feet so ranchers and farmers could use it to water livestock and metro residents could use it to water their lawns and gardens.
Often, I find myself diving into a big project in my spare time, and all too often, my spare time happens at 8:00 on a Saturday night. While the footloose and fancy free are out tripping the light fantastic, I’m up to my elbows in some dusty project at home. Thus, I spent one recent, scintillating evening organizing my cord and light bulb collections.
If any of you lie down each night for a restful sleep and doze off to the guilt-inducing sound of a leaking toilet, take my word for it: FIX IT! And fix it now. Instructions always say you can tell a toilet is leaking by putting food coloring in the tank, waiting 15 minutes and seeing if any of the color has infiltrated the bowl.
Grocery costs have had the highest year-over-year increase since 1990 – here’s an article that looks a little bit at why. I know I’ve noticed this trend (especially on cheese, which used to go on sale for $2.50 to $3 per pound, and now seldom drops below $3.50) — have you? What will you do with your economic stimulus check from the government? And in what seems to be a weekly toilet trend on this blog, Slate this week published “It’s time to drink toilet water,” a sobering look at water usage. Finally, we need some humor around here! I am generally quiet about my burgeoning fiber and spinning addiction (an addiction, it must be said, that inexplicably causes grown people to drool, sometimes literally, when touching wool), but this article is a perfect connection – at last, the government is looking into REAL sustainability (and soft, soft wool).
About two weeks ago, Mr. Cheap and I were evaluating our living room and decided that what we want is less modern, more cozy. And especially, we need more light in a room with no overhead fixtures and some very dark corners. Thinking about what would best replace one floor lamp and one table lamp that each boasted one (CFL) bulb, I said, “You know, we need one of those floor lamps with multiple bulbs that was in everyone’s grandma’s living room.”
Think Green, Live Green challenge: I’m no filmmaker, but if you’re handy with the videocam, here’s a chance to put your green life in action: http://verdavivo.wordpress.com/2008/01/18/think-green-live-green-challenge-2/