Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ice Ice Baby

I was watching the Today show this AM, and saw a piece about the Arctic ice caps melting. Since 2006, a chunk of the ice cap the size equivelent of California has melted away. I don't understand how people don't get it? Why haven't more people sprang into action? I don't even really like science, but I can understand and see the impact.
I continue on my quest daily to see what we can do differently. I have turned into the mad recycler, making sure there is nothing in our trash that is recyclable. I am not yet composting, that will have to wait till Brian builds me a bin out of scrap materials in his shop ( why would I build it out of anything else?), in the spring, but we are 100% on board with everything else. This week, on trash night, I assessed the garbage impact on our street. I have 5 people in my family, and I am proud to say we put out one wheelie cart of trash. 2 bags. We rock!
My kWh fascination has gone to the next level. I check it daily. We are 15 days into the billing cycle, half way, and we used only 300 kWh so far this month. Last year, at this time, we turned in 1395 kWh for the month of November, I know we can beat that. LAST month, my all time low of 932 kWh......I mey beat that as well. Take that National Grid! We unhooked the dusk to dawn timer on that huge Mercury yard light. We put it on a switch for now, as I really DON't need my yard flooded with light, there is a street light at the end of my driveway. I taking it down all together in the Spring, as it is as ugly as anything that came out of the 70's and replacing it will two solar powered copper old fashioned looking lanterns on each side of the carriage house door. More more asthetic, and it will look tiemly with my 1850's carriage house. Good looking, and good for the environment and my electric bill. Ugly Betty Mercury.....your time has come.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Carbon Neutral

I'm reading "Green Living for Dummies" ( can you stand it?) to try and see what else I can do to be better to the earth, to live in a less toxic home, and teach my daughters to use resources wisely. I am so relieved to find that I am carbon neutral. When we fired up the furnace, in the back of my mind I knew and understood that we are putting carbon back into the air as the smoke dissipates. I felt kind of bad about it. On one hand, it's not oil, but we're making more carbon. I was so happy and relieved that if you use biomass that gets replanted, the replanted biomass ( corn) used up carbon as it grows, negating what it burns off later. Carbon neutral. What a beautiful thing! Now I feel 100% good about what we are doing. I was sad to read only 3% of people in the US are heating with biomass. We still have a long way to come.

I'm energized by the election and am happy that he will support more than just "Drill baby drill". He will show us leadership away from the big biz that is oil. Thank god! AND after just one month of being really focused on my electric bill I just turned in the lowest kWh useage in 12 months. All I did was unplug stuff that used phantom power. It was that easy. I'm looking at more things we can do to conserve electricity now that my numbers went below 1000 kWh per month.

I'm off to drink my fair traded organic coffee made with a reuseable filter. Top of the morning to you........go GREEN!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Living with Dana

I have been watching Life with Ed on the Green channel ( Discovery). My husband thinks I'm nuts I watch it so much, but I am interested in all the new technology and innovations there are out there to live gree, use less energy, and make a healthier home. I am all about this. Funny, my ancestors lived off the grid, drank from a drilled well, and made their own everything. Funny to me that it is the "trend" now. Whatever it is, I am glad to see people embracing it.
I am feeling warmed now by our biomass furnace that went online yesterday. Brian has been working on instillation for the past month, ordering the parts, and getting it hooked up. We could have hired someone, but he insisted he could do it. Well, have at it. Do it he indeed did! He fired it up yesterday, adn I have forced hot air heat coming through my duct work powered by corn. The other good part, besides that fact that we did what we said we would do with our stimilus money and "got off oil" ( 600 gallons of oil per year no longer needed), is that my corn is from a local farmer in Cassville that dries and bags it for heating use. We supported local agriculture. Awesome! Took money from the disgusting oil companies reporting record revenue, and lined the pocket of a small family farm 30 min from my house. That is beautiful to me. No big bas guzzling trucks needed to bring the oil to my house 10 times a year either. We make "corn runs" with Brian's truck when we are going out that way naturally ( it's on the way to my folks house).
This is just the first thing we are doing to be greener, and to use renewable forms of energy. We'd like to research solar and find ways to use it, replace our hot water tank with solar or on demand hot water, etc.....

I know I"m just one person trying to make a difference, but I will. "Never doubt that a small dedicated group of people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

Here is what we installed and are currently running, the Fahrenheit Endurance 50F Biomass Furnace/Stove.