Sunday, November 09, 2008

Green up your Act!

I'd like to convince Husband that we need to invest in some additional greening for our house. I don't mean landscaping, although that would be fun; I mean a few simple additions to our yard and home that will save energy, water, or otherwise help us Green up our Acts.

  • Already in place:
    programmable thermostat
    small kitchen, concentrates heat in one place
    old chest freezer replaced with smaller, energy efficient unit
  • Could have an impact:
    thermal drapes on the french doors: would keep the sun out in the summer, heat in through the winter
    solar panels on roof
    water barrel in or near garden
    additional compost bin

What?! Another compost bin? Why? Isn't the one you have doing the job?
Well, (as I told my nearest and dearest) yes and no. Yes, it's doing the job. We create significantly less garbage when we're composting. The fully decomposed matter makes the garden soil more fertile and easier to till. If we had two...well, if we had a second bin, I'd let one settle for a full year before spreading it in the garden. In the meantime, I'd fill the other with all the grass clippings and kitchen garbage and leaves and other organic materials that we generate in a spring-summer-fall season. We do look for places to toss the grass clippings in July and the garden waste in October because the bin is full to the top. A second bin would be useful, no doubt about it.

The water barrel? Our water bills are predicted to go up dramatically due to expensive repairs on our community's out-of-warranty treatment plant. A rain barrel (or two or three) could save us money as well as use water more efficiently. Thinking back to recent history, there were weeks in June when there were floods all over the state. A week later, the weather was so hot the lawn and garden dried out. The sprinkler got a workout. That water could have come from the previous week's rainstorms if we'd been ready.

I could go on and on. Husband is willing to go Green -- to a point. I'd like to convince him to try the simple pieces and move from there. If the rain barrel works well, we could get a second one. If we generate too much compost (if there is such a thing!), we could build the berm we've been considering for the back of the yard.

For now, I think I'd better put the hoses and sprinkler away for the winter. And rake leaves. they won't all fit into the compost bin, so I'll spread them on the garden. But if we had a second bin...

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Blogger Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

My hubby found a $20 black trash barrel at Lowe's...wonder if it would work as well? I have my guy convinced of the merits of rain barrels, but it probably helped that his brother just bought one this summer! Both brilliant ideas.

My waffle blinds in the living room, while expensive, have already paid for themselves with what we saved in last winter's heating bill.

11/09/2008 3:47 PM  
Blogger The Rose Lady said...

If hubby won't let you buy/make another compost bin, stuff those leaves into black trash bags and pile them up until Spring. The old-timers used to "bank the house" with them, by stacking them along the foundation to help keep drafts out. Once the snow comes, no-one notices them.
By Spring, when you dump them out, they have already started to de-compose, and ready to go into the compost.
Read this article on Collecting Rainwater:

10/27/2011 10:13 PM  

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