Things I did for the environment
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08-10-2011, 02:21 PM
Things I did for the environment
Nature doesn't give you anything, Nature just borrows you stuff, sooner or later, she'll take it back...

I'm one of those guys who tends to try and give the stuff he borrowed back in a better condition then how he received it. I think it's a form of politesse.

I'm listing here stuff I did for the environment. I hope it inspires you people to do the same. If climate change turns out to be a hoax, well, at least I had fun thinking this stuff up and realizing it. Btw... I saved some serious €€€ in the process.
  • I bought a 1932 build home. So technically, 60 to 75% of my house is already recycled Smile
  • I've changed the windows from singel to double paned gas filled super duper maximum isolated (well... that's what the vendor said) Confused I DO feel a significant change though
  • When I came here, the house was warmed with an old single pass heat-exchanger on natural gas, I've changed it to a high efficiency natural gas burner (a year later condensation-heat recuperation became available. damn... maybe in a year or ten)
  • While changing the kitchen tiles, I filled the floor with polyurethane tiles and reinforcement bars, the floor never feels cold, and I saved about 2 cubic meters on raw materials for the screed.
  • The order to isolate the roof was placed a few months ago. (the deliverydate was somewhere in December I believe.) I had the choice over 8 or 10 cm isolation thickness. I chose 10 cm. the €300 higher price was not really a big percentage of the total anyway. Cant wait for them to start. Ive set up an experiment on how much of the temperature will rise in wintertime.
  • When I came here, the old kitchen had one of those hand operated water pumps. Instead of cutting the pipe and suspending the operation, i installed an electric booster pump that feeds the toilet flush and the washing machine. It works great! In the 4 years the pump is installed it only failed me for a few days in sep 2009 after a dry summer. By the time I had the drinking-water tie-inn installed the water table sufficiently rose again. (It helps to live right in front of a 3 Km² large bog Smile) I'm still thinking about feeding it to the dishwasher too. At the end of the street is an abandoned paper mill with a history of cadmium pollution, they are still sanitizing the area. I'm not sure whether it is a good idea to do the dishes with ground water.
  • I've changed ALL the bulbs in the house to low power and LED. In one extreme case, Ive managed to change a 200 watt garden spotlight to a 4 (!) watt high efficiency led power-light! I absolutely frigging Heart technology! The hardest case was a 150 watt halogen table light my wife had owned for years. I had to use all my, on this site honed, debating skills to convince her to change it. The solution came in the form of a promotion in a budget shoppe. (22 watts Wink). The prettiest result came when i used 3 Warm-white led lamps in an old tiffany-style table light changing it from 90 watts to 27 watts and emitting a mystical warm glow. whoooo!
  • Woodstove! High-efficiency again. The model I own features a rotating cylinder, that, while burning, lets you choose between a glass pane to gaze at the flames, a blind iron shield to max out your heat-production or an open fireplace. It's the absolute eye catcher of my living room and the talk of every visitor. Both eviro-friendly AND bling-bling Cool
  • I's with great pride that i announce to the world that, today I signed the order for a high efficiency solar powered water heater. Nuclear energy is for pussies... REAL MEN use the biggest fusion reactor of them all!!! Big Grin
    The system works with vacuum tubes converting solar light into heat and guiding it to the tip of the tube where it gets collected into a water-alcohol mixture. This mixture heats the bottom of a 300 L water vessel. Since heat rises, the hot water can be consumed at the top of the vessel. This should enable me to provide 60% of me and my family's yearly needs for hot water for the round sum of 0 € while emitting as much as 0 g CO (I'm a bit lying here but please don't spoil my enthusiasm Sad). On days when there isn't enough sunlight, a coil of gas heated water from my central heating system heats the top 80 L of the vessel. Thus enabling me to start recuperating solar energy again the next day. The vessle is that big to make sure that, on light days heat is stored for darker days. HOooRAaay for science!

Well...
That's about it for now. I dream of a hybrid car as well but all models on the market are to small or to expensive. I guess I'm going to wait for that Prius-verso to go public in Feb 2012.

I still have on issue standing... I want to own an RV. Anyone any good tips?

Observer

Agnostic atheist
Secular humanist
Emotional rationalist
Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
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08-10-2011, 05:27 PM
RE: Things I did for the environment
Yeah, there's some pretty cool stuff out there. Too bad most of it is out of my price-range.
Light-bulbs, for sure - we traded them off as soon as the coil ones became available (way back, in fact, when you had to buy a honking great converter for each light fixture, and the shades wouldn't fit; they're better now)
A few years ago, i won a composter and a tee-shirt for coming up with the most R's after refuse, reuse, recycle. I do all those, of course, and compost (a pain in winter).
Plus:
back when we still exchanged gifts with people, i used to wrap them in all kinds of things: comic page, leftover wallpaper, advertising poster, fabric, hand-painted newsprint, recycled tinfoil... and for family, we didn't wrap at all, but had Santa sacks - large fabric bags with a name on each, which would all be in a closed room, and we'd take turns putting our gifts in everyone's sack (honour-bound not to peek in our own). Now, we just don't give any presents: for celebrations, we go out to dinner, a play or concert, or just a day at the beach. (not christmas; we skip that one)
Wood-stove, on-demand gas water-heater, clothes drying rack in bathroom
We turn off the lights and any devices we're not using - including stand-by on microwave, computer and tv, which draws a surprising amount of power.
And i wear a lot of second-hand clothes.

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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08-10-2011, 06:23 PM
RE: Things I did for the environment
I volunteer at the Endangered Wolf Center. Average 80 hours a month. Last month over 100. We work to release wolves back into the wild to help the ecology recover a nature balance.
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13-10-2011, 04:28 AM
RE: Things I did for the environment
I plan on getting a lot of solar panels and stop spending states electricity, but that costs a lot of money, even for the start, so not anytime soon. I would love to have brand new windows and heating solutions, but it costs a lot, so not anytime soon. I would love to have a car that spends as little as possible, but I am stuck with my 11 years old Xsara, no money and all that. I will however change my lights to saving ones, been doing that little by little. The only thing I am doing is throwing away my garbage where it should be thrown. Whenever me and my friends are out somewhere, I am the one collecting all the garbage we make, most of them do not care. So for us (humans) to be environmental friendly, first we need a lot of money and that is not something everyone can afford. Plus, I live in Croatia, most of other countries will give you discounts and reward you for being environmental, but not here, here we will charge you extra for that, that is called "luxury", so if you want a car (petrol) that goes on natural gas, you will pay extra taxes and tests, if you drive a new, extra low-consumption diesel, you will again pay more taxes... If you are buying new windows and isolation, you have money, give some of it to the state and if you plan on going solar, it does not go that easily, who are you to make your own electricity? Pay something.

So not everyone is lucky enough to be able to go environment-friendly... Unfortunately.

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I have a theory that the truth is never told during the nine-to-five hours.
-Hunter S. Thompson
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13-10-2011, 07:19 AM
RE: Things I did for the environment
There are more things to do that not only don't cost anything but actually save money. (I've been poor)
Wash clothes in cold water - most detergents are good enough.
My clothes also go through three or four lives: usually, they already had one before i buy them at the thrift store or rummage sale (which helps a charity)
At first, i wear them only for going out; once they have stains (i'm a klutz, okay?) or are faded and fuzzy, they're demoted to wearing at home, finally just for painting or yard work; after holes show up, they're cut up for reusable rags; at the end, the rags clean up particularly nasty messes and get tossed. Or else used for plugging old drainpipes or whatever - without the nasty mess. I never buy paper towels.

Turn off whatever you're not using. I know, i've said that before, but it's a simple thing that most people neglect, that really adds up.
Windows can be insulated for winter with removable caulk or tape around the edges. In olden days, there were stuffed "draft snakes" to put by the lower edge of poorly fitted doors. The same thing can also be accomplished with a rubber sweeper.
Carry your own permanent shopping bags or boxes.
Don't buy shit you don't need. This is hard to do, because there is a lot of temptation, but if you think twice before spending money, you'll very often realize you can do without the toy or hygiene product or fast meal - and its packaging.
Houseplants clean the air and humidify. A pan of water or wet towel are good humidifiers, too, but don't provide the same mental health service.

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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14-10-2011, 05:29 AM
RE: Things I did for the environment
Oh yeah, now you have reminded me of a few more things I do. When I was younger I used to inherit my clothes from my older brother or cousins and I would pass my old clothes to my younger cousins as well. I never let the water flow because that is just retarded and makes no logical sense whatsoever. Also I turn off lights when I am not present. I never buy things if I don't need them, isn't that stupid and arrogant thing to do? Unfortunately, there is only one plant I would like and care about, but it is not legal and my parents are not that understandable...

Smile

[Image: a6505fe8.jpg]
I have a theory that the truth is never told during the nine-to-five hours.
-Hunter S. Thompson
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