Green solutions

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Minibit, Apr 19, 2015.

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  1. Arbor Day is April 24 this year

    What green solutions do you use in your home? Are there any you've been meaning to implement? Anything you wish you had a greener way to handle?

    Presently, my green efforts include:
    • Recycling (milk jugs, paper, and soup cans as well as refundables like pop cans and bottles)
    • Crafty reusing (mostly with sewing; I donate old clothes that are in good shape, but stained/badly damaged articles get turned into dolls, mini bags, pillowcases, etc)
    • Fluorescent light bulbs
    • TMI for some (open)
    • Trying to choose purchases with less packaging
    • Hang to dry laundry whenever possible
    I'm also gonna be bussing it this summer since my car got totalled, so there's that!

    As for stuff I'd like to do; I'd love to grow my own herbs and veggies someday when I have a yard or at least a daylight suite. I should probably use cloth shopping bags, but I always forget to bring them :(
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  2. Here's a neat topic I haven't seen in a long time!

    I'm a pretty avid recycler, I don't throw things in the garbage unless it's absolutely not recyclable or if it's pretty disgusting and contaminated beyond salvation. I used to love using the green bin back home, but I don't have that out here. Anybody who doesn't know what a green bin is, some municipalities have food scrap collection. You put your food scraps and waste into this bin separate from your garbage and it gets composted, I think.

    I'm starting to use florescent lights when the old bulbs burn out and I turn off lights when I leave rooms and I turn off my computer every night. When I leave town for a bit, I turn off the power bars so I don't have vampiric energy being used by any of the non-essential appliances and electronics.

    I don't have an air conditioner and I only use fans when opening windows isn't enough to beat the heat. I also only wash my laundry on cold water settings, since cold water doesn't require use of a boiler.

    I'd like to hang clothes out to dry, but my current apartment is kind of impossible to that with. I also intend to get some solar panels installed whenever I buy a house to offset electricity costs and power consumption.
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  3. We don't have this in my community; it'd have to be bear-proofed and there's enough trouble keeping wildlife out of the regular garbage/recycling (not everybody washes their recycling out like they're supposed to). My town has blue bins that the city will pick up for you though; each household gets two; you can't mix recyclables in a bin (ie; having paper and plastic together in one) but the city takes them in to the recycling centres for you. Because I live in a basement suite (2 residences total in the house) I get one box and my upstairs neighbour uses the other. He puts refundables like beer bottles and pop cans in it though, which boggles my mind because if you take those in yourself, you get money back!

    I have a note pinned on my thermostat that says "put on a sweater" in case I'm tempted to turn the furnace up when it gets cold :P

    I cold-water wash everything, but it's because at 5'10" with most of my height in my limbs, I can't afford for most of my clothes to shrink even a little xD The only things I wash with warm water are things that NEED it, like my mattress protector and a couple of dresses that have special instructions.

    Hand-washing, if you have time for it, is also a great green way to take care of laundry. If you can take your bin outside and use the hose for rinsewater, it's a great way to get some sunshine in your day, too! I have a few things that are handwash only (anything silk and my oven mitts), and I almost look forward to washing them. It's a methodic enough task that it can be kinda soothing. And since I use all coldwater, it's a nice way to cool off and get chores done at the same time!
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  4. We use recycle bins and green bins.

    My Mom prefers to buy cheap/used furniture and fix/design them up rather than buying brand new stuff.
    That and we tend to donate old clothes when they no longer work for any of us.
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  5. I'm not exactly an environmentalist or subscribe to the religion of "Mother Earth" but out my own volition I reuse certain materials for my model making hobbies and recycle for the simple principle that I despise any type of waste.

    I'm slowly switching to LED lights but still favor the good ol' incandescent bulbs.
  6. We are starting a garden! I'm excited. I have a lot of hard work since I'm the muscle to a lot of the dirt moving and building to get the project started but that's OK. It will be worth it to grow our own food and be "green" about making our own compost and such from the kitchen.

    I also found out that beer is a great way to get rid of slugs in the garden. Just a small dish of it under the big leaves and no more slugs. Pretty cool. Using cheap beer.

    Also apple cider vinegar helps get rid of gnats. We have gnat problem at work and need a green solution since its near food. Pretty cool to find out this stuff works so we don't have to use chemicals all the time. The cider in a small dish draws the bugs away from our pastry case. Its working so far. A little help is good. :)
  7. This solution works for fruit flies, too! Get a bowl and pour in some cider vinegar (*optional* also a piece of mouldy fruit); you want very little room between the vinegar and the top of the bowl. Now stretch some saran/cellophane wrap over the top, and poke a few holes with a pin. The flies come in to get the fruit they smell, but drown in the vinegar. Not using sweet scented soaps, placing a fan near your fruit so that flies can't land in the crossbreeze, or keeping fruit in the fridge or containers can also help deter these pests :3
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  8. I recycle and scrap everything I can.

    Really made me see how much soda me and the spouse were consuming.

    Also more visits to thrift shops and Habitat for Humanity than Wal-Mart and whatnot. Started a garden and stuff on our balcony too!
    We've since (the picture isn't even a week old) added another Earthbox with nothing but veggies and a windowsill earth garden. Recently found that a very well diluted (see; 1:10) of Lavender oil to water makes a splendid insect repellent for our budding vegetables.
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  9. Ooh, this thread I like.

    Stuff like this is sort of hardwired into my brain thanks to my education. I've managed to influence my parents, too, despite their age.

    We recycle. Like most Swedes we recycle as much as we can. Glass, metal, paper, cardboard, plastic, as well as lightbulbs and various hazardous materials like batteries. Only food goes in the rubbish bin that'll end up burnt or on a landfill.

    Shorter showers. Goes without saying, really.

    No leaving lights on. This also goes for TV screens, gaming consoles and computers, I turn them off rather than let them sleep. I also turn off lights as I leave rooms. We also have those low-use lightbulbs and stuff. This also ties in to using power from renewable resources such as wind and water and to an extent, solar power.

    Inside temperature not too high. All radiators are turned off most of the time, excluding winters. Then they're often working half power. During spring, summer and autumn this house heats itself thanks to the sun.

    I try to limit myself to what I buy. I always look for green, or greener, alternatives when shopping for clothes. Not necessarily second hand, but quality clothes with more or less sustainable materials, transport and workforce. It can get expensive, but I only buy what I need. It's good for the wallet, too.

    I wash my clothes on lower temperatures and not as often. I also only use soap that has certain labels, as they're less harmful. It's a Swedish thing, I'm shit at explaining.

    I don't drive a car. I walk, take the train or go by bus.

    I try to buy locally produced food. This goes for meat and milk, as well as fish to some degree, and vegetables. Such things as fruit and other import foods have to be grown in such a way that they don't use pesticides. The transport and packaging and processing also plays a part. As does how much the original producers are paid. My mother also grows her own food on a small scale, and I think it was called urban agriculture? You know, that thing that's suddenly so popular?

    I use my things to the very end of their lives. If a pair or headphones break, I fix them and keep using them until they break again. The same goes for clothes and phones and other things.

    And I always use rubbish bins. Throwing wrappers and other shit on the street is physically painful to me. Seeing people toss cans in bushes or ditches also makes me salty. Hold onto your shit until you can dispose of it properly.

    That's about all I can think of off the top of my head. It's only 8am yet. And all this is done on a budget lower than usual. I grew up in a poor family that's still poor, but I can safely say that it's still possible to be aware of stuff like this, despite having little to no money. It's entirely possible, just a lot more work and thinking behind it.
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  10. Today I brought a sturdy cardboard box into the shared laundry and put my neighbour's refundables in it, so we could use all of the curbside recycling!

    for clarity, the city would not pick up the refundables he had in it, he was just using the box as a box; it never saw the curb o.o. The city gives each house one box for paper waste and one box for plastic/metal waste, the specifics of what can and can't go in which box are available on the website. So today I gave him a cardboard box to use and started putting the second blue box to work with soup cans, plastic containers, and milk cartons!

    I left him a quick note explaining the switch; basically I want to share both recycling boxes between the suites instead of having to choose which bin category I wanted to use.
  11. Every house gets a general rubbish bin and a separate bin for papers and plastic and glass and another for plants and stuff. It really pisses my parents off when I misplace the bags x - x
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  12. My family does this too minus the Vinegar.
    Though now I'm going to start doing it with Vinegar.

    Because beforehand they did trap the fruit flies, but they would turn said trap into a nest.
    Which makes clearing out the trap a hassle.
    #12 Gwazi Magnum, Apr 20, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
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  13. I don't drive at all, if I need to go anywhere I take the bus. I also try to turn off/unplug anything not presently in use, kinda hard to do when you've got a brother that could less about anything that doesn't concern him. Why, just this morning I came downstairs and all the lights were on but no one was around. What an absolute waste of energy.
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  14. I'm not sure what happens in Edmonton, but back in Calgary, they issue blue recycle bins to every household. They're already trying out a compost program, similar to you guys' green bin.

    While we at it...

    Absolutely, people need to understand that the whole recycle bin thing is not just another garbage dump.

    Also saves parking costs for the individual, and freeing up more land for the city.

    Sounds like your bro needs one of those.
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