Sustainable Living

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Miss Chicken, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. Miss Chicken

    Miss Chicken Little three legged cat with attitude Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    Location:
    Howrah, Hobart, Tasmania
    Last Friday I had people from Sustainable Living Tasmania come and look over my house to see the best way I could save power.

    Among the things they did (totally free for me)

    *Replaced my showerhead with a eco water saving showerhead
    *Draught proofed my front and back door
    *Put a seal around my loungeroom windows
    *Gave me two EcoSwitches so that I can turn devices off instead of leaving on standby. I haven't been able to turn them off before because I couldn't reach the power points.
    *Put insulation around my hot water pipes and cylinder
    *Gave me some energy saving light bulbs

    Suggestions they made

    Because I only have single glazed windows, around autumn I should place bubble wrap over windows that I don't need to see out of so that I won't lose as much heat

    Velco or tack the edges of my curtains to the window frames

    Apart from this I was told that the methods I was already using to conserve power were quite good i.e. not using a clothes dryer, washing in cold water, having showers not baths.

    Anyone got any good ideas to share - not just power saving ideas but any eco-saving tips?
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2014
  2. Johnny

    Johnny Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK.
    I've never seen it done with Bubble Wrap, though that sounds like it could be expensive.
    My parents used to have single glazed windows and they just had some very thin ground sheets, and used double sided tape on the edges, it was almost as light as clingfilm, but it made a hell of a difference. Never did anything with the curtains though.

    There's an Eco House in Moseley, Birmingham, UK (never had to be that specific before) and they've done six-figure renovations, such as feeding the downstairs toilet with the water from the upstairs shower, adjusting the angle of the back of the house to take advantage of as much sunlight as possible, double think insulated doors, insulated on ALL their walls, and solar panels.

    Worth figuring out which rooms you'll use most and switching the heating off for the rest.

    And as my mother always said, put on a jumper... :)
     
  3. Tom Hendricks

    Tom Hendricks Ooohhhhhh, Navy Seals. Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Location:
    Syracuse NY
    We have been in our house less then a year and some of the things we have done already are,

    Replaced Hot Water heater with higher efficiency and better insulated model
    Replaced all the inside lightbulbs with LED lights. This was very expensive but has reduced our energy consumption, plus I like the color and feel better of the LED.
    Replaced two of the four toilets with dual flush ones. Planning on renovating the half bath sometime in the next few years and then I will replace the last two toilets with dual flush.

    In the coming years, some plans we have.
    Need to replace the HVAC system. It is 30 years old and not very efficient, plus only one zone. Plan to replace with highest efficient HVAC system we can afford, make it three zones using NEST thermostats, and ultraviolet air purifier.

    We also have single pane windows, replace all the windows with double or triple paned windows.

    Have current batt insulation in the attic removed and replaced with spray foam and loose fill insulation.

    I only dream...

    To add solar panels to our roof. Our house is situated perfectly for solar panels, I may have to remove a few trees to be able to do it.

    I'm also holding out hope for the less expensive Tesla car. If it's in the $30 to $40 thousand neighborhood, we will definitely make the jump. Supposedly going to be released in the next 4 or 5 years, but I'm not holding my breath. They have already delayed the Model X by a year, because of the lack of batteries. Maybe in 4 or 5 years we could pick up a Model S used for a decent price.
     
  4. selina

    selina Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
    Location:
    in the shadows
    The hardest thing for me is having showers instead of baths. I love being in the nice warm and cosy water.

    My mother told me that she saved a lot of energy and money by using ecoswitches for all electronic devices: microwave, toaster, waterboiler, tv and so on. The only thing that hasn't got an ecoswitch is the router.

    One "rule" I remember is not to put the fridge next to the oven or the dishwasher. Also, defrost it from time to time. Otherwise Miss Chicken already listed everything I can think of.

    Oh, but I found this link: http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/
    Seems to be quite informative.
     
  5. Miss Chicken

    Miss Chicken Little three legged cat with attitude Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    Location:
    Howrah, Hobart, Tasmania
    Here is a video of a lady applying bubble wrap. She is only doing it to a little window but larger windows can be covered as well.

    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TxGl7IO2Ds[/yt]

    and here is guy doing a bigger area.

    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piIsDxbysnU[/yt]

    I gather that some people who do this simply asking stores etc for used bubble wrap. Bubble wrap is reasonable cheap and I think I could do all the windows I want to for about $30 or less.
     
  6. Sector 7

    Sector 7 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Location:
    Rural North Carolina
    Our currrent home has very drafty windows which makes this house hot in summer and icy cold in winter. A few years ago, I bought plastic dropcloth [used for interior painting to protect furniture and flooring] because it is heavier guage [thicker] plastic than supplied with the "winterizing kits". It is also much less expensive.
     
  7. Captain Ice

    Captain Ice Cookie Constructor Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Location:
    Getting Captain Ice on to the naughty list

    So am I. Word from the dealer here is 2-3 years for the less expensive car and that it will cost $35,000. Also that it will be the same size as the 3 series BMW.
     
  8. Tom Hendricks

    Tom Hendricks Ooohhhhhh, Navy Seals. Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Location:
    Syracuse NY
    Thinking about this more, would it be better to buy a used Model S and replace the battery pack in 4 or 5 years and get the higher end car with the better range? I'm gonna name the lower cost Tesla the Model E, for the hell of it. If the top end Model E will get say 200 mile range and costs say $45,000 fully loaded. In five years say you can get a top of the line Model S 85 fully loaded with dual chargers say around $50,000 to $60,000 would it be worth it.
     
  9. Scout101

    Scout101 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2003
    Location:
    Rhode Island, USA
    Is that from a 'look at me, i'm saving the world' standpoint, or an attempt to legitmately save money? Having a hard time seeing where the $60k sedan makes sense from a cost standpoint. What kind of gas-powered car are you comparing it to, to get a sense of price difference?

    Even if you picture a generic sedan at, say, $40k (seems pretty generous), that's $20k to make up with electric vs gas savings. Even at $4/gal, that's 5000 gallons of fuel you need to save to break even. say you've got a 16 gallon tank, that's 312.5 fill-ups. Fill up once a week (probably a little too frequently, unless you drive a lot, week and a half is probably closer to right), and you break even at 6 years on gasoline. Not counting at all that you're paying for electricity to charge the car, although those costs will be much lower than gas, it's not zero.

    Not sure many people keep a car 6 years (which is stupid, you absolutely should enjoy a couple years without payments instead of rolling it forward constantly), and if you don't already fill up every single week, the break even point goes up to like 7.5 years pretty quickly.

    And, of course, using electricity is cleaner at the car point, but the electricity is MADE somewhere, and that sure ain't clean. Majority i believe are coal-burning plants, although some nuclear, natural gas or hydro plants around as well. So demand there goes up, and just shifts the fossil fuel usage away from the end consumer. Makes it easier to improve later, but not exactly saving the planet. Out of sight, out of mind doesn't count...

    definitely a cool looking car, though, and a step in the right direction. The 'quick charge' is really what stops this from being a no-brainer tomorrow. I can get in my gas car and drive until the wheels fall off, with only 2 minute stops for more gas. Having to take a break every 200 miles to let it sit 30-45 minutes is an issue. hot-swappable batteries may need to be part of that solution. Even if it's a 10 minute charge to get you to 30% or whatever, do you want to sit in THAT line at the gas station? Limited number of fill ports means you'd be there an hour most of the time...
     
  10. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    The visitor's bullpen
    My house is not very sustainable at all. I have a lot of recessed light fixtures in my basement that won't work with CFL light bulbs, so I keep a stash of old bulbs for just that reason. I figure, once I run out, technology will have improved to the point where I can use CFL's or LED's. (Note that I am NOT, repeat NOT, afraid of mercury in CFL bulbs. I would indeed use CFL's if they would work with recessed fixtures. But they don't - at least not yet.)

    As for my car? Forget it. There are no electric charging stations anywhere near here, and even if there were, most electric cars suck at winter driving (and are rather ugly, IMHO), and that alone makes them useless to me. I don't drive much, though, so in that way, I figure I am saving as much as I can.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2014
  11. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Location:
    inside teacake
    I have no car. I am the WINNER!!!!

    (after Miss Chicken.. okay I am the second winner. yeah.)
     
  12. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    The visitor's bullpen
    ^ Do you live in a city where there's decent mass transit? If I did, I'd sell my car.

    Not necessarily for environmental reasons, but simply because if I lived in a huge city like New York, Boston, Chicago, etc., all of which have the full range of mass transit options, I would never need a car.
     
  13. Miss Chicken

    Miss Chicken Little three legged cat with attitude Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    Location:
    Howrah, Hobart, Tasmania
    I live in a smallish city with a bus service that I find adequate most of the time. I couldn't go to a vigil (for a refugee who was killed while in custody) because it started at 8pm on Sunday and the last bus I can catch on a Sunday to get home is at 8.15pm. Sunday is the only day that i really the bus service inadequate.

    We don't have passenger trains in Tasmania. Nor trams.
     
  14. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2011
    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    You should, no-one's heard of the place... :)

    We have double glazing, have taken out our central heating, installed a wood burning stove in one room, don't have a car and don't ever fly.

    I have friends whose pets have a larger environmental footprint than we do...
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2014
  15. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    The visitor's bullpen
    What I wouldn't give for something like this... :adore:

    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PyUQuWmt2M[/yt]
     
  16. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Location:
    inside teacake
    Yes I have excellent transit. Train 5 minutes walk away, buses readily available, gazillions of trams. All of them are connected, you buy your tickets by time used and zone but can hop on and off any of them. I can get anywhere on public transit.
     
  17. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    The visitor's bullpen
    ^ You're lucky. :sigh:
     
  18. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Location:
    inside teacake
    Yeah I am lucky and I tell people this ad nauseum because complaining bitterly about the public transport is normal here. People have no idea how lucky they are too have such a huge relatively efficient, clean network.
     
  19. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    The visitor's bullpen
    And here's how pathetic I am: I actually enjoy riding on public transit, even if I have no destination in mind. The first time I learned how to ride the subway in New York, I did nothing for the rest of the day but ride around on it. I'd just ride for awhile and then get off at some random stop, take a look around, then get back on and ride some more. I am absolutely obsessed with trains and mass transit in general.
     
  20. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Location:
    inside teacake
    That is not even remotely pathetic MLB. Lots of people enjoy public transport. I love trains, in fact what I really like doing is eating on trains which no one has ever understood :lol: I love to buy some japanese pancake or maybe a hamburger and a drink and wait until the train starts and eat on the train. Yes we have comfortable pleasant trains with upholstery etc.. I have a fair few blog photos of food I have eaten on the train.

    I don't like buses but trams are awesome, I'm sure if you visited Melbourne you would love just pottering around on trams for hours.
     

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