Instructables

Any tips for getting the right foot out to start going green?

Hi. Our family just moved into an old house that we've been fixing up for quite some time now. Once we're actually finished with the house I would like to install as many green things as possible. Like solar panels and wind turbines.. well that's more far in the future but hopefully I would like to get there someday. As for right now, unplugging all electronic devices before we go to bed is pretty much all we do. Money is hard to come by these days and that's one of the reasons why we want to go green. But there's so many different ways and things to do that I sometimes find myself going in circles on actually how to start! Any ideas for a jump start?

canida4 years ago
If you're really trying to work the cost-saving end, start by reducing your usage of electricity and water (search Instructables for rain barrels, install timers on your plugged-in devices, line-dry your laundry) and reducing your energy expenditures on heating and cooling - if cold is the issue then insulation, fixing/replacing windows, weather stripping, etc; if heat is a problem, start working on shade (trees, awnings, curtains) and maybe a swamp cooler. YMMV depending on where you live.

Check out the projects from the Go Green Contest, the Green Science Fair, and the Earthjustice Efficiency Contest to get you started. There's also an entire Green section on the site.

Oh, and plant a garden! And walk/bike more and combine trips to minimize car use.
lamar52924 years ago
Start by reducing your impact on mother earth by reducing the packaging you buy like grocery bags and use cloth reusable bags.

Then build a composter and compost anything that was once alive back into your soil.

Grow a garden and raise chickens and rabbits to replace store bought food that has to be trucked in and you will eat better.

Stop preparing meals in stoves and microwaves and eat fresh raw foods.

Harvest rainwater for gardens and recycle gray water from sinks back to gardens.

Build a small batch water heater and shut off your big power consuming heater or go to an OD water heater instead.

Stop paying bills by mail and using your phone for stuff you can do online.

Grow fruit trees for food and shade and produces oxygen and reduces pollution.

Stop driving places you can walk or bike to or use public transportation.

Once you have done these things you might be ready for solar and wind power and I use both in my off grid cabin.

You can see it here for ideas:

http://www.youtube.com/solarcabin



cabin.jpg
emit4 years ago
We use to burn 4 cord of wood a year, My wife and I collected some used storm windows, and made our sun porch into a living room and sun collector, we then use small electric fans to circulate the worm air. We have cut our wood consumption down to 1 cord. Our living room gets to 90 F easy in the winter and we have to use insulated curtains in the summer. We made some passive solar panels for other areas in the house. Really works. We live in New Brunswick Canada and it really gets cold.
canida emit4 years ago
Nice! Sounds like you've got it nailed - you should put some of that stuff up as Instructables.
emit canida4 years ago
Winter is coming on. How are you doing with solar. Would you like me to take pix of our set up. Its not as hard as it seems as long as you make it neat, the neighbours should not complain too much.
EcoEngineer (author) 4 years ago
Thanks everybody for your comments. I'll definitely try to do all those things.
iPodGuy4 years ago
Harvest rainwater, yo.
Bigev4 years ago
Well, as far as the unplugging things go, it doesn't really help all that much to save the earth. If you've ever stood under high tension wires, the hum you hear is line losses. much more energy than a wall wart will consume when idle. But, do what makes you feel good. Another good way to start is: Installing CFL bulbs. Cheap, and last forever (well not really, but it is a long time. For a truly forever bulb, try LED, although their light is harsh.) Recycling. Find a plant or participate in curbside (if applicable) Walk, don't ride to go places locally. It's good for your health too! Rely on solar power for lighting during the day. Plant a garden. There's a myriad of ways to easily go green without interrupting your daily life.
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