Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Living Lean & Green

Well tonight was my second (the series' third) workshop on Living, Lean and Green. (I missed a session last week when I was out of town.) Our first homework assignment was to figure out our carbon footprint, which I did - but when I wrote it on my cut-out construction paper footprint I am pretty sure the facilitator didn't believe me - it was met with some pretty squinty eyes.

The typical American household's footprint is 54,600 lb.

Ours is 7,709lb according the online calculator. Pretty big difference I KNOW - but I AM and always have been a huge dork when it comes to recycling, composting, etc - just ask my coworkers and husband!

I attribute our great score to the following factors:
  • We just bought a newer home last year that has excellent insulation and windows and almost all Energy Star appliances.
  • I am cold blooded so I LOVE it when it is hot and tend to leave the air off most of the summer. In the winter we have a down comforter in addition to our duvet to sleep with at night.
  • We compost and recycle so we only produce one bag of trash a week - IF that.
  • My husband only drives 5 miles to work each day.
  • I drive 4 when I ride the bus - which I normally do.
  • We have newer cars that have pretty decent gas mileage.

Here's another pic from our class - Fred, here, is explaining how he really! :)

Today I got a free Energy Efficiency Kit from IPL which included two energy saving light bulbs, a night light, insulation strips, a shower head and a hot water gauge. I would have gotten a programmable thermostat but I am not a Citizen's Gas customer - boo!

Pretty excited to see if I can get our footprint even lower! Here are some things we will be working on:

  • We are installing a new Energy Star Front Loading Washing Machine so that is a step
  • Look at what our water heater is set
  • Get a programmable thermostat so we can set it to turn off at certain times of the day. We are so busy we tend to forget to turn the air back to a lower setting when we leave the house.
  • I want to get away from paper towels.
  • Work on unplugging our chargers when we aren't using them as well.

If you are interested in taking the Living, Lean & Green workshop - visit the Central Indiana Environmental Education Program online and see where and when the next presentation or workshop takes place! They are free you just need to sign-up and show up!


Electronic Goose said...

Great goals! I'm trying to work on paper towels and unplugging things too.

Stacy said...

Thanks! What are you doing to reduce your paper towels? Just using dish clothes more? We do have a ton of dish clothes but I guess my worry is that they will get awful stains on them and then I will have nothing to put out and use when we actually have guests in the house. I guess I could just go out and buy a guest version of my dish clothes and put them up so I am not tempted to use them often.

Kirsten said...

Awesome goals, Stacy! We have a programmable thermostat and it makes a HUGE difference. Plus, I'm always turning the set temperature up a little or down a little, to see how far we can push not have the AC or gas on. Ben doesn't necessarily love this.

For paper towels, I bought a huge stock of simple dish towels from IKEA and a bunch of red cloth napkins. We haven't purchased paper towels in over a year and we're doing just fine. Next step - buying 50+ cloth cocktail napkins for our monthly party.

Nadine said...

What a cool workshop! I need to cut down on paper towel usage too. I love my cloth napkins, so you'd think using cloth towels would be easy for me...

Nikki Goedeker said...

Wow girl, look at you! I feel like I don't even have time to WASH my clothes, let alone worry about all of that stuff! I think I need to take some time management lessons from you : )

Matt's Miscellany said...

What exactly is Fred saying? It looks like a size reference too me.

Not trying to be crude...but what kind of meetings are you going too?

Just joking, Love you.


Stacy said...

Thanks for all the encouragement everyone - makes me feel great about the goals I have lined up!