Committed to the improvement of the breed by breeding for health, temperament and better structure in dogs that have the ability to herd.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Earth Hour, Saturday 8:30pm local time

For the past few weeks I've been contemplating writing a blog post in regards to being more 'green'. I've jotted down items that I want to work harder towards, goals I've already made in regards to being more eco-friendly and after seeing that its Earth Hour tomorrow, it gave me the final push to do this.

So here goes!

My Expedition is one of the top 10 worst gas guzzler 'types' of vehicles. This Expedition includes the Lincoln Navigator as its really the same vehicle under a different badge. On a typical work day I drive my F150 pickup and trailer with mowers 100 miles round trip. Gas is a necessity for my business of landscaping and lawn care. Mowers, skid steer, grass trimmers, leaf blowers and pick up. Every yard. Every day. I haul many an item in my Expedition and F150 and average 12-16 MPG with the Exped, 9-12 MPG with truck when towing, 12-15 when not towing.

To off set this gas feeding frenzy, I have already done the following:
1. I have recycled every item I can think could be recycled since I was quite young. Now its habit.
2. Every light bulb on the farm is the 'new' type of bulb that has a fraction of the energy needs. The only ones that are the condescent style bulbs are the ones that heat the pigeon waterers in the winter months.
3. I have fuel oil as a back up heat source for my old house. Its set at 62 degrees, and if I ever need to use it, I just put more clothes on or more blankets/dogs on the bed :)
4. I use wood as the primary heat source. This is a renewable source and one that heats the house really well. This is set at 74 so when its hot, its HOT in my house...and the heat stays longer in to the morning hours when the wood has died out over night.
5. I have planted between 200-500 seedlings/transplants each year on the farm. The oldest ones I remember planting were in 1993, when I was 13 years old. That's a lot of trees.
6. My dad and I planted 20,000 trees on 46 acres for the CRP program in our County. We also did two duck ponds and 5 acres of grassland/native stuff.
7. I unplug unused electrical appliances (coffee maker, room heaters, tvs, etc that use stand by power)
8. Buy items when possible that have recyclable packaging, or is from recycled products.
9. Turn lights off when leaving a room.
10. Reuse containers that might otherwise be thrown out/recycled.
11. Try to make trips to town when there are several stops and not have to drive back and forth several times a day.

I know I do more...will have to ponder what they are!

Things I would like to start, or improve on:
1. Drive less, become more efficient at my trips when working, trips to town etc. I'm getting better.
2. Walk to more destinations when downtown and not drive a block or two just because its easier.
3. Wash clothes less (which translates to either getting less dirty (hey i'm a messy eater) or wearing clothes more than one time (yes I'm OCD and can't see this really happening, but we'll see)

Do you have other ideas or things that you do to be more eco-friendly? I seriously want to do solar panels or wind mill on the property but don't have the start up $$ to go and do it.


Dawn said...

I garden and compost. The composting allows waste a natural decomp and boos the garden, and the gardening gives me meals that do not require packaging or transportation waste.

Taryn said...

I'd say you are doing a great job already and miles ahead of most of us! You've done so much it's hard to come up with much else. How about rainbarrels to catch the rainwater coming from your gutters?

Builder Mama said...

I think you're already doing a great job! This is part of my everyday job - I'm a LEED Accredited Professional for the U.S. Green Building Council. I'm always trying to help people come up with ways to go green.

A few suggestions - collecting rainwater and using for things around your house or your farm. If you have downspouts, put a container underneath to catch the rainwater. Low-flush toilets are great. Reusing things like old furniture, found objects in metals and woods and concrete...I toured a facility recently that had almost 100% of their furniture that had been repurposed from other things.

You're doing way more than the average person does, so keep up the great work! :-)

Michelle said...

Thanks for the reminder of Earth Hour, Garrett. Good list. Do you have your washing machine set on cold/cold? That saves a LOT of fuel, and rarely affects the outcome negatively. Also, you can hang your clothes to dry rather than using a dryer. I have an indoor drying rack up pretty much year round and use my dryer very little.

I wrestle with the light bulb issue since learning of the mercury pollution caused by tossing the "new" bulbs when they are spent. I still use them because they are so much more efficient, but AM concerned about their end impact.

You COULD turn down both thermostats a little; even two degrees makes a big difference over a year in how much fuel oil and wood you use. Wood is renewable, but does put a lot of pollution into the air.

Garrett808 said...

Ooh I did forget the gardening and compost that I do too. All heirloom or heritage seeds from Seed Savers and places like that.

I will do the rain barrel idea. That's a no brainer here and totally need to do that!

Also good idea to get clothes rack or clothes line outside. My mom has them but I don't. Time to build! (or buy!)

Spyrock Cardigans said...

My family makes our clothes line out of bailing twine, it's yet another good second us for it. Also I have "chore clothes" that I'll recycle for a couple days if they don't get filthy when out throwing hay or doing something else with the horses or dogs.