Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Taking more green steps

Here's a good, simple list of things we all can do to improve the environment: 50 simple tips from a year of living the green life.
From the Chicago Tribune via the Orlando Sentinel (and via Knox Views).

I'm glad to see I'm doing a lot of them. Although I haven't gotten around to unplugging the computers and TV/satellite/VCR at night. Even so, we have been pleasantly -- that's not an enthusiastic enough word -- ecstatically? shocked to see how much our electric bill has gone down over the last year.

We had CFRs in several lights, mostly ceiling lights and outdoor lights, at the beginning of the year. Now we've replaced nearly all of them, except for a few that dim or use halogen bulbs. We're even hooked on 3-way CFRs now. I don't understand the naysayers who complain they have the bad qualities of fluorescent lights: I find them soothing. A bit less bright, yes, and they take a microsecond to turn on, but it's a pleasant light and fine for reading/knitting. We certainly think the new bulbs are the reason for the low electric bills. (And yes, it's a real savings. Bills that were about $85 in winter are now under $60.)

Now if we could just find a way to use less propane: Our per gallon cost increased in last tank fill by about 70 cents. Since we keep the programmable thermostat at 60 at night we can't go any lower. We bought a convection and warming oven/microwave combo so we can eliminate using the big oven for warming foods, but in winter the oven heat is welcome.



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