Originally Posted by brewer12345
When I drop the towel and it breaks, its time to wash it.
With apologies to Scott Adams, that's odd-- after a shower I'm the cleanest thing in the house, so how would my bath towel get dirty? Are bath towels supposed to fold?
Here's what we do now:
- recycle dumpsters at the school parking lots
- used cars run into the ground
- community green waste pickup for free mulching
- mulching the yard every few months
- less fertilizer (I'm too lazy to do it more than once every few months)
- less grass (mostly fruit trees & plants)
- water conditioner (less laundry detergent & cleaning products)
- sink soaking & dishwasher instead of daily dish washing
- front-loading washing machine (what a difference!)
- no dryer sheets
- wash cloths instead of Handi-wipes or Swiffers
- water/vinegar/baking soda instead of most cleaning products, although we're not zealots or Luddites.
- solar photovoltaic (used or cosmetically blemished panels)
- solar hot water (used panels, pump, & water tank)
- compact fluorescents & LCD displays
- convection/microwave oven (used much more than our traditional oven)
- Energy Star fridge (75% of the energy use of our five-year-old model)
- incremental xeriscaping (mainly because I'm tired of pruning)
- beach showers & birdbaths instead of regular showers & tub soaks
- water-saving toilets and infrequent flushing (no wakeups!)
- the kid bikes to school
- home gym/yardwork instead of driving to the fitness center
- towels & bed linens at least biweekly
Things we're considering:
- I need to add a dead-leg loop to the water heater piping to stop reverse natural circulation. The pump cycles two-three times hourly at night to pump down the hot water that's risen to the panels.
- water catchment from the rain gutters (that's a lot of roof weight)
- more xeriscaping. I'm tired of fixing sprinkler systems.
- plug-in hybrid electric vehicles with an expanded PV array
- more home insulation (reflective foil & blown-in cellulose)
- shredding & composting paper (less trash, although HPOWER burns it to generate electricity anyway)
- sub-gallon flushing toilets or even a composting model
- gray-water irrigation (best for new construction, tough for remodels)
- Energy Star ceiling fans
- Clothes dryer. The women in this house won't do without it, although there's grudging acceptance of rack-drying towels & delicates. Considering what happened to the only other male in this house, I'm not fighting them.
- TVs. I'm sure that those CRTs use more energy than the fridge, but no one will agree to hook up bicycle generators in exchange for HGTV & MTV credits.
- Electronics on standby/sleep mode. None of our multi-decades-old VCRs retain their programming (or will record) if they're not on standby.
- Lime-Away & Tilex. A couple times a year helps a lot and hurts less than frequent/routine use of milder cleaning products.
- Water-conservation showering. I don't mind saving the heat-up water for plants & toilet flushing, but I leave the shower on while I'm soaping & scrubbing. Although I know how to live on less than 20 gallons/day, I will never again take a submarine-style shower.
I don't mind hugging trees but I'm no altruist-- just about every one of these initiatives has a financial incentive. I'm particularly tired of paying for Hawaii's deferred sewer-system maintenance and I'd love to reduce our water/sewer bills ($80/month).