Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Green Building

WE were watching The Nature Of Things the other night. We didn't even know it was on but we're so glad we came across it. The show was about green building in Canada.

I learned a lot. I am now interested in rammed earth houses, although it doesn't seem to be very common. It was widely used in years gone by, a good alternative to using precious wood in many areas.

I also learned a bit more about straw bale houses. I didn't realize it was just a layer of concrete on the outside of the houses. It would be hard to get a hold of enough year old straw bales around here. They do everything in those big round white plastic looking things, although if I tried hard enough I'm sure it would be possible.

I also finally learned what geothermal heating was. I've heard of it but never saw it in action.

I think we would like to explore green building options when it comes time to spend our hard earned/saved cash on a house. I'm already pretty sold on wind and solar energy. There are pretty good rebates through the government for people using these. It will be nice when the day comes green is totally mainstream :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

For Better or For Worse

I really enjoyed the letter for June under Jim's section (I just discovered it today). It discusses today's over consumerism and being more green:

I am still in bit of a rut. I'm trying but find it harder. Since we're not using the car, that's a huge savings. We may be getting it fixed if it's not too expensive. We could live without it but it's so much easier having it. We did our shopping yesterday walking and it was hard. In the past we didn't have kids to lug around. At least now we can haul the wagon along to fill up, although the kids would rather be sitting in it. I am very out of shape (which is why the walking is hard for me) but I know I will become more fit if I walk more.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Things happen for a reason

There have been a lot of bad things happening in our house lately. I won't be a whiner about most of them. However I have been finding the blessings behind the trials.

One trial is our fridge died, meaning we lost just about all the food in our fridge and fridge freezer. A lot of waste that really upset me. I hate waste. After we got it fixed, I decided that now that all the waste is out of the way, we would only buy what we need. I would start planning meals around the food we have in the fridge and cupboards and we would save so much. It's working great so far. I think we will save a lot of money in the long run.

The other big trial is our car is falling apart. It is so rusty and things are falling off. Most recent is the muffler and exhaust system (we just got it not even two years ago). It would cost more to get all the problems fixed than it would to get another inexpensive car for it to pass the safety inspection (due this month). We also just got the insurance renewal form.

So we have decided to go car free. We will save tons of money, we will be healthier and we will have to become more creative. I don't know how long this will last, but for the summer at least. If it goes well, we may go long term. Everything (except family, friends, parks, beaches and other destination spots) are in walking distance. There is a park close by the kids like to play at, a ball field, shopping, ect... We should be able to find rides to church, although it would probably only take about half an hour to walk (in my current physical condition).

I must admit, I am kind of sad about it. I am in poor physical shape. Really, really bad shape. Even when I regularly exercise, it's hard to keep up. Having to walk everywhere will force me to get in better condition. Plus it will be a very green thing to do :D. We win in so many ways.

We've gone car free in the past and people haven't thought much of our decision but a car is not always a necessity. In our case, with the amount we drive, it is a luxury, one we can't afford any more.

So we'll be having a close to home kind of summer, which is why I mentioned being creative. We weren't planning on traveling much anyway. I am going to miss the beach and the parks though!