Condo Blues: One Small Green Change




Showing posts with label One Small Green Change. Show all posts
Showing posts with label One Small Green Change. Show all posts

Thursday, July 31, 2014

How to Purge and Recycle Old Electronics

I swear our house is shrinking. Once upon a time, had storage space to burn. (Don’t. It wastes a perfectly good space and might catch the rest of your house on fire.)

It didn’t take any great detective work to determine why our house is shrinking. The answer is easy.



We have stuff we don’t think/aren’t sure if there is a place to recycle or responsibly dispose of it. The last time I checked this wasn't the case, or if there was such an animal, it was only accepted those things on that one day during a full moon when cows do backward sneezes kind of thing. Hello hazardous household waste collection, I’m talking to you.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

One Small Green Change 2013 Resolution Wrap Up



Happy New Year 2014!

I find that I’m better at keeping my New Years Resolutions if I make them when I need them instead of making up a resolution on New Year’s Eve for the sake of making a New Year’s resolution.

During 2013, I made one small green change each month. My changes weren’t necessarily Earth shattering or big. I focused on the small stuff. The easy stuff. The hey-I-should-probably-do-that stuff.

This way, I can evaluate whether it works for me or not. I'm more likely to keep monthly resolutions because some green changes are seasonal where I live. If you look at all of those little changes that became permanent, it can make a big, huge difference.

Here's the 2012 One Small Green Change New Year’s Resolution wrap up.


January

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Shredded Cardboard Mulch

Husband and I are so occupied with an interior house wide, declutter and donate mission that we haven’t paid much attention to the outside of the house.

howtomakeshreddedcardboardmulch
By the time we realized we should keep our lovely compost and spendy topsoil from eroding during the winter with mulch, the stores replaced their garden supplies with Christmas decorations.

True story.

Last year I thought I was being a smarty smart when I raked all of the fallen leaves from the front yard into the flower beds to use as leaf mulch.

That didn’t work very well. I didn’t shred the leaves. The first big gust of wind blew my leaf mulch out of the flower beds and back into the yard.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

How to Buy a Dishwasher: What I Bought and Why I Bought It

Long time readers know I am a fix it instead of replace it kind of gal. It is cheaper, it is greener, and it allows me to have a little more money leftover to sometimes spoil Lacey.

howtobuyadishwasher
I want Lisa to use her smart shopping skillz to keep me rolling in grass fed T bone steaks!

Except when it comes to my High Efficiency (HE) dishwasher. At first, I liked the idea of saving water while it cleaned our dishes.  Later a plumber told us since HE dishwashers use less water, the water heat up cycle is shorter than a standard dishwasher, and we have to jack the heat on the water heater to remove the grit on my clean dishes problem.

Husband wryly observed, “We can save water, or natural gas but not both.”

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Last of the Summer Fun and Lacey Update!

Oh Summer. I wait for you all year long and before you know it – poof! – you are gone.

Our summer got off to a weirdly slow start due to the constant heavy rain. Husband and I tag teamed a few necessary business trips so Lacey would not be face her greatest fear – being left behind. 

Lacey’s behavior is not consistent enough to earn the privilege of a vacation or to keep us from being kicked out because of her behavior. Husband and I took long weekend staycations instead because we still need time off to unplug, be silly, and recharge.

We started with short trips to the dog park. Lacey thinks she has to challenge other dogs and get them before they get her - a classic case of Little Dog Syndrome.  We keep the dog park trips short so Lacey won’t get overwhelmed.

LaceySummer2014
Some of Lacey's summer adventures!

Just like with human kids, there are well behaved dogs that play well with others and sometimes there are bullies who try to challenge the other dogs or dominate them. It is critical you keep an eye on your dogs at all times to head off any potential problems and be ready to leave to avoid them even if it means you are only there for 15 minutes.

Sometimes we had to leave the park shortly after we arrived with our tail between our legs because our kid was the one whipping the other dogs into a frenzy. It doesn't happen often, and it is part of the process as we puppy step her in the right direction.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

How to Compost Paper

The clay soil in my garden is so bad,

"How bad is it?!" you say.

That I was so frustrated, tired, and sore from a week jumping on the shovel with my whole body to dig into the dirt and turn it I named my blog Condo Blues.

It took a good long while to amend our soil and get it healthy enough to grow something that didn't die the following year. What is the secret to our now thriving landscape?

Compost.

This is what the compost in my compost bin I built from a storage tub looked like when I checked the bin in last spring.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Have You Tried Shaving Soap?

Husband has sensitive skin. Unfortunately the only type of shaving cream he can use is full of synthetic ingredients - because of course.


Husband could ditch the synthetic ingredients by growing out his beard and not shaving at all but I don't like to go through the bushes to get to the picnic, heh, heh.*smooooooch!*

Thursday, April 4, 2013

We're Kicking the Flavored Creamer Habit

I like to say I am the cream in Husband’s coffee but that isn’t entirely true. For the past year or so Husband used flavored creamer in his coffee, which is fine because I don’t like third degree burns from swimming in his coffee cup every morning.

April's One Small Green Change is Husband’s. He is going to give up flavored coffee creamer with its questionable ingredients and extra packaging (while recyclable it is still an extra thing to deal with.) This won't effect me either way because I drink my coffee black - like my heart.

We try not to buy products containing high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils to try to keep the health conditions affecting our older family members at bay for as long as possible. Although realistically no matter how well we eat and take care of ourselves, that stuff may happen because genetics are well, genetic. Our goal is if it happens, it happens when we're 90 or so.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Do Low Flow Showerheads Work?

I learned not to be picky about showers. When I was a kid, my family had a camper. Piddly water pressure and sprays from the showerhead were a given.

Do Water Saving Showerheads Work


It prepared me for renting apartments. Showerheads in a rental fall under You Get What You Get and You Don’t Pitch a Fit.

I didn’t give the piddle showerheads that came with our condo a second thought because showerheads are supposed to stink, right?

While cleaning the linen closet, I found a new in the box showerhead. Then it dawned on me. I can change my showerhead to one that works. Maybe I can get one of those fancy water saving showerheads while I’m at it!

I’m a real rocket surgeon. I know.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Finally Curbside Recycling!

Hey, waitaminute Ms. Green Blogger I thought you already recycled?

Yep. We do.

We bagged our paper, glass, metal, and plastic, stuck it in the car trunk, and drove it to a city dumpster because the paid subscription service was so unreliable even die hard greenies gave up on it. The freebie dumpster option worked OK unless we got busy and the recycling piled up or I forgot to drop it off at the dumpster while running errands. I can't tell you how many times I drove around town with trash in my trunk until I remembered I had trash in my trunk.

Not to mention the other items we collect and drop off for recycling at local stores:

  1. Plastic cosmetic tubes can be recycled at any Origins store or counter
  2. Hard plastic bottle caps can be recycled at any Aveda store
  3. Batteries can be recycled at Easton Town Center (local folks) and any Batteries Plus store
  4. CFLs can be recycled at any Home Depot store
  5. Lithium ion batteries (for tools) can be recycled at any Home Depot store
  6. Eyeglasses can be recycled through the Lion's Club (your eye doctor may have a bin in their office.) The Lion's Club regrinds the lens and gives the glasses to needy people.
  7. Number 5 plastic can be recycled at Whole Foods through Preserve's Gimmie 5 Program

This isn't as crazy as it sounds (I hope) because I combine trips to a city dumpster with recycling items one through three at the mall and do a little window shopping while I'm at it (I leave my debit card at home to make sure it is just window shopping and not buying out Celebrate Local.) I don't often have items four through six, item seven is new for us. The city recycling program takes #5 bottles but not #5 tubs.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

How to Install a Toilet

We have a little Water War waging in our otherwise happy family. I bring up switching to a more water efficient toilet and Husband shoots me down on principal. In his mind water efficient toilets don’t work. If we had a toilet that flushed like one of those giant barrels at the water park that tip over and drench everyone with a bazillion gallons of water that might just satisfy him.




Before we go any further let’s do a little toilet water usage history lesson:

Friday, January 25, 2013

One Small Green Change: Down Winter Coat

I came home from 40 degree (F) Washington DC (more on that later I promise) to -9 degree Columbus. BRR! The light winter jacket I've making do with this year because my good wool coat is a bit too snug (ahem) just isn't going to cut it no matter how many layers I wear under it.

I need a new heavy winter "play" coat. Something I can wear sledding, skiing, and trudging through snow to the mailbox. Wool is warm and more eco friendly but once it gets wet, you stand a good chance of getting hypothermia on the toboggan run.

In my opinion a wool outer layer isn't practical for a winter ski coat since shushing snow can soak your coat.

Who am I kidding? My ski coat gets wet more from falling and skiing on my face in spectacularly graceful ways than from kicking up snow and outperforming Shaun White on a snowboarding half pipe.

Anyway. I need a new warm heavy winter coat that isn't too bulky to play in the snow. If it can be made from more eco friendly materials that would be awesome. I want this coat to perform well and last. I am willing to pony up the cash for that (although if I can get it on sale that will be the icing on the cake.)


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How to Install an Under Sink Water Filter System

We are a tap water house. It is cheaper, greener, and lazier because I don’t buy and lug bottles to and from the store or send them to recycling limbo.



We’re also a filtered tap water in the refrigerator house. In theory. Unfortunately, the filtered water pitcher is the first thing jettisoned from the refrigerator when I need to make room for food after a shopping trip.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Dehydrating Garden Vegtables

Husband and I grew more than six tomatoes this summer. I can check one more goal off my 2012 DIY Project list. Yay!

I thanks to Food in Jars, I learned how to can five quarts and two pints of homegrown tomatoes for my September One Small Green Change. Double Yay!

Not so yay, our tomatoes are ripening in drips and drabs. It takes forever to collect enough ripe tomatoes to can them. I can one or two quarts at a time at most.

I see a lot of this and not much else.

I had some tomatoes that were getting close to the Eat-Me-Now-Or-Compost-Me-Later stage but enough to make a pint of canned tomatoes.

*light bulb goes off over my head* 

A compact florescent light bulb of course.

Friday, September 14, 2012

I'm Canning Tomatoes!

Our almost illegal but not quite tomato plants (read the story on Lazy Budget Chef. It involves a police helicopter AND a paddy wagon) exploded into a bunch of tomatoes. We definitely met our 2012 DIY goal of growing more than six tomatoes. Yay!
 
The results are delicious.

But more than we can eat right now.

Last summer, I faced my fear of canning (don’t laugh. It’s true) and canned strawberry peach jam with leftover fruit (our eyes were bigger than our stomachs) and raspberry Moscato jam. No one died of botulism AND we had a nice stash of impromptu Christmas gifts in the pantry. I call that I double win.

You can find the recipes on my food blog Lazy Budget Chef

The use what canning equipment I had on hand method worked well enough for me to consider buying a canning kit to make home canning easier. Fortunately, my mom passed her canning supplies down to me. I was off and running. Well, actually, it is more like trotting.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Save Money: Use an Electric Razor

Summer is my favorite season! I take full advantage and wear skirts and shorts almost every day.

Learn how I made an Anthropologie knock off skirt from a tablecloth here 

 That means my legs are on display and are in need of occasional deforestation. 

Up until now, I’ve taken care of the fuzz with a disposable razor even though I’m not a great fan of throwaway disposables. Preserve sells a disposable razor they take back for recycling but I haven't tried it.

 Beth of My Plastic Free Life uses a metal safety razor with recyclable blades but I am chicken. I have a gift for nicking the crap out of my ankles and knees with just about every razor I use including the disposable razors that are supposed to be nick free.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Tie Dye Drop Cloth Shoes

I lived in black cotton Chinese Mary Jane shoes in high school because:

  • I also wore them for my color guard uniform.

  • China flats are one of the styles that always fit my weird kid sized feet and don’t give me blisters.
I need some kick around summer shoes.  I figure I’ll pick up a pair of China flats in a cute color since I don’t need black as part of a uniform anymore and I’m trying to stick to my One Small Green Change of only buying shoes that fit.

canvas drop cloth tie dye shoes
I dyed these shoes with a Tulip Tie Dye Kit. (affiliate link) 
It was easier and less messy than that  fussy stuff in a bucket.  

I didn’t anticipate how hard it was going to be to find a pair of China flats! I finally bought a new pair off eBay for $2.99. The price is right but the color is a bore.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Eat From the Pantry Month Challenge

Husband and I stumbled into May’s One Small Green Change by accident.  I am busy crafting for and building Blitzkrieg’s Pet Promise Rescue Run booth. Add to that Husband’s weekly choir rehearsal, Blitzkrieg’s chemo day, and now my weekly marching band rehearsal it’s been difficult to squeeze time in for grocery shopping except for a quick milk run. Husband goes through almost a gallon a week.

 I relive my high school color guard glory days by twirling flag in two parades each summer. Some things never change. I'm stilled placed by the tubas and am the shortest person in the band.
 
Fortunately, we did a big grocery shopping trip before Crazy Time, which should keep us in fish, meat, and fresh produce for awhile. We really need to work on eating the fresh frozen veggies, 17 cups ofhomemade chicken stock that keep falling out of the freezer and onto my head, and the backup bags of frozen vegetables to make room for this summer’s garden produce. When Husband and I bought seeds last January we bought with our stomachs instead of our heads because this year’s garden will be items I cannot can. I have to freeze whatever we can’t devour in our tiny freezer. Whoops!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

I’m Moving!

That’s right gang. I’m packing up this virtual condo of mine. I’m chucking the tools, the tips, and Blitzkrieg into a big ol’ moving box…



Tuesday, May 1, 2012

How to Make Dandruff Shampoo

When I am stressed my rosacea kicks into overdrive. I am having dandruff issues too. I am sure both are related to riding the Blitzkrieg cancer go round.

I have a prescription to keep the rosacea in check. The itchy, flaky scalp is another story. As the day goes on the back of my head feels like it is on fire.

The tea tree shampoo my hairdresser suggested made it worse. Neither Husband nor I like the smell of tree tea oil either. FAIL.

The drugstore dandruff shampoo my doctor recommended takes care of the itch and fire. Unfortunately, that dandruff shampoo rates a 6 to 7 (Moderate to High Hazard) on the Skin Deep database and I'm not very comfortable with since we are  dealing with canine cancer. I don't want to add any more family members to the cancer club thankyouverymuch.