Condo Blues: use




Showing posts with label use. Show all posts
Showing posts with label use. Show all posts

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Why and How to Sift Compost

I recently upgraded our single tumbling compost bin to this exact double tumbling compost bin hoping to correct some mistakes we made when we started our first compost pile. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.)

The mistakes we made weren’t horrible and we did create usable compost that turned our practically all clay tan colored garden beds to earthworm rich dark black soil. But the compost coming out of the bin has always been soggy. It was also full of plastic bits we thought would compost but didn’t break down.

How did this happen? Well for one, since we don’t have access to grass clippings or leaves we used shredded paper and cardboard for brown matter (and any sawdust I made in the garage) and we simply didn’t add enough. The fix for wet or smelly compost is to always have more dry brown matter in your compost pile than green matter (vegetable and fruit peels, coffee grounds, etc.) As for the plastic bits, we’d just empty the entire contents of our home office paper shredder into the compost bin and all of those window envelopes I shredded thinking they would break down because they are made from cellulose where actually some sort of plastic.

There was finished compost  in the bottom of the single compost bin but because it stopped turning and we couldn’t mix it very well with one of those compost turner things that look like this. Our compost was a big wet clump full of unwanted bits that I could easily save by sifting the almost finished compost and chucking a ton of this exact wood chip pet bedding into one side of the new compost bin and let it break down. Adding more shredded paper and cardboard boxes would also do the trick but I didn’t have enough of either in the quantity I needed at the time.

how to fix wet smelly compost

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Sunday, February 11, 2018

10 Easy Ways to Lower Winter Heating Bills

In 2008, my family went on a year long experience to try lowering our heating bills by %20 thinking it was a lofty goal we may not meet. a slew of Greenzillas swore up and down that the only solution was to trash everything that came new with our house (and was working great) and replace it by buying new top of the time super energy efficient everything. Replacing working and still fairly new things didn't seem very eco friendly. Instead we focused on changing old habits and a few inexpensive home improvements.

And we beat our goal by reducing our use and bill by 32%.

10 years later and we’re still using less energy to heat our condo than comparable energy efficient rated homes in our area – and we’re toasty warm doing it too!

10 Super Simple Hacks That Keep Your House Warm and Your Heat Bill Low

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

12 Easy Ways to Save Money on Your Hot Water Heating Bill

Tens years ago, in 2008 my family started a year long product to reduce how much energy we use and our bill in our new home because a ton of Greenzillas said I couldn’t until I trashed all of my conventional and came new with the house major appliances and systems and replaced them with new super duper high efficiency (and expensive) everything.

I blogged about our new habits and inexpensive energy efficient DIY projects right here on Condo Blues in the very first year of this blog. Long story short, we reduced our use by 32% and kept it that way while staying toasty warm, clean, and well fed.

And using less energy than comparable families and homes in our area – including the Energy Star rated homes of which we are not.

Until recently when natural gas bill started to creep higher. Not break the bank,  we’rel going to starve high, but high enough to knock our house from constantly rating Very Good to smack dab in the middle of  Good. 

I wanted to figure out what’s going on because I had bragging rights on the line!

Turns out we were wasting too much energy heating water and after addressing  Tips One through Three we lowered our energy and hot water heating bill. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

10 More Ways to Use Orange Peels

I always look forward to the winter citrus season so I can stuff my face with sweet juicy oranges.  I always end up with many orange peels. I can’t compost orange peels but didn’t want to throw them away. Orange peels have to be good for something.

That’s when I did some research and found out orange peels are very useful. I posted about 10 Easy Ways to Use Orange Peels (you can read the post here) and I started to put those orange peels to good reuse. Since that post I experimented, researched, and found 10 more easy ways to reuse orange peels. 

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If I don’t have enough orange peels for a project, I either store orange peels in a container the freeze or let the orange peels dry on a tray for a few days (no oven or dehydrator needed!) and store them in a jar in my pantry until I have the amount I need.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

10 Ways to Use Orange Peels

I remember standing in my Grandmother’s Florida kitchen and as we chatted, she was squeezing lemons. She said that a neighbor gave her a bunch of lemons from her lemon tree and since they were getting soft she was going to squeeze the juice out of them, freeze it in one-cup containers to use whenever she needed a cup of lemon juice for cooking. That little instance was one of many, “We didn’t get where we are in this life by wasting things” lessons she taught me.
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I don’t have a lemon tree in my yard, but I did have a bunch of oranges in my refrigerator. After enjoying the oranges, I looked at the peels and thought about that long ago conversation with my Grandmother. I can’t compost orange peels but I figured that they had to be useful. I put the orange peels in a container the freezer and did some research. Here are 10 ways I found that you can put those old orange peels to good reuse.