Green Living Tribe - Part II - Page 9 - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-14-2007, 09:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by beanma View Post
hey y'all,

i had a small GREEN brainstorm i thought i'd share with y'all. we belong to a CSA which is wonderful, but it means i'm washing a buncha buncha greens and i felt bad about wasting all that wash water by dumping it down the drain. .
Another area we saw water go down the drain was taking our morning showers. For some odd reason we don't have and can't install a regulator for our pipes so it takes a few minutes for the hot water to get upstairs.

I now put a 5 gallon bucket under the bath faucet and let it fill up. We then use that water to water plants, rinse veggies, etc.

I'm liking the idea of using the water again after I rinse my veggies to water the plants !
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Old 05-15-2007, 12:46 AM
 
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Subbing! lots of great ideas here.
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Old 05-15-2007, 03:55 AM
 
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Jump on in and give us yours too!!!

Erika SO to *S*: and Aunt to *A*(10), *Z*(9), and *D*(8)
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Old 05-15-2007, 10:07 AM
 
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Hey everybody, I'm glad to finally come on board. Let me tell you that I thought we were doing a pretty spiffy job here at home with being green until I read this thread. There are so many great ideas here and I'm glad to see other folks sharing them. I hate to say it but magazines like Mother Earth News need to have more articles with these type of simple ideas for regular folks instead of more articles on expensive hybrids and outfitting fancy homes with solar. I think I have found more practical ideas here that I can use than I have the entire time I've had a subscription to their magazine..seriously.

So anyway, we do what we can and renting has been a real hindrance for me. This isn't really my yard so I am ashamed to say that I haven't planted anything, aside from the fact that I have less than a green thumb. I don't like potted plants because they always outgrow the pots and you have to keep transferring them. I've been interested in getting one of those earthboxes for a number of years though. They are supposed to be practically foolproof and yield a pretty large crop from a container. Anyone use them before?

I really, really need to compost again. When I did have a yard with plants I had a box but I haven't seen the use of one without a garden. The other day though I heard a radio program talking about having a small countertop compost container, even in an apartment. Can someone here share with me how that works?

Right now we use mama and baby cloth, use curbside recycling, buy all recycled paper products from our green supermarket brand which makes me feel good because it supports the local economy as wellbut I really need to get on this household cloth bandwagon. I use canvas bags when I can remember (glad to know I'm not the only one who forgets these, haha). We walk whenever possible despite living in a non walkable city. My husband drives a little geo metro for his work commute. Hybrids don't have nothing on these little cars, baby. We camp a lot and we always bring dishes from home instead of paper plates and utensils. We just replaced all of our bulbs with CFC's. I keep the thermostat on 80 (we live in hot humid Fl) and use fans a lot. I use a clothesline and we try to wear our clothes multiple times before washing. I try to buy products with less packaging.

I don't know, we do what we can, you know? I have a bad habit of reading threads like this and getting overwhelmed and giving up but I know I have to take one step at a time....okay, off to the green living challenge with that thought.
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Old 05-15-2007, 10:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Right now we use mama and baby cloth, use curbside recycling, buy all recycled paper products from our green supermarket brand which makes me feel good because it supports the local economy as wellbut I really need to get on this household cloth bandwagon. I use canvas bags when I can remember (glad to know I'm not the only one who forgets these, haha). We walk whenever possible despite living in a non walkable city. My husband drives a little geo metro for his work commute. Hybrids don't have nothing on these little cars, baby. We camp a lot and we always bring dishes from home instead of paper plates and utensils. We just replaced all of our bulbs with CFC's. I keep the thermostat on 80 (we live in hot humid Fl) and use fans a lot. I use a clothesline and we try to wear our clothes multiple times before washing. I try to buy products with less packaging.

I don't know, we do what we can, you know? I have a bad habit of reading threads like this and getting overwhelmed and giving up but I know I have to take one step at a time....okay, off to the green living challenge with that thought.
Wow, you're doing A LOT!!!

No guilt in this thread. We all do what we can and strive to do even more when we can fit it in. It helps me to think of it as a lifelong journey of learning, making changes, and adapting.

Welcome to the thread!

Expecting #2 in May 2013!

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Old 05-15-2007, 01:37 PM
 
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I sometimes feel this way too pixiewytch, but I remind myself how much impact the small things have. Read up on those statistics! Adding little things here and there is how most of those folks you read about in Mother Earth are got started ---- they are true blessings to our world, but even us regular folks make a HUGE difference. I'm no good at #'s but I know just replacing light bulbs makes a big change. Imagine if just 1/2 the country did this!

I, too have a purple thumb...I'm slowly trying though. But going to local farmers markets and supporting others is great too. It supports a livelihood of small farming that is slowly disappearing.

Good luck w/everything!
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Old 05-15-2007, 01:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pixiewytch View Post

I don't know, we do what we can, you know? I have a bad habit of reading threads like this and getting overwhelmed and giving up but I know I have to take one step at a time....okay, off to the green living challenge with that thought.

Sounds like you are ready to give up that habit!

Just look at it as inspiration and ideas to grow into! We are always growing and changing and it wouldn't make sense for us to have it all together "right now". It is a process. Plus, by the time you do implement an idea you have heard here you do it with the knowledge and experience that comes from watching others and learning from their mistakes.

You sounds like you do a lot. Focus on that!
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Old 05-16-2007, 05:04 AM
 
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What is the purpose of using the air humidifiers?
To add moisture to overly dry air, which in turn eases breathing, helps with some skin problems, promotes better/faster healing with colds and flus, helps with some allergies, reduces static electricity (which can be dangerous to computer equipment), etc.

We live in Las Vegas where typical daily humidity is less than 10%. We feel like it's "muggy" when it hits 30%. I get nosebleeds like crazy if I don't keep the bedroom humidified, plus because of my frequent colds/allergies I do a lot of mouth-breathing at night so if the air is dry I end up with a hacking cough and apneas that keep me up all night. We also like the side effect of the white noise to drown out our insane neighbours who drive loud vehicles screaming down the road all hours of the night.


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Originally Posted by pixiewytch View Post
I hate to say it but magazines like Mother Earth News need to have more articles with these type of simple ideas for regular folks instead of more articles on expensive hybrids and outfitting fancy homes with solar.
That's the problem I've found with enviro mags too. They're either hopelessly basic (have you heard of compact fluorescent light bulbs? Duh.) or so over the top that nobody short of Ed Begly Jr. is going to be able to pull it off. And oh the guilt they pile on! While also peddling pseudo-environmental feel-goody overpriced crap. Gahh.

I keep telling my husband that if I wasn't so work-averse, I'd start a magazine for environmentally conscious parents who also have to function in the real world.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pixiewytch View Post
I don't know, we do what we can, you know? I have a bad habit of reading threads like this and getting overwhelmed and giving up but I know I have to take one step at a time....okay, off to the green living challenge with that thought.
I get overwhelmed too, but if everyone did just a little bit the effect would be enormous. Those of us who can do more are helping extra.

I do lots and lots so in the rare cases when I meet someone holier-than-thou about it, I ignore them. Another local activist I know tried to convince me a few weeks ago that it was good that I was housebound without a car because someone else she knows functions without a car entirely (note that this person herself drives, so, total hypocrite!). I bluntly asked, "Does he have a toddler?" She admitted that no, and that he's had to learn that he can only accomplish one task per day because of the amount of walking and waiting for Vegas' craptastic bus system. So I told her that that was not an acceptable lifestyle for me and I ignored her beyond that point. And then we bought the Prius so I can have the Civic, so neener neener to her.

There's always someone who does more, but it doesn't take long until you're pushing the envelope into practical hermitism, so I say do what you can as much as you can and that'll be better than most.



Now, for the real reason I came reading today...another tip that I hope helps someone: instead of using plastic wrap over dishes for leftovers, check and see if your dishes have washable plastic lids available. We found that many Pyrex and Corelle dishes have lids that we can buy here at the Corning-Revere outlet store, including the basic Corelle cereal bowl. The lids for those are a buck something, dishwasherable, and super-easy to use and clean. It's really good for when your toddler demands food and you heat something up and then they eat two bites and reject the rest...just snap a lid over the uneaten portion and toss it in the fridge.

Obviously re-used food tubs like margarine tubs can also be used for storage but despite being labelled as safe for microwaving, it's generally not a good idea to reheat foods in plastic like that. With the Corelle bowls you can go from microwave to toddler to fridge and back through that path again and the lids mean not having to use plastic wrap.

I couldn't find the lids on Corelle's web site, but I googled them and found this link: http://www.loudfrog.com/itemdetail.aspx?detailID=196720 I have no idea if that's a decent store or not, the price is definitely higher than what we pay at the outlet store, but that at least gives you a picture to see what I mean. http://www.corningwarestores.com/ will tell you if there's a factory store near you that might carry the lids.

http://findinggaia.com - a novel about romance, shifting gender politics, and environmentalism

http://eat-the-evidence.com

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Old 05-16-2007, 12:47 PM
 
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Kimberly ~ That is a great idea. We rarely use plastic wrap. We have pyrex storage dishes with plastic lids (available at Target) and we also really love these http://www.crateandbarrel.com/family.aspx?c=150&f=1693
.

We are lucky enough to live in a city that is totally walkable. We shop at our local natural foods store which is within walking/biking distance. The farmers market is as well. I am really making a concerted effort to walk or bike more to these places, though I must admit that it is hard to plan out the time with four kids. I have to find a way to manage my time better so I can take advantage of the fact that it is so easy to walk around here!

K
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Old 05-16-2007, 02:03 PM
 
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zen, where are you in NY? We are relocating to the Finger lakes this coming winter and we bought a house downtown so we could walk to the farmer market, post office, etc.
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Old 05-16-2007, 02:56 PM
 
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We have the Crate & Barrell working glasses as well and love them. I like that they fit into my cup holder in the car as well.
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Old 05-16-2007, 03:57 PM
 
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way way way back some of you were talking about shoes.
I got a Gaiam catalog today and they have 4 0r 5 different styles of Earth shoes 50% off! Thought some of you may be interested...
http://www.gaiam.com/retail/gai_searchresults.asp

Erin-doula and mama to Ari Beat (4/7/03) and Eli Roots (3/27/06) angel.gif 6/09 angel.gif 10/09 and sweet Bodhi (6/25/11). Now growing #4 who we will meet in October joy.gif
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Old 05-16-2007, 04:15 PM
 
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Hillary ~ We are in Saratoga Springs. It is a great little city and has won awards for being pedestrian-friendly, though I think we struggle with that as we grow . . .

I hear the Finger Lakes region is beautiful, though I have not been there. DH and I keep talking about how we would like to travel more in the "local" area. Maybe we need to do a weekend out that way.

K
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Old 05-17-2007, 02:15 AM
 
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Hello everyone! I mainly just lurk here, but I have reading this thread since Part 1, so I hope you don't mind my popping in from time to time with a question. :

DH and I have started saving for a new car. Currently, we're both driving 12-year old cars, so it's just a matter of time before we'll need a new one and, ideally, we'd like to stay as far away from a car payment as possible. We just paid off a bunch of credit card debt and we're trying to stay as debt-free as possible. That said, it's putting a damper on our car choices. : I have always wanted a hybrid. I've wanted one since I first heard about them, and that has intensified over time. I mean, honestly, I'd feel kind of funny about *not* buying a hybrid at this point; I think I'd suffer from eco-guilt, if that makes sense. Still, even the used Priuses are up there in price, plus, I kind of wonder how wise it would be to buy an older hybrid since the technology has improved quite a bit even in just the last 5 years. So, used or new, I'm thinking we'd need at least $20K saved in order to be able to pay cash for a Prius or other hybrid. Option #2 is to just buy an older compact car like a Corolla (which is actually what I drive now, and I was seriously hoping for/needing more space) or a newer one like a Yaris or the Nissan Versa and only have to save somewhere between $10K and $15K, thus enabling us to buy a newer car sooner, before one of our current cars really bites the dust.

I just can't decide. Financially, I think I should go with the regular compact car. But environmentally and personally, I really, really feel like a Prius is the better choice. We can only save at the rate of $5K a year, though, so this would take much, much longer to save for. Unless of course we bit the bullet and financed some of it, but we don't want to do that either...... See my dilemma?

Thoughts?
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Old 05-17-2007, 06:07 AM
 
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But environmentally and personally, I really, really feel like a Prius is the better choice. We can only save at the rate of $5K a year, though, so this would take much, much longer to save for. Unless of course we bit the bullet and financed some of it, but we don't want to do that either...... See my dilemma?

Thoughts?

We just bought a Prius and had a lot of the same issues. We have never been in debt other than with our mortgage and weren't keen to start. We were looking at the Prius or the Honda Fit because we watched a hatchback in addition to our Civic. If we were replacing the Civic, we'd absolutely have gone for a hybrid Civic.

We went with the Prius even though it was more than the Fit because the Fit's fuel economy was good but still about half of the Prius, going by the real-world testing done by Consumer Reports (don't always believe the sticker listing, because they aren't real-world). Both cars have excellent repair rates and incredibly good resale values with hardly any depreciation. The downside to that is that you won't get a good used deal on either.

In fact, the dealer we bought from had a used Prius that was MORE than a new one because of the added price of the Toyota used car certified warranty!

We did hard negotiations with multiple dealers (see the oh-so-fun stories and what we paid in my journal here: http://kimberlychapman.livejournal.com/tag/car ) and ended up with a good price, but we put $10,000 down and we have insanely good credit scores (in the 800s).

My husband is mostly happy with it (he's the one driving it) but he has said the Civic still handles better overall. So it might be worth looking at the hybrid Civic if you don't need the hatchback.



On that Corelle lid issue, I contacted the company (or rather the official online store, World Kitchen) and told them I'd been recommending their lids and was disappointed that I couldn't provide a link on a forum, so they told me to pass on the following information:


Please be advised that you can contact us at the number below to place a phone order for these covers. The item number is 7250919 and they are $0.99 each.

For further assistance, please contact our Consumer Care Center at
800-999-3436. Representatives are available from 8am to 6pm, EST,
Monday through Thursday and 8am to 5pm on Friday, and will be more than
happy to assist you.




Disclaimer: I haven't actually ordered through this store, I bought mine in a local store, so caveat emptor and all of that. But the lids really are great if you have the Corelle cereal bowls.

http://findinggaia.com - a novel about romance, shifting gender politics, and environmentalism

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Old 05-17-2007, 09:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I just can't decide. Financially, I think I should go with the regular compact car. But environmentally and personally, I really, really feel like a Prius is the better choice. We can only save at the rate of $5K a year, though, so this would take much, much longer to save for. Unless of course we bit the bullet and financed some of it, but we don't want to do that either...... See my dilemma?

Thoughts?
We'll be in the market for a slightly larger car in a couple years to fit our 3 dogs and (hopefully) our DC. So I think we're going to be struggling through this *exact* decision!

I don't have any words of wisdom, but it might help to make a pros and cons list and see how it weighs out for you. Besides the obvious gas mileage pro on the Prius side, I would also feel good about supporting a market for *fuel-efficient* hybrids (as opposed to all those lame SUV hybrids that get 30 mpg if you're lucky).

I can definitely understand where you're coming from on the $ issue. We just recently paid off all our debt except the house. Do you drive a lot for work or anything? I wonder how much $ you'd save in gas costs with the Prius the first year. If you currently fill up with 10 g once a week and the Prius triples your gas mileage, that's 34 fill-ups you'd be saving. At $3/g, that would save about $1000 a year. Not a lot, but it could help a little maybe? Also, have you factored in the tax deduction you get for buying a hybrid? I think that's $1000 or so? I've also seen Prius ads recently that say they're currently offering up to $2000 in savings off the normal price.

And finally, are you spending a lot on upkeep of your older vehicles right now? Even if you're just spending $1000-2000 a year, you can factor that in too. I guess what I'm saying is, think about all this stuff that wouldn't take effect til after you buy the vehicle and see how it impacts your pocketbook. For example, if you find that you'll get $5000 in savings from these various things the first year, you could always save up all but $5000 and then pay that off the first year.

Expecting #2 in May 2013!

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Old 05-17-2007, 11:22 AM
 
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Hi - I don't have any huge words of wisdom about the car issue - but it might be worth analyzing the kind of driving that you do and whether hybrids are going to help with that. We were considering a hybrid before we bought our latest car, but realized that with the type of driving we do, we wouldn't actually take advantage of the hybrid. Unfortunately, DH is the "car guy" and I couldn't care less about cars in general, so I can't remember why, but we drive 30km into the city every day and for some reason a small fuel-efficient car was actually as good or better for us than a hybrid.

If this rings a bell for anyone, or if this is no longer true with the newer hybrids, please let me know!

P

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Old 05-17-2007, 04:10 PM
 
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Wow. I subbed to this thread a few days ago and started reading, just now made it to the end lol. A few posts in I got out a notebook and pen to take notes lol. I am relatively new to green living. I have always felt like I should but never actually did anything about it, last year I started trying to do a few things here and there. Then I met my fiance and he is pretty green so it totally inspired me to do much better. I am loving all these ideas and look forward to seeing what kinds of things I can incorporate into our household and our lives. Thanks all and I look forward to lots more great ideas!

Some of the things we already do -

organic gardening and are members of our local co-op, all paper products in our house are already recycled stuff but I have gone to cloth tp (and am glad to see others have as well. I came up with it on my own and didn't know others did this as well, it took me a few days to quit feeling funny about it but now I like it!), I have gone to making my own washable pads instead of the tampons I always used (Tampax no less : ), we raise chickens for eggs now & when we have more land we will have more livestock for meat, we recycle all recycleables (though we have to save it all up and drive it into town to drop it off), I finally got my clothesline up a few weeks ago and have been loving my clothes smelling like sunshine , oh I know there is more but my brain is spinning right now lol.
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Old 05-17-2007, 10:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Welcome, Michelle!

Expecting #2 in May 2013!

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Old 05-18-2007, 12:07 AM
 
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Thanks for the feedback!

Snozzberry, we a re fortunate enough to live super close to work and to pretty much everything we need on a regular basis, so almost all of our driving is city driving. From what I understand, the Prius is running all electric when it's under 35 mph, so even though we don't spend a ton on gas as it is ($130/month for both cars together), I think it would eefinitely make a difference. As it is, we're not yet paying too much on repairs for our older cars, but I have a feeling that will start to change soon, which is why we've started saving now.

Kimberly, thanks for the info! I don't think a Civic would be the best choice for us because I really love the Prius's hatchback and the way you can fold the seats down. Even if it weren't a hybrid, I'd find that very appealing.

Aaaaaah, it's so hard to wait! DH keeps joking that we should take my poor little Corolla off-roading this summer just to drive it into the ground, and then we'll "have" to get a new car. : Um, no!!!
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Old 05-18-2007, 03:55 AM
 
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hi there! new to the thread... and subscribing!

thanks for all the great ideas mamas and big to all of you! glad to know i'm not as weird as i sometimes feel... living in utah. funny, you would think that the most "conservative" state in the nation would be more into conserving.

my partner and i are starting an affordable sustainable housing company building out of the waste stream... first project uses shipping containers and paper! love the household ideas, especially the graywater stuff you've been doing. wouldn't it be great if all houses were just built so that you could reuse your graywater?

i haven't read through the entire thread yet, that will take some time... but if any of you have any suggestions or resources please shoot them my way. y'all are the experts and i would love ideas on what features you would like to see in an ideal new house.

love! and thanks again!
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Old 05-18-2007, 05:41 AM
 
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Besides the obvious gas mileage pro on the Prius side, I would also feel good about supporting a market for *fuel-efficient* hybrids (as opposed to all those lame SUV hybrids that get 30 mpg if you're lucky).
That was part of it for us. When it's feasible, we try to reward companies who do things we like, be they greenie things, community support things (and I mean real stuff, not the fake photo-ops many companies do while simultaneously eroding communities), paying workers well, etc. We don't go overboard or anything, but if a given product has a counterpart for close to the same price and the company is well-behaved, we'll go that route. Or we'll buy from some stores even if they're slightly more expensive (not if it's gobs more) because they treat workers fairly, like Costco.

We wanted our car-buying dollars to send a strong message that fuel economy is much more important than styling. We made it a point to tell the Toyota dealers constantly that it was all about fuel economy, because that kind of thing can leak upwards into the company.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Perdita_in_Ontario View Post
We were considering a hybrid before we bought our latest car, but realized that with the type of driving we do, we wouldn't actually take advantage of the hybrid.
It depends on what you mean by "type of driving". If you mean city versus highway, then yes, the Prius is better in city driving whereas most cars are better on the highway. That's because the gas shuts off when you stop at each light.

But in our research, the Prius' highway mileage was still significantly better than the other cars we were looking at. I think the sticker listed highway of 50 for the Prius and 40-something for the Fit, and when my husband checked the real-world numbers from Consumer Reports the Prius still came ahead in both.

But "type of driving" can also mean one's style of driving. Lead-footed drivers will not get as good mileage out of a Prius as those with a gentler touch (of course that goes for regular cars too). My husband isn't particularly lead-footed anyway, but he says as he drives the Prius he's learning little tricks on how to maximize fuel efficiency in terms of how to drive it so the gas engine doesn't have to come on as often.


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y'all are the experts and i would love ideas on what features you would like to see in an ideal new house.
OMG, I could be here all night typing out what I'd want! But some quickie major things: energy efficiency in terms of climate control, which means everything from good insulation and windows to properly placed awnings and solar screens and all of that. Water management, not just gray water use but high-quality faucets that don't drip and waste. Not just low-flow toilets but again good ones that are less prone to leakage. Sensible landscaping, not just xerascape but also properly placed shade trees and all of that. Low-dust floor coverings that also are kid-friendly (ie my in-laws have all slate floors which look great and are easy to keep clean but their infant had less than a grand time learning to walk, and they've had to install a bunch of rugs to give him a place to play). Things that reduce allergens tend to also be good for eco-reasons, but again, only if properly implemented.

And of course all of my dream-home things are items that cost significantly more up front but save money overall, which makes them unsuitable for the general population that prefers the illusion of savings.

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Old 05-18-2007, 09:27 AM
 
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we've been pretty happy with our diesels and biodiesel in 'em. can't type long now, but it migh be worth considering. we get about 39 mpg running B100.

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Old 05-18-2007, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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y'all are the experts and i would love ideas on what features you would like to see in an ideal new house.
Welcome!

I'd have to add: NO PARTICLEBOARD! It offgasses formaldehyde, and it's in just about everything "wood" in houses nowadays. Also: no-VOC paint, solar screens on all windows, maybe an attic fan to use as an AC alternative except when it's super hot.

It's fun to think of this stuff!

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Old 05-18-2007, 10:46 AM
 
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... maybe an attic fan to use as an AC alternative except when it's super hot.
I have a question about attic fans...DH and I have seem some cool solar ones and are interested in maybe installing one in our attic. DO you need to leave your attic door open for these to work? With four kitties, we always keep the attic door closed because we don't think it's safe for the fur babies to get up there and play.
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Old 05-18-2007, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a question about attic fans...DH and I have seem some cool solar ones and are interested in maybe installing one in our attic. DO you need to leave your attic door open for these to work? With four kitties, we always keep the attic door closed because we don't think it's safe for the fur babies to get up there and play.
The way ours works is that we have a vent in the ceiling below the attic. We have a knob on the wall to control it. Depending on how far we turn it, the vent opens up further and the speed of the air increases. Then we open up the windows a crack and it's like a nice cool breeze, even on a really hot day! We never have to actually open up the attic or anything.

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Old 05-18-2007, 05:41 PM
 
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Love my biodiesel too Beanma... I think it's the way to go! I wish that we could a diesel hybrid in the states!
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Old 05-18-2007, 05:47 PM
 
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Thanks for all the great input mamas... keep it coming!

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And of course all of my dream-home things are items that cost significantly more up front but save money overall, which makes them unsuitable for the general population that prefers the illusion of savings.
Actually, one of the great things about designing a house from the wastestream is that we are saving soooooooooooooooo much money on the structure we can afford to spend more on healthy eco-friendly systems and finishes and still provide a competitive market value home.

And, all the passive solar features don't cost extra if they are designed into the home to begin with. So, keep the dream alive and tell me more (don't worry about if you think it costs too much)!
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Old 05-19-2007, 07:48 AM
 
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Well we'd absolutely buy a house that had a solar energy system and/or solar hot water system over one that didn't. And we'd buy those things to put on our house if they were within our price range, which they aren't.

Out of curiosity, do you know which is better for energy efficiency...many small rooms or less rooms that are bigger? Our ideal house would have very small bedrooms (enough for bed, clothing storage, night tables, maybe a bookshelf, that's it), but a large open kitchen/dining/living room area. We'd also want one other closed-off room as the computer room/den, so TV noise wouldn't interfere with people on computers (ie I can't write if I hear the TV). But the houses around here are generally the opposite...large bedrooms with small living rooms. And small, ineffective kitchens seem to be the norm these days, whereas we cook a lot and want lots of pantry, counter, and appliance space.

Do you know if either type has better energy usage? Is it better to have multiple vents blowing into a large room or several small rooms with one vent each?

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Old 05-19-2007, 11:12 PM
 
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I can only give you my experience on the open floor plan.....

we have a a very open floor plan - the kitchen, "big room" (which is living and dining area) and playroom/sunroom and than various little niches are all open. Bedrooms and bathroom are kinda of off shoots in all directions, with one staircase leading to a "tower room" that we call the treehouse because it is literally 4 walls of windows. I love this set up because it gives us a lot more usuable space than our actually square footage, BUT it is not very efficient for wood heat. I think the most efficient would be a squarish or rectangular 2 or 3 story house or at least have loft area where rising heat would have a purpose. It's all give an take of course! Our wood stove is not so efficient in heating the whole house, but my kids can ride their bikes all through the house in the winter when we are snowed in!
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