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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

What's Up, Wednesday?

This week's question…
Earth Day was yesterday. Have you made any energy efficient changes in your household? What were they? Maybe we can all get some good ideas!

I've done lots of small things like changing my light bulbs, unplugging electronics, etc. I also have one really big one. When my HVAC unit broke (dead, leaking carbon monoxide and thousands of dollars to fix), I shopped around for a month or so for ideas. Eventually I got a groundsource heat pump. It was expensive in the outset, but after tax credits turned out to be only a couple thousand more than replacing the HVAC with a newer version of what I'd had. And, since the super-efficient groundsource system saves me almost a thousand dollars a year in heating and cooling bills, I've made that money back quickly. The initial quote from Green Horizon (the company who installed the system) was a bit hard to swallow! The decision's not for everyone, but I'm glad I made it.
~Jennifer Lohmann 

My changes are also small. I switched to all energy-saving bulbs, and as I've replaced appliances (the washer, dryer, stove, and fridge all bit the dust last year) I've made sure they were Energy Star designated. I installed a couple of ceiling fans to help in the summer so the AC doesn't have to be turned as low. And it isn't household related, but I recycle cardboard and plastic--fortunately, my town has great curbside recycling pickup.
~Suzanne Johnson

I haven't made any changes, but I've been arguing against my husband getting a car--does that count? I haven't owned a car since I left the U.S. almost twelve years ago. We travel around town by bike (gotta love the Netherlands) or bus. But I fear it's a battle I'm losing--especially as our family grows and so does the amount of stuff we seem to cart around.
~Kat Latham

Ugh. I don't feel like we do enough. Right now I'm trying to get the kids to remember to turn off the lights. That will be a major accomplishment if it ever happens. We recycle religiously, but our town has a great recycling program that makes it easy. We did choose a low-flow toilet when we remodeled the bathroom, and we'll have energy efficient windows placed in the basement during our current remodel. And we've also had the thermostat down lower than normal to pay for our basement remodel. At some point I'd like to replace several outside doors to make them less drafty. I guess our washer and dryer are energy-efficient too. I forgot we replaced those a few years ago.
~Samantha Grace 

Congratulations to Carolyn Mccanna, winner of last week's drawing for a copy of The Heart of a Duke! Please watch your email for a message from Samantha arranging for you to receive your copy. 

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