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Old 08-01-2007, 04:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sattie
Ahhhh, here in a month or so, our front yard will be xeriscaped!!! I'm so excited!!!

I would like to get away from using paper towels... try to find those towels you speak of!
The micro-fiber towels may be a little off-putting at first. They are made of polyester or nylon but they absorb like you wouldn't believe and are completely lint free! They have them in grocery stores for about 3.00/ea in reasonable colors but fairly small sizes. I got some of mine at Sam's in the area where they have tools and stuff. They are about twice the size and are bundled in a package - I think about $12 for 6 of them in an obnoxious yellow color. Most I got at Target in the area where they have the little gadgets and air fresheners for your car. They were on clearance - 6 HUGE ones for $6. But these are an even more obnoxious fluorescent orange! Still, I have 25 or more of them that I keep folded in a basket under the counter. They are great to use wet or dry. With 4 kids still at home and being really messy myself, we use 5 or 6 a day in the kitchen so I know I'm saving a lot in paper towels. Also, they're great if you have a lot of stainless steel in the kitchen. So absorbent that it's easy to wipe dry all the stainless stuff everytime it gets wet so NO water spots or mineral deposits. (I swear I don't own stock and I'm not affiliated in any way.) lol

The xeriscaping I don't find especially pretty but you know how often we have droughts in Texas and I just couldn't see using water for a lawn if there was an alternative.

Terry
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Old 08-02-2007, 06:09 AM   #12
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One of the biggest things we do, is to garden. I do buy all my seeds, but other than that, there are few outside inputs. We garden organically, use our own animal manure and bedding for fertilizer. Walk to the garden for vegetables. I guess we use a tiny bit of gasoline for the rototiller, but use no gas for the transport of the vegetables across the planet to the store or from the store to home. Have virtually no packaging, other than tossing used canning jar lids.

Oh, watering the lawn is not even considered. That would be a tremendous waste of precious water.
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Old 08-02-2007, 10:11 AM   #13
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FM... I don't even care about how the xierscaping looks, cuz at this moment, it will look tons better than it does now!!! My yard is terrible! But the main goal was to have a yard that suited Texas weather and was not a drain on water resources. But it has been an extremely wet summer so far and the humidity is nuts!

Ok, so I would be better off finding those towels in the auto section then?

BethZ... I started doing my own gardening this year and it is wonderful... I don't have much, but I did do tomatoes, jalapenos, cayanne, and rosemary, I plan to do more as I learn. But I think it is a great idea to grow your own food. I think I am going to try and use the 5g pots that I saw jeekinz using next time around.

When I do buy produce, I walk to our local farmers market with canvass bags in tow...
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Old 08-02-2007, 10:57 AM   #14
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I do much of what has already been mentioned in this thread. However, I was dismayed to recently learn that the compact flourescent lightbulbs contain mercury. I read that in my local paper and have checked out the ones I have. Sure enough, they contain mercury. In fact, there are now some places that outlaw the use of them for that reason. Just thought I would mention this to you and get your feedback about this. Is there a certain way to dispose of the cfi's? I know they last for ions so maybe the small amount of mercury isn't really an issue. What do you think?
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Old 08-02-2007, 01:55 PM   #15
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Green Lady... thanks for the info, I suspect that I would treat those bulbs the same way I treat the flourescent bulbs from my strip lighting in the kitchen.

Our area provides drop points for these types of bulbs so that they can be properly disposed of. Also the other option that I have is to take my burnt out bulbs to work, they are required to dispose of the bulbs properly and I just have them add mine to theirs.

I do not and would not advise anyone else to just toss them into the regular trash, they do need special care in proper disposal.

Here are a couple of helpful links:

Fluorescent Bulb Disposal

Here is the link I use for my area:

Time to Recycle
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Old 08-02-2007, 03:10 PM   #16
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I do a lot of what others have mentioned. The furnace is on a timer, so it only comes on when we're home. When the A/C is on, we close the vents to the rooms we don't use. Even then, it's set quite low. As well, we are getting rid of our old deep freezer and second fridge . They use up so much more energy than new ones. Our city (and many around us) have programs on now where they will pick them up for free. We try to buy locally produced products. The solar blanket goes on the pool, we haven't turned the heat on in it yet this summer. Our city does not allow clotheslines, but we did buy one of those twirlygigs for outside. Works like a charm.
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Old 08-02-2007, 03:57 PM   #17
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[quote=sattie
When I do buy produce, I walk to our local farmers market with canvass bags in tow...[/quote]


This is great, support your local farmer/market gardener, yeah!!

and regarding compact flourescent light bulbs, they do need to be disposed of properly. But they consume soooo much less energy than incandescent light bulbs. We have about replaced all our light bulbs in the house with compact flourescents.
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Old 08-02-2007, 10:51 PM   #18
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I have to laugh at one thing .... I was once told by a professional environmentalist that I already did something that everyone put together couldn't make up for .... chose childless. No, that wasn't the reason, but it cracked me up. I recycle most of the time, but not religiously. Showering has become a joke. I have a skin condition that precludes daily showers so ... well, no I don't stink (I do wash up). I AM terrible when it comes to laundry, I probably wash clothes more often than I need to. In this area most don't water lawns, and I do not. I do water my vegetable garden, sometimes my herbs, and always my container flowers (there aren't that many). Because my husband and I willfully chose to simplify our lives a few years ago, we rarely drive the truck more than once a week (needless to say, part of simplifying was chosing early retirement and finding a community where we could walk to most of our daily activities). One very environmentally correct friend asked me why I drove a pickup truck. I laughed and said we once needed it, and we don't just buy a new car for no good reason when the one we own is running beautifully. I only drive it once or twice a week, so the fact that it is a gas-guzzler is more than offset by the fact that I only fill the tank every month or two, and it is not going into landfill any time soon. So I guess not driving is probably the second biggest contribution to the environment.
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Old 08-03-2007, 06:15 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Lady
I do much of what has already been mentioned in this thread. However, I was dismayed to recently learn that the compact flourescent lightbulbs contain mercury. I read that in my local paper and have checked out the ones I have. Sure enough, they contain mercury. In fact, there are now some places that outlaw the use of them for that reason. Just thought I would mention this to you and get your feedback about this. Is there a certain way to dispose of the cfi's? I know they last for ions so maybe the small amount of mercury isn't really an issue. What do you think?
I had heard the same thing....but the report continued to say that the levels are only harmful if a dozen of them break at once...and you start playing with it. It's becoming more popular to conserve and the mini flourescent bulbs are selling well. The original edison lightbulb people are more than likely behind the initial report that they are dangerous.
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