Thursday, March 12, 2009

Going Green - 2009

If it is Thursday it’s Going Green

Change Your Clock & Change A Bulb!

As we experienced Daylight Saving Time a few days ago this is a good time to change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detector(s). This is suggested by the National Fire Protection Association and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Changing the batteries twice a year will make sure that the detector(s) will be working in case there is a fire.

Some inexpensive detectors also need to be replaced completely about every five years or so. Sooner or later, all batteries, even rechargeable, are no longer usable. When it's time to dispose of them, you will want to keep them out of the landfill, where they may leach acids and heavy metal pollutants into the soil and groundwater. Look for centers that recycle them instead, and buy only types that you know your center handles.

While you've got the ladder out to check your detectors, why not change a bulb?

Switching to energy efficient bulbs in your ceiling fixtures could save you $30 a year per bulb on your electricity bill.

Energy efficient lighting is particularly important in the fall when Daylight Saving Time ends and the days are shorter.

The latest generation of energy-saving lighting includes compact fluorescent bulbs that fit in standard light sockets and provide pleasant, uniform light.

Low-energy halogen or LED lighting is also becoming widely available. 
Visit or for information on lighting rebates and discounts.

Of course you have a smoke detector in the attic – while you are up there take a look around and check on any areas that may be letting in cold air.

Insulating your attic is probably the most important step you can take to reduce home energy use. Research the project before you start. Learn what’s best for your house and the local climate, considering such issues as type and thickness of insulation, proper moisture barrier, and ventilation methods.

Do your part: Visit the DOE website,, for useful information to get started. Even a house built as recently as five years ago is likely to be one of 46 million under-insulated American homes.

Be on the look out for toxins - a range of natural insulations can help you tighten up your house without the use of synthetics, which may contain toxins such as dioxin. Cellulose fiber, wood fiberboard, loose-fill hemp, sheep’s wool felt, or vermiculite can provide good wall insulation. Many include fire-retardant and insect-repellent treatments and are reusable or biodegradable at the end of a building’s life.

By the way, have you caught up on that hour of missed sleep yet? I am still having difficulty adjusting.   :-)

Remember the 4 R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repair

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