Sunday, July 14, 2013

Remodeling, decorating, and more ∨

Ideas for your living spaces, lights and landscape design.
Light up your living spaces with recessed light fixtures, a designer chandelier lighting or even a row of pendant lamps.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Award-Winning Ecoman and the Skeptic Launched Fifth Season Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 3 p.m. on The Green Talk Network

Rob Fryer, Rob Fleming, and Chris Pastore

Ecoman and the Skeptic, the award-winning green radio show designed to educate, inform and entertain listeners on a wide range of topics relating to sustainability, kicked off its fifth season on Wednesday, Sept. 21, from 3 to 4 p.m.

The first green radio program to broadcast live from a college or university, sustainability experts Rob Fleming and Dr. Chris Pastore host the innovative radio show in the studio at Philadelphia University.

Each show features prominent guests and regular features such as Green News and the popular GreenWash quiz with Rob Fryer, assistant professor of architecture. Previous guests have included actor and environmentalist Ed Begley Jr., Leonard Bonnaci, director of event operations for the Philadelphia Eagles, and Jim Kohm from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, who cautioned about false green advertising claims.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Stakes In The Ground

More like sticks. We planted sticks. That's what they look like, anyway.                                                              They're actually Heritage Red raspberry sticks. I mean plants. Someday we'll have lots of juicy red raspberries growing along the driveway. And maybe someone will pick them. I don't even like raspberries, but the Tween does. It'll be her job to pick them. 

Besides just plain eating them, there are other uses for raspberries and the plant's leaves. When I was pregnant my midwife suggested raspberry leaf tea. It's used as an herb in female reproductive health. I've also heard it can  be used to for mouthwash (go figure) and as a fertility aid, but we won't be needing it for that.

If these six plants thrive, I'll have to find ways to use them. The Tween can only eat so many.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Out With The Blue, In With The New

Out With The Blue

We planned on replacing the blue tile at some point. With the kids at sleep away camp, the point is now.

James Tile Guy found us beautiful Travertine tiles for a real bargain. He didn't think the powder blue tile was original. In a mid-century house with another bathroom down the hall tiled with Pretty Pretty Pink, I had to disagree.

Thinking—rather, hoping—there was some sort of subfloor between the concrete wet bed, Rob went into demo mode. Guess what? No subfloor. Just concrete. 1950s concrete. Old stinky, 60-year-old concrete. ORIGINAL TILE FLOOR. Really, REALLY hard to take up. About one hour, three cuts and two holes in the concrete later, it was decided to leave the demo to a professional.

So now, the sink is in the bedroom, the toilet is in the dressing room (now that I think about it, this actually sounds like an incredibly convenient set up). Oh, and we may be looking at a more complicated job than we planned.

In With The New

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Plants Are In

Our friend and permaculture specialist Jon has been amazing. He and Rob removed and replanted a few bushes in order to put the salad and herb garden next to the house. I had a virus of some kind that day (really, I did) so I wasn't much help.

A few weeks later they built the first of three raised beds. We now have actual food growing in the yard! This self-sufficiency thing just might happen! Jon created a master plan that includes not only the three beds but also fruit trees (coming soon), berries and chickens.

Yup, I said chickens. We're planning to raise a few of them to provide eggs and fertilizer for the crops. That's what chickens do. I don't think we'll use them for food——but you never know. For now we'll be watching the new crops to see what they'll yield.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

$11 Electric Bill for April

We just got all our bills for April and the results are fantastic - sorry for being a bit boastful but this is really cool:

Electricity savings 93% versus April last year - that corresponds to an $11.40 electric bill. The savings came as a combination of behavior change and our 2.8 KW solar array. Last year our KWH was 600. this year our KWH usage was 303kwh which means we cut our electric bill in half via changed behaviors. we also generated 263KWH of power form our array leaving 40kwh on our bill which cost $11.40. Our PV array was 13,364 dollars and we received 30% rebate from the federal government and 2.25/watt from the state, so we received roughly 9,800 dollars in rebates!

Heating also improved, partly due to warmer weather...and that might explain a small portion of the reduced electric since we have forced air system. we reduced our heating by over 50% using the pellet stove and careful use of the thermostat.

our dollar savings for 2010 versus last year so far are:
Electricity: $267
Gas: $391

Stay tuned for more details

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Preliminary March Results

Last year our family of four used 600KWH to power our house during the month of march. This March we used 450KWH. That's a savings of 25%! Mainly we just kept turning things off. We did install many CFl bulbs and we started using power strips in key areas of the house such as the family room where we have lots of electronics that that draw power even when not in use.

Now for the best part.
We collected 150KWH from our new solar array. That is a 33% offset on our bill. Overall, we are using 50% less electricity compared with last year at this time. Now i just need to make some cool charts so we can visually track our savings.

Lastly, we saw a 22%reduction in our gas usage - mainly due to thermostat adjustments and our pellet stove.

Stay tuned for more fun statistics...