Archive for the 'Environmental Green' Category
We live in a very nicely wooded wooded neighborhood in Reston, VA. We love the trees, shade, and beautiful fall colors except for one small issue…the falling of those leaves.
The first year, Rylan and I raked the leaves and put them into bags. I think we did 100 bags! The process was time consuming to say the least. I think we (mostly me) spent 30 hours doing it.
I got a bit smarter the next year and purchased an electric leaf blower. This was a great step up. I could blow the leaves into small piles which saved some time (and energy) raking. And I could get a lot of the leaves from in between the foliage in the garden beds too. But I still had to bag them. At the time, I had a back yard that did not have a lot of grass and I would just blow them up onto the dirt areas and that solved half the problem. But I still had to bag the front yard.
A few years later I got a little smarter yet and started the “tarp” method. I would blow the leaves onto a huge tarp and drag them onto the driveway where I would let it rain on them and I would drive on them and much them down a bit. Then I would bag them using a shovel to just scoop them up. Much faster. And the wet leaves packed the bags much fuller. Less bags, less work. Still was a bit hard getting the bags to the curb as they were heavy and sometimes burst.
I have also tried lawn mowing the leaves into mulch. That does not work well for large volumes but works fine for the last bit of clean-up after you have done the raking. I have also tried using the bag on the mower, but it just fills way to quickly. And you still have to dump the bag somewhere.
This year I started thinking a little outside of the box.2 comments
(see down below for Al’s recommendations)
1. Rylan started buying compact florescent bulbs. We use them as the old tungsten bulbs burn out. They are really nice. The only downsides are that they take 20 seconds to “warm up” to their full brightness and I don’t think you can use them on dimmers.
And these downsides are not terrible. The warm up phase is nice when waking up the kids in the morning….its not immediately bright when you switch on the recessed lighting in their room. And the dimmer thing is no big deal. We just keep tungstens in the lights that we dim. They tend to be lights we use less frequently anyway.
2. We don’t have any outdoor lights to speak of.
3. I have a heat pump and everything I understand says that a programmable thermostat is not recommended for a heat pump system.
4. I changed my furnace (blower) air filter from one of those electrostatic ones to just a huge filter (20 x 24 x 4″). Not only does it last for a whole year! but it also is more efficient from an air flow perspective. If you have one of those electrostatic air filters, you might look into it.
5. I guess I should get a blanket for my hot water heater. Home Depot, here we come :-)No comments