Archive for September, 2010

Living Frugally – Lowering Costs

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Creative Ways to Lower the Cost of Managing Your Home

Energy efficiency

According to the Department of Labor, the average American spends 34.1% of its household income on housing. This includes shelter, utilities, household operations, housekeeping supplies and household furnishings and equipment.

Those looking for a new home have a few more options than those of us who are not. They can look for homes with less square footage, which requires less to maintain and operate, not to mention less to purchase. Having less square footage to fill can also help some homeowners manage the amount of “stuff” they bring into their home; less closet and cabinet space means less room to store things; making your home feel full. Larger homes have the illusion of being empty when storage areas are not brimming to over flowing, which entices people to shop just to fill the space.

Other housing options include building you own home (if you have the land) to your specifications. This allows you to incorporate many non-traditional building methods like log cabins, straw bale, adobe or cob construction. Non standard upgrades can also save you tons of money in the long run. Extra insulation will help with heating and cooling of the home, while solar, installed at construction means renewable electricity. It may even make you some money if you’re in an area where the power company pays you for electricity going into the grid. Gray water and rain water collection systems can also be installed during construction allowing you to easily pipe it to landscaped areas.

Building your own home enables you to use a variety of recycled materials. Salvaged doors, windows, sinks, faucets and cabinets can all reduce the cost of building as well as reducing the amount of useable materials going into landfills.

Heating and Cooling Your Home
The temperature of your home can vary widely depending on where you live. People living in the southern states have more temperate winters than our northern neighbors, which means we use our furnaces less, but we can also experience triple digit temps in the warmer months which means we use our air conditioners more. So what are some ways to save on both heating and cooling our homes?

Make your house more energy efficient.

First off – check with your utility company to see if they perform “FREE” energy evaluations. This will help you understand where your home is losing energy.

Heating your home with a more efficient furnace will save you money in the long run. But, the initial outlay can be prohibitive, as in my case. My furnace is original to the house, and although it works fine I know it is not as efficient as the newer models. The $3,500 replacement cost though is not in my budget right now so I’ve had to use other energy saving measures to help lower my heating costs.

Simple strategies that work well and save big:
Fortunately, our southern California winters are relatively short compared to other areas of the country. I am able to leave my furnace off until Thanksgiving and turn it back on in March, which I now do out of habit. Read the rest of the story »

The Second Green Revolution

Thursday, September 2, 2010

How Monsanto has systematically and relentlessly laid the framework to dictate the world’s farming practices.

One companies attempt to control the food supply through global farmerless farming, thereby controlling us.

I’m not fond of mass emails and usually just delete them. But, this one caught my attention.

A friend in Australia watched this documentary last Friday night. On Sunday he asked the hippie farmer who runs their local market if he had seen the film or knew anything about it. What he learned was even more shocking than the film itself.

The farmer had found injected genes from manipulated soy-beans in his avocados. That is scary! The genes are crossing species! He is now taking his laboratory test results to the department of the prime minister.

Please watch the film and forward the link to everybody you know. This topic needs public awareness and we all know the mainstream media will not cover it.