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Old 04-29-2008, 02:16 PM
 
4 posts, read 11,410 times
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SmokyMtnGal asked "what are you doing to go green?"

One thing I am in the process of doing which can make a large difference in one's eco-footprint is in the flooring they buy. That is, I am looking into buying bamboo flooring for the spare room in my house. It is a wreck right now and needs to be redone. So I figured that I would make all of the changes as sustainable as possible.

There are two key factors in judging the environmental sustainability of a flooring product, or for any product for that matter: manufacturing & shipping. It is obviously better to get bamboo from a local source if you can, but since I do not live in Southeast Asia, this is not really an option for me. Now, does this negate the fact that bamboo is the most rapidly replenishable plant on Earth and is therefore highly sustainable? Not necessarily.

In many cases, I have found through several weeks of research that it is often better to go with distant bamboo than with local wood, vinyl, and the like. This is because of the second factor I mentioned: manufacturing. The energy wasted in the accumulation and transformation of the latter materials into flooring as well as the constituents wasted and left to rot after this process is immense - and more often than not – adds significantly more CO2 to the atmosphere than the typical trip bamboo travels to America.

One can find an interesting parallel with this in eating. Sometimes eating locally can be worse than eating from far away, and most definitely than eating vegetarian – it all depends on the carbon footprint of the food.

Here are some good links and articles on bamboo flooring and other green flooring (yes some are to businesses but they have good information – they are not intended as spam)

Bamboo Floor Coverings By Hardwoodbrokers.com

Green Flooring | Environmentally Friendly Flooring from FloorMall.com (http://www.floormall.com/green_flooring/ - broken link)
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Old 04-30-2008, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Washington, D.C.
324 posts, read 694,940 times
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I like how it is becoming much easier to be green these days. It seems like almost every company is offering more environmentally friendly alternatives. Even 1-800-Flowers has a eco-friendly line now. I am thinking about sending my mom Fair Trade roses for Mother's day. I think every little bit helps. Changes that I have made are using re-usable grocery bags, changing the light bulbs, re-usable water bottles, I walk almost every where now. I'm sure there are more, but that is what comes to mind right now.
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Old 04-30-2008, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,764 posts, read 16,837,299 times
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Shopaholic wrote: I walk almost every where now.

Walking instead of taking a car, is one of those actions that feeds two birds with one meal. You are not only lightening your carbon footprint, but you are raising your fitness level at the same time.
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Old 05-26-2008, 01:05 PM
 
5,006 posts, read 13,829,615 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huckleberry3911948 View Post
more bicycle--- however due to bad driving, its risky for transport.
i dont know any regulars that have not been hit at least once.
I remember buying a bike when I lived in Berkeley. I rode it around and kept seeing bicylce accidents. I put my bike up. Now that I am old with osteoporosis I wouldn't think of getting one unless it were a 3 wheeler, and I am not ready to look stupid out there.

What is a heat exchanger on the wood stove?

I get magazines at the library for 10 cents, and then I read and give them to doctor's offices. I take my grocery bags and egg cartons to the health food store to be reused. I want to start composting. I should be already. I use my newspapers to start wood fires in my new woodstove, and I also use them for under plants to cut down weeds. I got curly light bulbs this year but worry about the mercury in them. I don't do enough.

If I were smart I would walk the mile and a half to the library and health food store and take my dog with me. But going to the large store is way too far away. I just try to wait until I need more stuff so I won't be going all the time.

I use reusable water bottles too. I have a stainless steel one that I use instead of reusing those toxic plastic bottles.

Quote:
Eat low on the food chain...no meat, 20+ years

Curb-shop...that's right, I pick up furniture, tools, plant containers...it's amazing what people throw out!

Recycle dogs...who needs brand new dogs when there are perfectly good ones for free wandering the streets?!
I seldom eat meat too. I go to used stores. I wish we had curb shopping here that they do in Hollywood and San Francisco. Still yard sales are great. I like that about recyled dogs. My last dog was a recycled dog. He has a nice home.

I use only cold water in washing machine and then half of the amount of soap they say to use. My clothes are still clean.

I try to not turn on the air conditioner until late evening when it is too hot. hopefully when the porch is done we will sit out there more often. I bought ceiling and standing fans for the house. We bought a wood stove, if I had not said that.

Last edited by Mattie Jo; 05-26-2008 at 01:21 PM..
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Old 05-26-2008, 01:31 PM
 
5,006 posts, read 13,829,615 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salo View Post
From what NOT mentioned yet we do the the following:
1. After watching "Earthlings" became vegans (sold all the clothing, shoes, accessories made from leather on eBay) and raw fooders.
2. Try to make our own beauty products (s.a. creams, balms), household products - using baking soda, borax, vinegar, mustard powder for cleaning. Also brush teeth with home made herb powder (no caries for 2 years!)
3. Learned how to make own recycled paper from old bank statements and other used up papers.
4. Before using a paper towel - cut on two half, and wash, dry, use again, and after few usages until it completely tear up.
5. Plan to build self-sustainable home from cob.
6. Put into home flowerpots each seed from the eaten fruit-veggy and plant a new creature (our home live jungle already).
7. Try to educate other at this matter.

Cheers to all environmentally conscious folks here!
How do you make own recycled paper. Great idea. I have read to turn envelopes inside out and reuse them using glue.

I make my own homemade powders and lip balms and soap. Maybe we can start a thread for making these things.
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Old 05-26-2008, 05:05 PM
 
15,320 posts, read 27,464,801 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bro.Hall View Post
Hello,
I want to donate two seven year old trees. One is a red leaf and the other is a delicate green pattern. Both are starting to bud. Is there any one from Chicago who wants them? Please contact Bro.Hall at ihall@nmh.org
You might want to advertise these in the Free section on Craigslist for Chicago. Nice of you to offer them.
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Old 05-28-2008, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Chuckey, TN
24 posts, read 133,179 times
Reputation: 41
Default Making a Recycled paper

Quote:
Originally Posted by jessaka View Post
How do you make own recycled paper. Great idea. I have read to turn envelopes inside out and reuse them using glue.

I make my own homemade powders and lip balms and soap. Maybe we can start a thread for making these things.
Hi Jessaka!
You can make a paper from any garbage paper you have at home. Put desirable amount in a blender and pour some water and blend like your favorite smoothie! Then, you will need some flat bottomed screen, sieve to strain little amount of mix (it depends on how big your screen). Then, after water well stained cover and lightly press the top with wax paper and turn around the sieve and try the future paper to stick to wax paper and take away the sieve. Now you can press it slightly with paper towel to take access of water. That's it. let the paper air dry (it takes some times long, but I don't like to wait and dry with my hair fan.) I like to add to a mixture some herbs, rose petals, natural colors, like beet, turmeric, or nettle powders to enhance it with some colors and each time it looks very unique and special. I use it mainly for making greeting cards, and people love it!
Also, you can search and easily find a lot of videos of making paper on a youtube, it will give you more realistic picture of it.

Regarding starting a thread here I think there are a lot of resources and different sites already created specifically for this purpose and this forum doesn't have such a need. It just my opinion.
P.S. Jessaka: Could you please, share your secret of making a powder? Please, use a personal message, because I think this topic has different purpose and not all people will like the idea of discussing these themes here. Thank you very much!
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Old 05-29-2008, 05:22 AM
 
5,006 posts, read 13,829,615 times
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i sent you the recipe. thanks for telling me about making paper.
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Old 05-29-2008, 10:14 PM
 
Location: Katy-zuela
4,829 posts, read 8,960,993 times
Reputation: 2347
I buy items built in metric so I don't have to throw them out when standard tools are not made anymore. Also in the store, I buy the metricated size since they tend to contain a larger amount than the colonial size.

It would be nice to have A4 paper as cheap as Letter-size paper since there are no scrap margins that were leftover when the paper was cut.
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Old 05-29-2008, 10:55 PM
 
Location: Wilkes-Barre, PA
1,742 posts, read 3,208,146 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poconoproud View Post
I have stopped driving the kids to the bus stop. Now we walk, and I am pretty sure my butt is getting smaller!

We are also considering a tankless water heater to replace our big 80lb heater.
I want to get a tankless next time as well. Not only efficient but compact and will never leave gallons of water on my floor when the tank gives out.
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