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going green? we've already gone

A few days ago the Bedford Patch fake newspaper website thingy published a wonderful piece called 20 Ways to Go Green in 2013, all chock full of great Bedford-specific tips on how to be more environmentally sound. My default writing register is sarcasm, so I need to work extra hard to let you know that I really think this was a good article, and that I'm excited that this sort of conscious-raising has gone mainstream. Sure, I would have been happier had few of the tips involved buying different things than you usually buy, but at least the links in the article are to local stores. The only problem is, we're already doing nearly 75% of the recommended activities, and I still want information on how to improve myself! Isn't there like a challenge level?! Oh wait, there is: it's called blogs, where even I can find people crazier than myself on nearly any subject.

One thing I want to publicly disagree with in the article, though, is number 12:

Got an older house? Install double-pane windows and you’ll see immediate savings on your heating bill.

Yes, you'll see immediate savings; savings of up to several dollars a month, which means it'll only take you 23 years to make those windows pay for themselves! And in the meantime you'll have replaced your beautiful old wood-mullioned windows with, unless you paid extra crazy money, uglier modern replicas. Even worse, in our house the 102-year-old windows (fitted with probably 40-year-old storms) are actually a bit warmer than the replacement windows the previous owner put in on one side of the house in the early 90s sometime, so who knows what you're going to end up with. When we had a home heating consultant in last year (number 19 on the list) he told us that windows are actually a pretty minor component in the heat loss from your house, so I don't know why that issue always gets so much press. Lobbying from the window-industrial complex, no doubt.

But besides that it's a grand list. Check it out, and, if you're not already super-cool environmentalists like us, try out a few of the things that the author suggests! And if you do manage number 1—shopping at Chip-In Farm—we hope you stop by afterwards for a visit, to talk all about gardening and cycling and, you know, low-flow showerheads. Good times!


I love how, on the internet, you're never the craziest person on the spectrum. Have you guys considered humanure composting? I recently read the humanure handbook (which is free in pdf form) and was super impressed.

We've considered it, in the sense of talking about it... especially when our toilet was broken a couple weeks ago. I can definitely see the appeal. But I think I'd better figure out regular composting first.

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