Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A great link to share with you

I was surfing, looking for some more info, and I came across this link. It's produced for the Greater Vancouver Region, but there is great information in there for everyone, no matter where you live. You can search your own home towns and area to see if you have places, like those listed for my area, that will help you to reduce/reuse/recycle in your own neck of the woods. I hope you enjoy this:

Happy New Year to you all!!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Getting ready for 2009!

2009 is the year that we will begin making improvements on our new home. I'm sure there are lots of things we can do to be more energy efficient, and so I'm starting with a home energy audit. I just booked it - so on January 7th we'll get the audit done and we'll get the results that same day. That will set the blueprint for the things we'll be doing around here. It's a great start!

I'm also going to have someone come in and service the furnace - something I'm booking for after the audit as I want the audit to reflect the furnace in its current condition. This way we'll see the improvement in 18months based on how the house was when we bought it. The trick is to figure out who to call and what exactly to ask them about what they do. I have no clue about furnaces, so I'm looking through the ads and trying to figure out which one to choose.

I'm quite excited about the energy audit, though. With all the drafts in this place, it will be a great thing to have done to help direct us in making our home more comfortable as well as more efficient. Making the appointment is the first step in working our way to a greener home.

Monday, December 22, 2008

A New Baby - A New Start

The baby is here! Yep, we are now the proud parents of two boys. Now we have lots and lots to do around here. Once I finally get over the surgery (this baby was a c-section) I have great plans to get moving on some home improvements to save energy around here. I was horrified by our gas and electric bill last month, and know it’s much more this month with the cold and snow we’ve had. Keeping it warm for the baby is a bit of a chore.

I've fallen off the wagon a bit lately. Being so tired at the end of my pregnancy made me a bit of a slacker. I kept up with the recycling, but I could have done so much more. I'm going to keep going this next year - working towards my goals of being lighter on the earth.

Our house is a leaky thing – lots of drafts – so we will be looking at ways to get this under control. We’ve already started by ordering blinds for all of our windows – this will give us another layer to trap the air in. And we will put film on the windows where we can to do the same thing. We also bought a space heater for our son’s room so that we can keep him warm without having the heat cranked up high. Another step will be to get some caulking and use that around some of the windows on the inside. We’ll check out the outside, too, but it’s snowy here right now and a bit awkward to do that. A little weather stripping under one of the doors is in order, too. And lastly, I discovered a couple of places to use some of that expanding foam stuff to block out drafts coming into the house.

I am going to get an energy audit done on the house in the new year. It’s supposed to be around $150 to do this through the LivesSmartBC program and it sounds like a great idea. Someone comes and tells you the best ways to improve the energy rating on your home and then you do the fixes over the next 18months (what you choose to do, anyway) and then you can pay them to come back and re-audit. I understand the first audit will be refunded in the rebates they help you to claim, if you go ahead and do some of the things they suggest. They also help you to apply for all of the government rebates you get for doing things like replacing furnaces, hot water heaters, insulation etc. We have a furnace that’s over 30 years old and a hot water heater that isn’t new, so it’s worth having them come as I think these may end up biting the bullet in the next year, anyway.

I am also having someone come to service the furnace asap. If we are going to use it, we might as well have it working as best it can.

Somehow we’ll get all this done, even though we are spending all our time loving our new little baby and our little boy. It’s time to make this a great place for them – without all the cold spots!