Friday, July 18, 2008

Economics of green home improvement

I told y'all about the recycled metal dream room: Price tag $22,800. Well, the quotes came in for a 30 year traditional asphalt shingle roof: $7,900. How can greener options compete when there is such a price differential?

Even I, who make an effort to go green, have to pick the traditional option. As much as I hate the thought of all my current shingles going to the landfill, I feel I have no choice. I need a new roof and simply can't afford the green one.

Oh well, that will mean less time to save up for those solar panels!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wal-Mart and plastic bags

I (gasp) went to Wal-Mart last night. Not my preferred shopping venue, but when I need things like shampoo and bubble bath, I stock up there because it's soooo much cheaper than anywhere else. Hey, if you are going to upgrade a 1957 ranch to energy super-star status, you need to save money to do it.
Anyway, I have reusable shopping bags-- even a couple of the Wal-Mart kind.The problem is they are impossible to use at WalMart. The way the bagging center is set up, the cashier has to bag your stuff, there isn't even a place for you to bag if you want to. And, there is no way to even set up your bags so the cashier can use them. It really bothers me, because I know every time I shop there, I am going to end up with a dozen plastic bags, many with only one item in them. I did ameliorate the too little stuff in one bag problem by transferring items from one bag into another, loading them up as much as possible before the cashier turned the bag turnstyle again.

On other fronts, the composting is going well. I still have yet to get any compost out of the thingee, but mostly because we are always throwing more in. I know it's working because the composter isn't even half full and we have thrown sooo much in there. If it weren't decaying, I'd say we'd filled it 4 times over all ready in volume of items. It feels nice to know that isn't going into the local landfill, and I can't wait to add some compost to my garden.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

"Green" roof too expensive

Well, turns out the green option, the recycled metal roof, is just too expensive, about $7,000 over our budget. It cost $22,800 to do our 1400 sq foot house! At first I was heartbroken, but I guess I have to choose my battles. Get a normal roof, then save up for solar panels and spend some more money on energy efficiency projects. When you are on a budget, you really can't win them all.