Sunday, September 14, 2008

WEEK 9: Compost, Irrigation, & Rainbarrels - OH MY!

Sorry, for the belated postings! But we've been busy renovating a house! In week 9, M. dragged me out of bed at 8 AM on a Saturday morning to three local workshops: "Compost Happens" "Water-wise" and "Rainbarrels." The workshops were each one hour long and completely free for Hillsborough County residents, including materials and goodies. The composting workshop covered how to use your yard and kitchen waste to create compost for your gardening/landscaping needs; the giveaways included one compost bin and compost thermometer per household. The Water-wise workshop discussed water conservation through native landscaping along with use of micro/drip-irrigation; they gave away a free micro-irrigation starter kit. The Rainbarrel workshop, as you can imagine, covered the set-up and use of rainbarrels for harvesting water runoff from your roof for many non-potable (non-drinking) uses and they gave us a big blue rainbarrel to take home - these retail from 30 to 300 dollars elsewhere. Although we are not ready to implement any of these projects yet, we are excited to be learning about how to be more green on the outside of our house, not just the inside. After interior projects are completed, we will be blogging about our amateur attempts to set-up our compost bin, rain barrel and micro-irrigation system.

  • DECISIONS: we finally agreed on and purchased a fan/light (Harbor Breeze from Lowes) for the smallest bedroom. Also, we agreed to look into more alternative kitchen countertop vendors (other than Home Depot and Lowes!)
  • LABOR: J. began to attack the crown molding with hand-sanding and white primer (more on that later); M. continued working on the sink-side kitchen, focusing on power and plumbing issues, namely that we needed to run water to our fridge (for the filtered water/icemaker); our contractor installed our special-ordered front windows, continued house-wrapping and began putting up "lathe" (looks just like chicken-wire!) to which the stucco will adhere to...
  • MAJOR PURCHASES: a GE electric water heater from Home Depot (.92 energy efficiency - the highest efficiency rating we could afford, since a .93 would have almost doubled the price...). If price were no object, we would have a tankless water heater, but we are planning to add-on on a solar-powered component to our electric heater in the future...!

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