Tag Archives: green home

Teaching Kids About LED Power with @GELighting

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This post about super bright LEDs  has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias and its advertiser.

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For the past several months, I’ve made it my mission to reduce our energy costs. I’ve been targeting everything in our home that uses electricity, and we even had a home energy audit to show us exactly where our opportunities are. It was really eye-opening, and best of all, it piqued my son’s interest and now he’s always asking questions about how we can use less electricity. An unexpected, but welcome, side effect! We’re starting with simple lessons, like the life cycle cost analysis of different light bulbs, to show how we can save both energy and money each month.

But wait, let me back up a minute. About the light bulbs…

Recent lighting legislation has stated that between 2012 and 2014, all standard 40- and 100-watt incandescent light bulbs must use 30% less energy to meet minimum efficient standards. It simply means that manufacturers will have to stop producing those bulbs, and that we have to find new alternatives. CFLs are a common choice because they last up to 7 years and use 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs. But now, LED bulbs offer the same energy efficiency with a lifespan of up to 22 years!* #LEDSavings

LED benefits:

  • Directs light more efficiently
  • Compact size
  • Resists breakage
  • Long lifespan
  • Turns on instantly
  • No infrared or UV emissions
  • 1 LED Bulb lasts as long as 15 traditional incandescent bulbs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, as we finish our bathroom remodel, we’re using GE energy smart® LED bulbs in our new lighting fixture. And then, as time goes on, we’ll replace the rest of our bulbs with LEDs, too. And yes, believe it or not, when we went to Walmart to look for our new bulbs, my son was actually excited to pick them out. I love that!

Find GE Smart Energy LED bulbs at Walmart! #LEDSavings

The huge array of light bulbs they had gave me a good opportunity to explain which kind we were looking for, what the difference is, and all the places we could put them in our home.

Should you be switching to LED light bulbs? #LEDSavings #cbias

I was a little concerned about how they’d look since they will be visible, but I’m happy to see that they are simple and understated without being intrusive. I don’t want my light bulbs to be the first thing people see in my new bathroom!

I love the look of our new GE Energy Smart LED bulbs. The #LEDSavings is great, too! #cbias

I’m also really excited to see that these bulbs are dimmable, too, because we plan to put them in the kitchen and dining area, and I have always wanted dimmer switches. And with only 7 watts of energy per bulb and an estimated yearly energy cost of only $.84, we can afford to install them!

Get the Kids Involved:

So, how DO you get kids interested in energy? Make it fun!

Here is a handy little quiz that you can use to spark the conversation…

Teach kids about saving energy! Fun FREE kids activity via abcsangardenpeas.com #LEDSavings #cbias

1. Who invented the first practical and safe electric lightbulb for home use? Thomas Edison

Fun fact: Edison held a total of 1,093 US patents!**

2. How many lightbulbs do you have in your home? Take a guess, then walk around your home and count. How close was your guess?

Take it one step further and guess the usage on this month’s energy bill. See how close you can guess!

3. If a single 100-watt bulb were to burn for a year, how many pounds of coal would it take to generate the electricity needed to run a single 100-watt bulb for a year? Over 1000 pounds of coal!***

4. Choose one light bulb in your home and figure out the life cycle cost analysis of a conventional bulb vs. an LED bulb. (It’s easy to explain using the GE online energy consumption calculator.)

How much could you be saving? What could you buy with that much money?

5. What does the the Energy Star® logo mean? ENERGY STAR®-qualified bulbs are the same or better than standard bulbs, only they use less energy. When you choose a GE Lighting product that has earned the ENERGY STAR® label, you can trust that it meets strict energy-efficiency guidelines set by the EPA and the Department of Energy.

Other items can be Energy-Star®-qualified too – look through your house and see how many you can find! Learn more here. 

THEN, Take the EnergyStar® Pledge and make a plan to lower your energy use over the next year!

To stay in-the-know about energy savings, connect with GE online:

• Facebook  • Twitter • Instagram •

Ready to get started with GE Energy Smart LED bulbs? The line offers bulbs for every part of your home, from table lamps and ceiling fans to floodlights and track/recessed lighting. You can even find decorative candelabra bulbs!

Click on the image below for a $1 coupon! (Live through 5/1/14.)

Save $1 on GE LED light bulbs.

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*Based on usage of 3 hours per day.
** Source: http://www.thomasedison.org/index.php/education/edison-patents/
***Source: https://www.youtube.com/embed/BaxqkY4b8AY?rel=0

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A Greener Spring Clean: Wash Windows with Cloth Diapers!

Cloth diapers are even more affordable when you keep finding uses for them long after potty training is over!

Keep using your cloth diapers long after potty learning is done. Spring clean those windows with an insert, a mop, and 2 rubber bands!

 

Do you have a favorite green clean tip to share? What do you do with old cloth diapers?

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{Guest Post} Greening Your Home

*Consideration was received for the review and publication of this article.

We’re in the middle of a heatwave, but the veggies won’t wait! I’m spending my day in the garden, as well as the garage, getting ready for Friday’s yard sale! Today’s post comes your way courtesy of guest blogger, Sara. She’s got some great ideas on how to make your home a little greener. The greener, the better, right?

How to Green Up Your Home

There is a lot of talk about using organic ingredients and eating healthfully whenever possible. You’ve learned how to clean your air with plants. But what about the rest of your home? What are some good ways to “green up” your home? Continue reading

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Before Baby To-Do List: The Impossible Bedroom Makeover

Warning: You are about to seriously question my judgement.

A little over a year ago, our family moved into our new house. We made a very conscious decision to think big with the land and small with the house, with our main objective being to grow a lot on our land while keeping our footprint and overall environmental impact small.

Great in theory. In practice? Well…we have a dilemma.

THIS is our son’s room. We really haven’t done anything with it since we moved in.

Please excuse the diaper laundry (they’re clean, I promise.)

This is NOT a nice room. The carpet is ugly, the walls are dull, and there is not a single full-size wall to put furniture against. One wall has stairs, one wall has a radiator, yet another is a partial with a weird-shaped closet. And overall, it’s very small.

Here’s the best part: In 10 weeks, we will be moving baby girl in there, too.

How on EARTH am I going to do it? WHY did we ever think this tiny house was a good idea?! 

Honestly, I do have faith that it can be done, but I know I’m going to need to get creative. Storage is key, and we’re going to have to think “vertical” to make use of all the space. Plus, I know that a coat of fresh paint can make all the difference. Just look at what it did for our awful, 1985-dusty-rose and tacky gold turned cool mustard yellow office!

Hard to believe it’s even the same room!

Even though I have to remind myself of it sometimes, I still believe in our initial commitment to a smaller house. We do have an attic that we plan to turn into 2 bedrooms, but it’s not going to happen anytime soon…and a home decor genius, I’m not.

That’s why I need you! I know that lots of you out there are just full of creative ideas (I’ve seen them, and you amaze me every day!) so I’m hoping maybe you’ll take a look at our pics and send a few of them my way.

What can we do? I need help…and fast! Project Kids’ Room starts the moment the holidays are over!

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A Birthday Wish, and Looking Ahead Together…

First order of business for the day: 

A Big Fat HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my husbo! 

Yup, it’s my man’s big day! Unfortunately, we’ve had some expenses recently (perhaps you heard me mention on FB or Twitter that my ceiling began to cave in during our recent monsoon?), and we’re looking to buy a new house in the coming year, so finances are a bit strained at the moment. Big ‘spensive gifts are not in the cards this year, but a few hours for him to play in the woods on his own, a bottle of wine and all the sushi we can eat should make for a pretty happy day! (In recent years, birthdays for us really have become more about the events of the day and less about gifts, really.) 

It’s hard to wrap my brain around the idea that I met my husband 20 years ago. He was my first real boyfriend, my first real love. He knew me when I permed my hair and wore blue eyeshadow! 8O When he dumped me (Yes, HE dumped ME. <<gasp!>> Can you imagine? ;) ) I thought my world would end. Oh, the drama and devastation my teenage self went through! I now know that it was the best thing that ever could have happened, because we both had the chance to learn and grow into ourselves, but I sure didn’t know that at the time. And I never would have believed that we would reunite so many years later…

During the 20 years that we were apart, we didn’t speak, didn’t even cross paths through friends. So imagine how floored I was to find out, once we did meet again, that we had grown to be so similar. We share so many priorities, and fundamental ideals. Sure, we are different in many ways, but he understands who I am, and puts up with my whirlwind self, and he just “gets” me like no one else ever has. He’s smart, and funny, and perceptive, and the best father. Sure, he may not be the best housekeeper, and he watches horrible television sometimes, but I really couldn’t ask for more. 

As we look ahead, the goals we’ve set forth seem a little daunting. I’m a good one for setting goals so high that they wig me out and overwhelm me, but that’s why my husband is so important in my life: he’s the calming force, the great balancer. He’s laid back and calm, and I am glad to see a little of that chill factor developing in my son. 

As I mentioned, one of our biggest goals (besides building our family) is moving into a new house. Our house now is inefficient, in need of lots of repair, and very small. It was also his when we met. Buying a new home together feels like a great opportunity for a fresh new start in a home that will house our children as they grow. It also feels like a huge chance to incorporate our goals of being healthier and more eco-friendly in our everyday living, and teach our kid(s?) as we go.

I was leafing through a copy of Natural Home magazine today, and came upon an article about people living in tiny little houses. It seems that our goal isn’t so unique…it’s actually quite trendy. People are going to extremes, paring down to houses of 1000 sq feet or less. It’s an interesting concept to me, and I’ve seen it in several publications lately. Many are getting hip to the concept of simple and efficient living, and it seems like the right way to go (maybe not quite so small, but we’re headed in that general direction.)

We love the thought that moving forward doesn’t have to mean “bigger” and “more.” Having less and doing without things can be a choice, not an indication that you haven’t succeeded. And it’s the kind of future we want, but the problem is that it seems so beyond us because it’s all so far away…on TV or in a documentary about other people. It’s always somewhere other than here.  Where do you start in looking for a ‘greener’ house? Do you buy an older one and make all the renovations needed to upgrade it? Do you build it that way? Where do you find a green builder? With all the new green technology developing at such a rapid rate, is it even possible to keep up, or is a new home behind the times before it’s even finished? We sure don’t want to get all finished only to find that there was a better way.

Solar, wind, geo-thermal, water collection systems, non-toxic, sustainable materials…how do you know what, why, how and where to get started? And how EXPENSIVE is all this? Is this stuff just for the elite who can afford it, or can the average folks, like us, join the green party, too?

But is all this new “Green Technology” even this answer? Sometimes I feel like those of us who feel the need to be more eco-aware are just being duped into thinking we need to add things to make our houses greener, when we really need to be taking things away. Am I being greenwashed by all the shows on Planet Green and the piles of green living magazines my husband buys? Magazine articles and TV shows on Green Home Makeovers might be fun to watch, but with all this talk of “simple living” shouldn’t it be easier, not more confusing, to structure your home to fit your ideals? 

I don’t really know the answer, but I’m glad I have someone to help me figure it all out, and do it all with me. 

Happy birthday, love!

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