28 Aug 2015

A hole in one

I've got a hole in one.  In my rubber glove, that is!  It's not time to throw it out just yet.  There's still some life left in that rubber glove with a hole.

Yard work
I use rubber gloves when I do the dishes.  Otherwise I end up with a rash on my hands.  When I get a hole in one, I put it on the shelf in the garage where I keep my yard gloves.  Then I have them handy for when I have some dirty work to do.  As long as there is no water or liquid involved, the glove with the hole can still be used.  For those of you that like to use disposable latex gloves, this is an alternative that doesn't cost you any money and you are not generating more trash.  I found this handy last fall when I was raking leaves, especially when the leaves were wet.

Pet hair 
For those of you with pets, getting the hair or fur off your clothes can be a challenge.  Bentley, our puggle, sheds a lot.  We use a rubber glove with a hole in it to clean off the pet hair on our clothes.  You can put the glove on your hand or fold it in half, then wipe off the hair off.  I draw a smiley face on it so I know which glove it is and keep one in the kitchen and another in the bathroom.
puggle, Bentley, dogs that shed, tj's green adventure
Me and Bentley
Green Highlights:
  • reusing rubber gloves that have a hole

23 Aug 2015

The Project - Part 4 - Electrical

Receptacles and Light Switch
Since the panelled walls were shades of brown, the receptacles and light switch were brown.  We replaced them with white Decora and donated the brown ones to Habitat for Humanity.

Light Fixtures
wall sconce, amber glass, tj's green adventure

The existing light fixtures were 4 wall sconces with amber coloured glass hurricane shades that I did not like.  I could have replaced them with new wall sconces, but I didn't want to spend that much money on wall sconces when I would prefer not to have sconces in the first place.  Since rewiring would have been expensive and not something we could do on our own, we opted to keep what we had.  We found small lamp shades that fit the existing fixtures perfectly and we donated the glass  hurricane shades.  I really like the way they look now and the new shades cost less than what we would have had to pay for 1 new sconce.
wall sconce, lamp shades, tj's green adventure

Power Bar
We got a Smart Strip to hook up our electronics.  I had heard about these but didn't really understand how they worked.  You plug the main device like the television or computer into the main plug and that controls the power to the other components like the dvd player or printer.  When the main device is turned off the others get turned off as well.  This reduces power usage and will save money on your energy bill.  There is also a plug that isn't controlled so you can plug a lamp or other item in it and it will not be affected by whether the main device is on or off.
smart strip, power bar, tj's green adventure

We got a timer for the dehumidifier.  It is programmed to run during off peak time for hydro so we are paying the lowest electric rates when it is running.
timer, programmable, tj's green adventure
         Green Highlights:
  • donated items
  •  reused light fixtures
  • smart strip for reducing energy usage
  • using a timer to save money on hydro usage
Do you use a smart strip for your television or computer?


18 Aug 2015

Think before you print

How often do we print out of habit or because we just don't think about it?  It's so easy to hit a button and out comes a printed sheet of paper.  If you really do need to print a hard copy of something, consider printing double-sided if there is more than one page.  In an office setting, often documents are printed for a paper trail (think accounting).  Since these are rarely looked at again, they can be printed double-sided.  Not only will it save paper, but also filing cabinet and storage space.  I also find it easier to handle double sided copies than single sheets and staples make files bulky and awkward. An even better solution is to not print it at all. Can it be saved as a PDF and not use any paper or ink?

I see so much unnecessary paper that it would be nice if we made more of an effort to think of these 3 thing before we print:
  1. do we really need a paper copy?
  2. can we print double-sided or duplex?
  3. can we save it as a PDF or other computer file?
    recycle paper, waste paper, tj's green adventure
Green Highlights:
  • reduce paper usage
  • reduce ink/toner usage
  • save money by using less paper and ink/toner 
Do you print double-sided whenever possible?

4 Aug 2015

The microwave died

Well, it didn't exactly die, but it now makes a strange noise.  The manufacturing date of our microwave is May 1990 and since it is over 25 years old, I think it is time to let it go.   
microwave oven, recycling responsibly, tj's green adventure
Now to dispose of it responsibly.  I checked the "my waste tool" on the city of London's website to see how.  Since my microwave is metal, I will take it to the EnviroDepot or see if a friend wants to take it to the scrap yard and get a bit of cash for it.  I am going to donate the roller ring.  Someone may have broken theirs and would like a replacement.  I could also donate the glass plate, but I am going to reuse it and put it under a plant/plants.  Some of those large pots for plants have a drainage hole in the bottom and the glass plate will be perfect for protecting the surface underneath.

I certainly got my money's worth out of this microwave oven.  I heard one person say they have to replace their microwave every few years.  If they replaced it every 5 years, they would have gone through 5 microwaves in the lifespan of mine.  There are benefits to buying good quality; it saves money in the long run and it reduces waste generated.

Green Highlights:
  • recycling old microwaves properly
  • donating parts that are still usable
  • re-purposing the glass plate
How long have you had your microwave oven?