2013-02-20

2013-02-19

Drying rack

Something we've been wanting to do for a while now, we finally got a drying rack for the laundry!


So far it's done well for most things. I've still done towels and sheets in the dryer. Saves at least one dryer load each week.

Now I just have to get used to the stiffness from air drying.

2013-02-07

Diabetic dilemma


So, I recently found out that I have gestational diabetes. Sucks, sure. But, at least I have been able to maintain things with diet alone and it should be something that goes away after delivery. But, it's something I hadn't given much thought to before...How is it possible for diabetics, in general, to live without all the plastic waste? This picture is probably just a month's worth of plastic, pointy, pricks. I can't imagine a long term situation of testing your blood (pain to finger wise and waste wise). And then think of all the people in the world that have to deal with this issue. I'm assuming there isn't much alternative, but it just made me wonder.

In the past, I have often thought about medical waste in general, generated in hospitals and doctor's offices. All the single-use plastics. For example, a plastic cap on the thermometer they put in your mouth and then immediately throw away (instead of just sterilizing). Or, same goes for the plastic caps they use to look in your ears and then just throw away. I sometimes wonder if I'm the only one that thinks about these things. But, I just think about the global impact when you put many offices and hospitals together with this mountain of waste. 

Okay, I know we didn't get anything resolved, but I just wanted to bring up the subject. Sorry if it only served to depress you! Anyone out there in the medical field have ideas/comments? Is this an area that can't yet be tackled, or has anyone heard of facilities making eco-friendly changes in the field of medicine?



2013-02-01

LEDs

We finally did it. The overhead lighting in every room of the house now has only LED bulbs.

The house came with incandescent bulbs, and after breaking a CFL in the process of discovering they wouldn't fit in the globes we decided to just put the CFLs we already had in the basement, which is surprisingly well-lit, and just jump straight to LEDs upstairs.

It took a while because they're not cheap, but we're finally there. We got a total of nine 60W equivalents and three 40W.

The bulbs we got were all Utilitech brand. Only Lowe's ever had them, which is a bit inconvenient for us because the nearest two Lowe'ses are each 15 minutes away.



The packaging for the 60W equivalents says each one will cost us $1.63 to run 3 hours a day for a year and will last 22.8 years. Each one costs $20.

These incandescents cost $0.37 each, with an average life of 1000 hours. We'll throw in CFLs in the comparison too. These ones seem to be about $2 each; the website was being confusing about prices.

We pay around 10 cents per kWh:

Incandescent CFL LED
Per-bulb cost $0.37 $2.00 $20.00
Power 60W 13W 13.5W
Lifetime (hours) 1000 12000 24966
Power over lifetime 60 kWh = $6.00 156 kWh = $15.60 337 kWh = $33.70
Lifetime cost $6.37 $17.60 $53.70

Based on that, the single-bulb lifetime cost puts incandescent well in the lead. Except, if the lifetime is anywhere close to accurate on the LED, you'd need nearly 25 incandescents to match it, making the total $159.03.

LED wins over incandescent 3:1.

I suppose you may have noticed that the lifetime cost of a CFL is better than the LED, even if it takes two CFLs to match one LED. I'm ok with that trade-off. I'm willing to pay the extra twenty bucks per LED to avoid the mercury in the two CFLs I'd otherwise need. Plus, for being "compact", the 60W equivalent CFLs I had wouldn't even fit in our bedroom ceiling fixture anyway.

Besides, I'd bet that long before these die on us, there'll be more efficient LEDs for cheaper that would tempt me to move these ones down to the basement and totally get rid of our CFLs.

In addition to energy efficiency and saving money though, I for one really enjoy all my lights putting out the same color temperature, even when dimmed. Before, we had some Reveal, some soft white, some CFL, and some CFLs that warmed up so slowly you'd be half done with your shower before the lights were really on. It's nice to walk through the house and have some consistency!