Sustainable Saturdays

Electrical Evaluation

In keeping with last weeks post about portable generators, this week will be about an electrical evaluation. With a few inexpensive electrical tools you can map out your circuits, isolate energy draws, and inspect outlets for proper wiring. This is the perfect Sustainable Saturday project and you can get others involved to learn about your electrical system.

Backup Generator

What does a backup generator have to do with being sustainable? When properly installed, a lot. Many people cannot afford or have the need for a standby generator so a portable is a good option for a few reasons. A portable generator can be used for other situations as well as by other people. They are cheaper to maintain and parts are available at a local shop. There are a few steps that need to be done to use one safely and I will cover the basics here.

Rainwater harvesting

rain barrel
The wrong way to install a rain barrel.

Many municipalities are starting to promote the use of rain barrels for rainwater harvesting to reduce storm water runoff. When properly planned and installed, a rain barrel can be a useful way to get fresh water to your garden.

Teach the Trades

As I work through my goals for 2018, I am focusing on the workshops I offer. I plan to increase my offerings so I can teach the trades to people who are interested in seeing if it may be a good career choice for them. There is a shortage for people in the trades now because people were interested in other careers. I was lucky to have shop class in school and learned the basics of woodworking, metal working, electronics, and automotive repair. I use these skills often, both in my personal and professional capacity.

Lawn Maintenance

Proper lawn maintenance
Proper lawn maintenance

Lawn maintenance does not involve a lot of chemicals and work, it just takes a little time and effort. I break lawn maintenance into a few categories including soil maintenance, equipment maintenance, and finally turf maintenance.

Dryer Cleaning

Dryer cleaning
Dryer Cleaning

Last year I made a Sustainable Saturday post about checking and cleaning your dryer vent. This week I will talk about the next level, especially if your dryer is taking longer than it used to. Dryer cleaning is not just about the outside, it includes the inner workings of the machine itself.

Clearing Clutter

Wood rack
Wood rack

Every fall I go though my shop and garage to reduce the clutter that happens though the year. Clearing clutter is an ongoing process but every so often I need to do a more thorough job. My wood shop is in my basement and the garage houses my mechanical repair shop (sometimes a car).

Indoor Air Quality

Shop air cleaner
Air cleaner in shop

Indoor Air Quality is important to me, especially since I spend a lot of time in my home working. Having a new furnace has made me go through and seal things up more, clean dust out of my shop (I just bought an air cleaner for the shop), and make sure that my vents are working properly.

Furnace upgrade

Old furnace and water heater
Old furnace and water heater

My last post was about setting up my shop after cleaning it out for new machanicals. Well, the new furnace and water hear were installed and are up and running. My old furnace was original to the house so it was 60 years old.

Rain Garden Class

This weekend I will have my first rain garden class of the year. I reach out to the community to show homeowners the importance of reducing storm water runoff into the watershed by installing a rain garden and/or cistern. The past few years my rain garden class has had a good turnout and people leave with the intentions of seeing if it is something they want to take on.