I can’t read anything in the news without something about climate change being said. It is important to keep this in mind in every aspect of my life. I must consider all of my life decisions and try not to abuse or exploit the precious resources of Earth. More and more businesses around the world are becoming environmentally friendly in the goods and services they produce. As I get ready to redecorate some of my living spaces, I am excited to see what kind of environmentally friendly choices I have.
There is more to living green than conserving electricity and recycling. Integrating daily living with all that surrounds a person can help to keep green living at the forefront of your mind. This mindfulness can become a lifestyle and making green decisions can become a natural habit.
One thing I am doing is capturing my sink, bath and laundry water. I have disconnected my toilets from the cabin’s main water line and I use my captured water from my sinks for flushing. Bath and laundry water is used for my gardening. This doesn’t mean I have unsightly buckets all about the house.
Since we live in a cabin, it has a crawl space underneath. It was very simple to redirect the drainage pipe for my washing machine and bathtubs to drain into a reservoir we created ourselves. We elevated the reservoir about six inches above the ground and routed a hose from it to a faucet outside the cabin in the back yard. Gravity causes the water to flow perfectly from a garden hose so I can keep my plants properly watered. Works like a charm.
For my sink water drainage, I have buckets inside the cabinets under my sinks. In the space between my toilet and my bathroom counter I have a storage cabinet with an upper cabinet with cupboard doors. I removed the center shelf which created one large cupboard. I found a rectangular plastic container that fits perfectly inside. It contains, when full, about six gallons of water. I drilled a hole in the side, near the bottom and installed a typical garden hose hydrant. I used some silicone sealant around the hole to make a water-tight seal. I cut a garden hose length that would reach from the back of the cabinet to the toilet tank. I then drilled a hole in the back of the cabinet where I snaked the hose from the bucket to the toilet tank where it slips right under the lid. Now, when we want to flush, we depress the toilet handle then open the cupboard and open the valve. Gravity does its magic and the tank is filled and ready for the next visitor.
We still have the floater thing in the tank but I glued a metal doo-dad to the top. When the tank is full the floater pops up high enough that you hear a slight “clink” when the metal doo-dad hits the ceramic tank top. That’s the signal to turn off the water. It all happens very fast. My husband and I know that the timing is just about perfect so that when you finish washing your hands, it’s time to turn off the water whether you heard the little “clink” or not.
Another gadget that my husband loves is a motion detector that we use to control our lighting. I don’t know if they sell this same concept commercially. My husband came up with this all on his own. I think because he is just too lazy to turn lights off when he leaves a room.
At our local hardware store he picked up enough motion detectors for every room in the cabin. He also got whatever electrical hardware he needed, but I am clueless where that is concerned. Electricity kind of scares me. Once he got home he installed the motion detectors higher than his height, since he is the tallest one in the house. You see, he didn’t want the motion detector triggered simply because someone walked by. Then he wired our overhead lights and primary lamps in each room to the motion detector. Now, when we leave a room we simply raise our hand and pass it over the motion detector and all the lights go off. We enter, we wave, we see. It’s simple and works perfect. I feel like a Star Trek character.
I haven’t done any comparisons on our energy statements to see if this has made a significant climate positive impact. But, I don’t really care about the past. We are always looking forward.