While we are on the topic of remodeling our house . . . I have a wishlist of things that are all eco friendly, or at the very least energy efficient.
When we first bought our house I knew I wanted to compost. After a little poking around online I discovered that the state of Massachusetts was given a grant to supply every town with compost bins at very cheap prices. I investigated the status of this in Maynard, and found out that I could get an Earth Machine compost bin (that is enormous) for a mere $32. That was one of the first things I did once we moved in - I picked up the compost bin. I did it just in time too, I think there were only 2 left by the time I got there.
We have also talked about getting a rain barrel, and found out that we could also buy this from the public works department in Maynard for a very discounted rate. We have yet to make this plunge because, honestly, I don't ever water anything in my lawn. Maybe next year?
We have bought all energy star appliances thus far: washer, dryer, and refrigerator. Next on deck will be the dish washer, air conditioner, and stove. I am holding out on the stove as long as possible because I would love to be able to get a gas stove (we currently have electric).
Which brings us to the biggest energy suck/earth polluter in our house: OIL. We have oil heat and hot water. I would love to be hooked up to city gas, but I am terrified about how much this will cost us. Not only would we have to hook up to gas, which I am guessing means digging up my lawn (not such a loss, really) and making a hole in my foundation, but we have to buy all new appliances. New boiler/furnace and a new hot water heater. I would love to have an on demand hot water heater, but that is something that would definitely have to wait for the gas switch over. Anywho, one thing begets another in this case.
Some other things that I would love to invest in (and I think they would be fairly inexpensive) is sun tubes.
These overhead lights are sun tubes (images from Watertite Skylights)
These are made by a bunch of companies, and look just like flush mount ceiling lights. However, they require no electricity - they are just like a tubular sky light. Genius. I really want these in the kitchen, as well as all of the bathrooms.
Again, the to-do list grows . . .