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Green Living - How To and Questions

2

Posts

  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    For the litter, what we do is clean out the litter when we take our normal trash out, and just scoop or dump it into the trash bag with the other trash. So there's never an extra bag used for it.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    HacksawcabsyCarpy
  • MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    Another big, major tip, up there with moving to a denser area: eat less meat, and especially beef.


    NYTimes%20food%20carbon.jpg

    green_house_proteins.jpg

    water-need-for-food-600x450.png

    meat_graphic2.png

    For reference: burning one gallon of gasoline produces about twenty pounds of CO2 / burning one liter of gasoline produces about 2.5 kg of CO2.


    Mass-production of cows for meat is one of the most environmentally damaging and destructive things we are doing as a species - and this is barely even touching things in the most abstract like rain forests getting burned down for grazing land or soy feed growing. Yes, there are a very few special cases where grazing by cattle may not be terrible, but if you're eating fast food hamburgers don't you dare kid yourself into thinking those tiny exceptions have anything to do with what you're eating. Hamburgers are bad for you anyway and you know this.

    You can eat smaller portions, adopt meatless days where you avoid meat, and if you can't cut out meat entirely, at least replace beef with something less destructive, like chicken. There are food threads for ideas and plenty of resources online. If anyone has links to posts or websites I can start linking those as well.

    TL DRCptKemzikThe Ender
  • MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    edited May 2015
    Permeable Paving

    Natural_%26_impervious_cover_diagrams_EPA.jpg

    Efforts to improve water quality are often stymied by stormwater runoff. Unlike single sources of water pollution, such as a factory dumping chemicals in a river which can be controlled in isolation, it's much harder to target the thousands of roads and parking lots and other hard surfaces, each being washed by a small percentage of water that carries a tiny percentage of pollutants that, over the course of a city or region, contribute greatly to pollutant loads. For instance, 75% of the toxic chemicals in Puget Sound around Seattle come from water runoff but not from any particular location or reason. How do you control that?

    And water running off causes flash floods, when all the water from a storm over an area gets dumped into a single centralized stream or waterway, causing damage to anything built in its way or under its level, and flooding causes erosion meaning sediment loads that further reduce water quality. What to do?


    Permeable paving consists of hard ground surfaces that still allow water to pass through it instead of running off. In urban and suburban areas, a majority of surfaces are made impervious, so most water ends up being flushed away into sewers and dumped into streams (polluting waterways with all the oils and everything else that was on those surfaces, plus causing flooding and erosion from that flooding), but if water could seep into the ground, it would take much longer for that water to eventually end up in the waterways, steady slow flows instead of surges, and the soil would filter out pollutants as well.

    Nov_Oldcastle-Building-Products-6.jpg
    A fire truck hosing out water full blast onto permeable paving as a demonstration. Notice how quickly the water seeps away.

    There are many types of surfaces, from bricks or paving stones that are tightly packed but unmortared to allow water to pass between them, to pervious concrete which allows water to pass straight through

    320px-Permeable_paver_demonstration.jpg

    to things like geocells and grasspave gratings - strong structures that sit below the surface and are filled with crushed gravel or dirt and provide a hard surface but with softer ground materials.

    CellularConfinementSystem-Wood.jpg

    This can be done small scale at a residential level (driveway, backyard walking path) to larger scales of parking lots or even entire towns as in West Union, Iowa in the link. Even if you can't do it yourself, you can encourage your workplace, city, or other groups to resurface with permeable paving. I have been telling my employer and I just finished writing a letter to the city newspaper - since I live in a place that both has poor water quality and just suffered a really bad flood a few years ago, we could use it.

    Mayabird on
    HacksawLiiyacabsyXaquinJebusUDFoolOnTheHillCambiata
  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    It can earn you a LOT of LEED and NAHB Green points too

  • JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Caaba Beankomy XobthroRegistered User regular
    Does anyone have any info on how the permeable paving interacts with cold climates? I'd worry about it being destroyed in our first winter. How do they keep water in the pavement from cracking it as it freezes?

    And I won, so you lose,
    Guess it always comes down to.
  • MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    Works just fine in cold climates, though if it's an area that dumps sand on the ground some vacuuming and cleaning in spring helps because the sand can clog the pores. Also West Union, which is a fairly cold climate in winter due to the fact that it's in Iowa, hasn't had any issues with its paving.

  • bowenbowen ayyyyyyyy Registered User regular
    I'd be less worried about the damage and more worried about the kind of surface it might create. Seems like it'd be prime for creating black ice.

    Warning: I am a programmer/sysop. IANAL/IANAD, seek actual advice from certified people in their respective fields if you are actually in need of it.
  • MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    Actually if you read that link of mine, it explains that permeable cuts down on black ice because there's less puddling, since it's permeable so the water passes through it.

  • JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Caaba Beankomy XobthroRegistered User regular
    Mayabird wrote: »
    Works just fine in cold climates, though if it's an area that dumps sand on the ground some vacuuming and cleaning in spring helps because the sand can clog the pores. Also West Union, which is a fairly cold climate in winter due to the fact that it's in Iowa, hasn't had any issues with its paving.

    Interesting, thanks!

    And I won, so you lose,
    Guess it always comes down to.
  • bowenbowen ayyyyyyyy Registered User regular
    Mayabird wrote: »
    Actually if you read that link of mine, it explains that permeable cuts down on black ice because there's less puddling, since it's permeable so the water passes through it.

    Yeah I mean I get it... but having lived in upstate NY where I've seen water freeze nearly instantly, I'm not sure how much permeability would help.

    Warning: I am a programmer/sysop. IANAL/IANAD, seek actual advice from certified people in their respective fields if you are actually in need of it.
    davidsdurions
  • davidsdurionsdavidsdurions Your Trusty Meatshield Panhandle NebraskaRegistered User regular
    Yeah a problem around here is the hail/snow will fall first, covering a roadway, then it will rain on top of that then snow some more. So you get this layered substance that is not draining well and full of icy carnage. Welcome to Wyoming and Nebraska November to I guess I'll say May since this happened just a couple weeks ago!

    PwH4Ipj.jpg
    Seeking writers; editors; developers; researchers; accountant; marketing; social media.
    PM me to join our grassroots political news organization today! We really are doing this folks!
    Torchlight Media. Citizens. Journalists.
  • MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    There are probably some areas where it won't work so well right now, but it's a developing technology. Some researchers in Norway created a type recently that they can use even in areas that get severe frost heaving, but it's hard to find anything about it in English and being a fan of Stand Still, Stay Silent unfortunately doesn't give me the magic ability to read Scandinavian languages.

    By the way, that letter I sent to the newspaper has already been published.

  • MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    Found a wiki, Appropedia which has a ton of articles about all sorts of sustainability issues and ideas, such as instructions for 3D printing of small wind turbines and other items, building your own vermicomposting bin, and topics like construction of check-dams for arid and semi-arid areas to catch and retain water runoff. I haven't been through the whole thing but there's a lot of information.

    LiiyaXaquin
  • LiiyaLiiya Registered User regular
    Cool!!

    Here is a video I keep making everyone watch.

    HacksawMayabirdchrishallett83DisruptedCapitalistlonelyahavaXaquinThat Dave Fella
  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    I'm surprised that cheese is so high up on those graphs - and so far from milk. What's the reason behind that?

    rotate.php TumblrLink.gif
    Phasen
  • HacksawHacksaw J. Duggan Wrestler at LawRegistered User regular
    Cows be thirsty, yo.

    bowenLiiya
  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    Mayabird wrote: »
    Permeable Paving

    Natural_%26_impervious_cover_diagrams_EPA.jpg

    Efforts to improve water quality are often stymied by stormwater runoff. Unlike single sources of water pollution, such as a factory dumping chemicals in a river which can be controlled in isolation, it's much harder to target the thousands of roads and parking lots and other hard surfaces, each being washed by a small percentage of water that carries a tiny percentage of pollutants that, over the course of a city or region, contribute greatly to pollutant loads. For instance, 75% of the toxic chemicals in Puget Sound around Seattle come from water runoff but not from any particular location or reason. How do you control that?

    And water running off causes flash floods, when all the water from a storm over an area gets dumped into a single centralized stream or waterway, causing damage to anything built in its way or under its level, and flooding causes erosion meaning sediment loads that further reduce water quality. What to do?


    Permeable paving consists of hard ground surfaces that still allow water to pass through it instead of running off. In urban and suburban areas, a majority of surfaces are made impervious, so most water ends up being flushed away into sewers and dumped into streams (polluting waterways with all the oils and everything else that was on those surfaces, plus causing flooding and erosion from that flooding), but if water could seep into the ground, it would take much longer for that water to eventually end up in the waterways, steady slow flows instead of surges, and the soil would filter out pollutants as well.

    Nov_Oldcastle-Building-Products-6.jpg
    A fire truck hosing out water full blast onto permeable paving as a demonstration. Notice how quickly the water seeps away.

    There are many types of surfaces, from bricks or paving stones that are tightly packed but unmortared to allow water to pass between them, to pervious concrete which allows water to pass straight through

    320px-Permeable_paver_demonstration.jpg

    to things like geocells and grasspave gratings - strong structures that sit below the surface and are filled with crushed gravel or dirt and provide a hard surface but with softer ground materials.

    CellularConfinementSystem-Wood.jpg

    This can be done small scale at a residential level (driveway, backyard walking path) to larger scales of parking lots or even entire towns as in West Union, Iowa in the link. Even if you can't do it yourself, you can encourage your workplace, city, or other groups to resurface with permeable paving. I have been telling my employer and I just finished writing a letter to the city newspaper - since I live in a place that both has poor water quality and just suffered a really bad flood a few years ago, we could use it.

    Eh, non-mortared stuff doesn't do that great in places with freeze/melt cycles unless you dig WAY down and redo all the substrate.

  • DaenrisDaenris Registered User regular
    I'm surprised that cheese is so high up on those graphs - and so far from milk. What's the reason behind that?

    It takes a lot of milk to make a small amount of cheese. Based on this table:
    http://www.eatwisconsincheese.com/dairy/milk/milk-facts
    It's about 10 pounds milk to 1 pound cheese.

    NightDragonceresMayabird
  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    Daenris wrote: »
    I'm surprised that cheese is so high up on those graphs - and so far from milk. What's the reason behind that?

    It takes a lot of milk to make a small amount of cheese. Based on this table:
    http://www.eatwisconsincheese.com/dairy/milk/milk-facts
    It's about 10 pounds milk to 1 pound cheese.

    Oh dang. Had no idea it was that much! Thanks for the info. And WOW...butter is insane!

    rotate.php TumblrLink.gif
    XaquinceresMayabird
  • MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    A good quote by the late great science fiction writer Octavia Butler: "There’s no single answer that will solve all of our future problems. There’s no magic bullet. Instead there are thousands of answers–at least. You can be one of them if you choose to be."

    Liiya
  • CabezoneCabezone Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    Mayabird wrote: »
    Another big, major tip, up there with moving to a denser area: eat less meat, and especially beef.
    NYTimes%20food%20carbon.jpg

    green_house_proteins.jpg

    water-need-for-food-600x450.png

    meat_graphic2.png

    For reference: burning one gallon of gasoline produces about twenty pounds of CO2 / burning one liter of gasoline produces about 2.5 kg of CO2.


    Mass-production of cows for meat is one of the most environmentally damaging and destructive things we are doing as a species - and this is barely even touching things in the most abstract like rain forests getting burned down for grazing land or soy feed growing. Yes, there are a very few special cases where grazing by cattle may not be terrible, but if you're eating fast food hamburgers don't you dare kid yourself into thinking those tiny exceptions have anything to do with what you're eating. Hamburgers are bad for you anyway and you know this.

    You can eat smaller portions, adopt meatless days where you avoid meat, and if you can't cut out meat entirely, at least replace beef with something less destructive, like chicken. There are food threads for ideas and plenty of resources online. If anyone has links to posts or websites I can start linking those as well.

    I highly suggest USA farm raised Catfish. It's only 3.6, less than eggs, and is delicious. It still has it's problems to work out but it's one of the most efficient animals to farm.

    Cabezone on
    DisruptedCapitalistMayabird
  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    How come lamb has such a high CO2 rating? Is sheep poop especialy emittive?

    I'd always assumed that lamb was rather greener than beef because sheep, at least in the UK, are generally raised on land that's too poor for arable, and usually not good enough grazing for cows (or else the farmer would be raising cows on it)

  • DehumanizedDehumanized Registered User regular
    V1m wrote: »
    How come lamb has such a high CO2 rating? Is sheep poop especialy emittive?

    I'd always assumed that lamb was rather greener than beef because sheep, at least in the UK, are generally raised on land that's too poor for arable, and usually not good enough grazing for cows (or else the farmer would be raising cows on it)

    I googled this because it struck me as odd too, and came up with this as a possible explanation:

    http://www.ewg.org/meateatersguide/a-meat-eaters-guide-to-climate-change-health-what-you-eat-matters/climate-and-environmental-impacts/
    Lamb has the greatest impact, generating 39.3 kg (86.4 lbs) of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) for each kilo eaten – about 50 percent more than beef. While beef and lamb generate comparable amounts of methane and require similar quantities of feed, lamb generates more emissions per kilo in part because it produces less edible meat relative to the sheep’s live weight. Since just one percent of the meat consumed by Americans is lamb, however, it contributes very little to overall U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

    Emphasis mine.

    MayabirdJulius
  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    Ah OK. I guess that's a nice lesson on how to be mislead by statistics or comparing things along a single metric.

  • joshgotrojoshgotro Bloat much? Cincinnati, OhioRegistered User regular
    edited July 2015
    Talking to my SO about this new sheep fact.
    The study is strictly talking about food production. Of course the wool factor changes it. Best pun wool hear all day. Oh shit. Two rack to rack. Can we shear a forth?

    I'm really corny.

    joshgotro on
    0QA6SRd.jpg
    Xaquinbinarycupcakes
  • MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    Atomika just created a great thread in D&D: [Lawns] America's Favorite Environment-Decimating Crop. It's about the massive negative environmental impact of lawns and why they should be reduced. I definitely recommend reading the OP.

    DisruptedCapitalist
  • PhasenPhasen Registered User regular
    Where does zoysia grass fall on impact? It is invasive but also one of the more hearty grasses that requires less water and mowing.

    psn: PhasenWeeple
  • bowenbowen ayyyyyyyy Registered User regular
    Phasen wrote: »
    Where does zoysia grass fall on impact? It is invasive but also one of the more hearty grasses that requires less water and mowing.

    Depends where you live.

    If you don't live somewhere warmer, it tends to brown for 8 months of the year.

    Warning: I am a programmer/sysop. IANAL/IANAD, seek actual advice from certified people in their respective fields if you are actually in need of it.
  • PhasenPhasen Registered User regular
    I'm in NC and NCSU has it as a suggestion. I never plan to water grass unless I get a really large rain collection system.

    psn: PhasenWeeple
  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
  • davidsdurionsdavidsdurions Your Trusty Meatshield Panhandle NebraskaRegistered User regular

    You are a stakeholder, I presume? ;)

    PwH4Ipj.jpg
    Seeking writers; editors; developers; researchers; accountant; marketing; social media.
    PM me to join our grassroots political news organization today! We really are doing this folks!
    Torchlight Media. Citizens. Journalists.
  • DidgeridooDidgeridoo Registered User regular
    Xaquin wrote: »
    Gardening 101:

    The easy stuff

    Herbs

    Herbs are the spice herbs of life. This post will show you how to grow your own herbs for basically nothing saving you money and serving as an easy way to break into growing veggies (which is the main green practice I'm going to get into). Be it in a CONTAINER, a RAISED BED, or a DOORYARD GARDEN, herbs can basically last for years.

    I'll go with what I know.

    Dooryard Herb Garden

    (Spoilered for huge)
    First things first. You'll need a PLAN. With a raised bed or a dooryard garden, you'll want to make sure to give each plant THE SPACE THEY NEED TO GROW. Also, now is the time to figure out what planting zone you're in and which herbs GROW BEST IN WHICH ZONE

    This was my plan. I mostly followed it. In retrospect, I should have moved the sage to the back because it got huge.

    10154446_10152272687808279_741778269_n.jpg?oh=b068db51cd78fb6c16dee03b65b1b31f&oe=55AF191F&__gda__=1434196597_a8f74fc515145f4df4779dd630c19e85

    Next, stake out that design and get to work. I used an EDGER to cut out the border and then aerated the soil with a TILLER

    This didn't take more than about a half hour

    1979739_10152275014343279_362052618_n.jpg?oh=ae93931ee42d2cf4c360f442eded9ca4&oe=558188EE

    next up, get ye some herbs! If you're bold, you can try GROWING HERBS FROM SEEDS, but I just went to a nursery and got some pre started. I haven't purchased an herb in almost a full year now and I use them daily.

    Some herbs are heartier than others. OREGANO, for example, is damn near impossible to kill and will take over any garden it's in. Best to keep that one in a large pot. MINT too for that matter. ROSEMARY is pretty easy to grow and won't take over your entire garden. THYME is a fantastic herb too and grows in a pretty set range.

    I also planted TARRAGON (which I never really used except once), SAGE, (which I love and in my garden, grew like a weed. I planted two plants and somehow ended up with twelve), and LAVENDER (which I didn't harvest as they never got very big).

    10247489_10152295109858279_1195464859_n.jpg?oh=e74f7cfdba4464e2144d0f836c69c327&oe=55752B8B

    Next up, get those babies in the ground! Make sure the soil isn't packed too hard. I added a 2" thick layer of mulch to help keep the soil damp. (that I got free from the recycling place near my house) (side note: check your local county website, odds are you can get free mulch too!)

    10262170_10152313913463279_897477152465437839_n.jpg?oh=196f38de655bebefd09d672858efc2db&oe=55B6586F&__gda__=1437682448_10dc00f6ef6fccd281920583b5cf1879

    Now you're basically done! Painless! Keep a close watch on them for the first few months. Learn HOW OFTEN TO WATER YOUR HERBS, you should be rolling in meal enhancing herbs year round.

    This is two months after I planted them

    10516765_10152491493763279_3864498147100652583_n.jpg?oh=03c9be233f69e065ada51f9f42db860e&oe=558149DA

    This is six months afterwards

    10288723_10152763863168279_5888066768693054324_n.jpg?oh=da6a8350eaec18e9b57c4a6da9c5b90e&oe=55B3BFE2&__gda__=1434046964_91c9e3799b107296b9bb170919262ab5

    FYI, generally speaking, I can kill a plant by being sort of near it. If I can do this, you can too!

    Next up will be the meat of my advice. Vegetables!

    Hey @Xaquin just wanted to thank you again for this post! It was really helpful in getting my own herb garden started, and it's really taken off. Haven't had to buy herbs in quite a while, and my cooking's improved immensely. It's crazy what a difference fresh herbs can make! I may have to come back crying to this thread in the fall though, to ask about trying to keep them from dying over the winter months.

    Switch Friend Code: SW-0999-1072-9696
    Xaquin
  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    edited August 2015
    Didgeridoo wrote: »
    Hey @Xaquin just wanted to thank you again for this post! It was really helpful in getting my own herb garden started, and it's really taken off. Haven't had to buy herbs in quite a while, and my cooking's improved immensely. It's crazy what a difference fresh herbs can make! I may have to come back crying to this thread in the fall though, to ask about trying to keep them from dying over the winter months.

    glad I could help!

    I feel bad about not doing a vegetables post yet, but life got in the way and the vegetable garden will have to wait till next year.

    What zone are you in?

    I'm in Maryland which is in zone 7. We had a pretty harsh winter last year and of my herbs, the rosemary, thyme (both kinds), and sage came back.

    The Sage came back with a vengeance. The rosemary came back but it looked bad for a month. The thyme came back but now has long woody stems before the leaves start.

    My tarragon is completely gone, and one of my two lavender plants came back, but it didn't sprout flowers and it looks terrible.

    All I did over winter was cover the bed in leaves from my yard.

    Maryland plants aren't geared towards sustained temperatures in the 5 to -5 area!

    Xaquin on
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    Oh I didn't see this thread!

    General Stuff:


    My strongest piece of advice (which ties into what people have already said about making sure you turn off electronics you don't use, and see how much you can improve the efficiency of your personal vehicle use) is to start recording how much energy you spend per day. Even if it's just a ballpark figure; get an idea for what your electronics & lighting are costing in terms of megawatt hours, get an idea for how much fuel you are using in your vehicle, get an idea for how many calories you're eating and what your current diet costs in terms of energy (both transporting that food and, say, maintaining the animals or farmland required to produce it).

    Once you have an idea for what you are spending each day, see what you can reasonably do to reduce the expenditure. It doesn't have to be woah huge change; a whole lot of small changes made by many people will have a positive impact.


    Also, be prepared for a fucking mess at some yet-to-be-determined point in the future, probably within your lifetime. The realistic outlook for global warming consequences, at least for the immediate time, isn't a Fury Road scenario: it's things getting more expensive before people are prepared to absorb the costs, resulting in a lot more poverty. In the same way that gasoline prices have really jumped, you can expect that in your lifetime you will see a similarly significant jump in electricity, water and grocery costs (above and beyond normal inflation). Income brackets are probably going to get shoved around in uncomfortable ways, and if you're like most people, you're probably going to be within the affected income brackets. Learning to get by on less energy now will help.

    A lot of people should probably also consider downsizing their homes & assets, but that is a woah huge change and I understand that most people couldn't reasonably do that.


    Big Picture Stuff:


    If you want to help in bigger ways, in my opinion, you need to become politically active. If you're in an area that does not have solar/wind/nuclear, ask your political representatives - at every level, from municipal to county to state/province - why you don't have it. Ask them when it will be available. Do it at every opportunity. Be insufferably polite when you do so. You would be surprised at how many other people also want those things, and all it can take is them hearing another person asking for the demand to become contagious.

    If pipeline or drilling projects are proposed in your area, likewise, tell your reps that you do not want these things. Keep telling them (and again, do it politely). This won't always have a happy ending, but it will at least provide a voice in the conversation other than energy interests.

    Engage! Be the counter-balance to the vocal minority that only thinks in terms of personal gain.

    Not today, motherfucker
    Xaquin
  • DidgeridooDidgeridoo Registered User regular
    Xaquin wrote: »
    Didgeridoo wrote: »
    Hey @Xaquin just wanted to thank you again for this post! It was really helpful in getting my own herb garden started, and it's really taken off. Haven't had to buy herbs in quite a while, and my cooking's improved immensely. It's crazy what a difference fresh herbs can make! I may have to come back crying to this thread in the fall though, to ask about trying to keep them from dying over the winter months.

    glad I could help!

    I feel bad about not doing a vegetables post yet, but life got in the way and the vegetable garden will have to wait till next year.

    What zone are you in?

    I'm in Maryland which is in zone 7. We had a pretty harsh winter last year and of my herbs, the rosemary, thyme (both kinds), and sage came back.

    The Sage came back with a vengeance. The rosemary came back but it looked bad for a month. The thyme came back but now has long woody stems before the leaves start.

    My tarragon is completely gone, and one of my two lavender plants came back, but it didn't sprout flowers and it looks terrible.

    All I did over winter was cover the bed in leaves from my yard.

    Maryland plants aren't geared towards sustained temperatures in the 5 to -5 area!

    We're in upstate New York, which I think is also zone 7? I was thinking of digging up the rosemary plant and putting it in a pot to take indoors, but maybe not if your rosemary plant made it through all right.

    Switch Friend Code: SW-0999-1072-9696
  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    Didgeridoo wrote: »
    Xaquin wrote: »
    Didgeridoo wrote: »
    Hey @Xaquin just wanted to thank you again for this post! It was really helpful in getting my own herb garden started, and it's really taken off. Haven't had to buy herbs in quite a while, and my cooking's improved immensely. It's crazy what a difference fresh herbs can make! I may have to come back crying to this thread in the fall though, to ask about trying to keep them from dying over the winter months.

    glad I could help!

    I feel bad about not doing a vegetables post yet, but life got in the way and the vegetable garden will have to wait till next year.

    What zone are you in?

    I'm in Maryland which is in zone 7. We had a pretty harsh winter last year and of my herbs, the rosemary, thyme (both kinds), and sage came back.

    The Sage came back with a vengeance. The rosemary came back but it looked bad for a month. The thyme came back but now has long woody stems before the leaves start.

    My tarragon is completely gone, and one of my two lavender plants came back, but it didn't sprout flowers and it looks terrible.

    All I did over winter was cover the bed in leaves from my yard.

    Maryland plants aren't geared towards sustained temperatures in the 5 to -5 area!

    We're in upstate New York, which I think is also zone 7? I was thinking of digging up the rosemary plant and putting it in a pot to take indoors, but maybe not if your rosemary plant made it through all right.

    Rosemary is pretty tough

    If it were me, I'd bury it in leaves and hope for the best!

  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular

    You are a stakeholder, I presume? ;)

    Actually, no! But I AM a lawnmower man.

    terriblepostsigpic.jpg
  • PhasenPhasen Registered User regular
    Anyone do solar panels? I'm curious if they met expectations or if there are things to look out for when getting quotes? I live in the US if it matters.

    psn: PhasenWeeple
    Tinkles
  • hsuhsu Registered User regular
    edited November 2015
    I looked into solar for my house, and I came up with 10 years to break even if I took out a loan, longer if I leased.

    The biggest thing to note is that batteries are really expensive, so almost nobody does batteries, and instead pulls from the grid at night. But since most of us work during the day, and only use electricity at night, we don't really take advantage of all that free power, which is why the break even point is so long.

    Edit - My long breakeven point includes "net metering", aka selling power back to the grid.

    hsu on
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  • davidsdurionsdavidsdurions Your Trusty Meatshield Panhandle NebraskaRegistered User regular
    It also makes a big difference if your local power company allows you to sell excess back to the grid. You'll have to ask them and find out what rate they'll pay you for it if at all.

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