Monday, November 30, 2009

Santa Goes Green Tree

I managed to get walking in this weekend and a lot a standing. We went to the Festival of Trees. I notice more and more people using the reusable bags. Great for them!

I thought you would love to see a Santa Goes Green tree.
A closer view

I just had to chuckle. Could you imagine getting light bulbs for Christmas from Santa?
Last week I bought some energy saving light bulbs. I was surprise at the cost but, bought them anyway. When I got them home a couple of them would not work. Seems the gas can leek out and they will no longer light. Now I ask, can that gas be bad for the environment? Does any one know?
Hubby bought LED light for the hallway chandelier. They were suppose to last a life time. Who's live time, an aunt? Oh yeah they stopped working after a couple months. All of them stopped. That is why I needed to buy new light bulbs.
I sure hope someone develops one that is energy efficient and doesn't cost 5 to 10 dollars a piece. I can not be paying all this money on them only to last a couple of months! And if the industry is really going to phase out the old type, I'll have to go back to candle light.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving to All: A Pardon or Gift?

Here we are the official turkey day. My daughter stated yesterday that she wanted to print out a turkey to pin to your shirt. Hubby said he would go into work early today and she said "No we need to watch the parade". We usually watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade and cook the turkey.
Oh I saw President Obama Pardon the turkey. It will now live at Disney World...What a great life to be with Mickey and all his friends. But, watch out....

They celebrate Thanksgiving also!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Living Healthy Through the Hoildays

Will it be a hard time to stay healthy through the Holidays? In today's Lifestyle that will be the main theme on all the Networks Shows. Every Year about this time people can't wait to have all the comfort Holiday foods.

You know the types;
  • Turkey and Moms Stuffing
  • Ham deck out with pineapple, brown sugar and cloves
  • Lamb for some
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Sweet potatoes with Marshmallow topping
  • Mash potatoes with Gravy
  • Potato cakes with apples sauce and sour cream
  • Green bean casserole
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Pecan Pie
  • Apple cranberry Pie
  • Mincemeat Pie
  • chocolate- Any kind
  • Nuts
  • Gingerbread houses
  • Eggnog
All these are high in Fat and Carbs. So what are we to do? You know we will be eating these things. Holidays dictate it and what kind would it be if we did not eat these foods?
I love the holidays and it traditions, just could not enjoy it without them. Sure we can modify them, as seen on some Network shows, but it would not be the same. Let's Face it, this time only come along once a year. If we can manage a little control and not over doing it, we will be fine.
We can exercise a little more in the yard or in the house. Clean out the closets, get rid of the coats (the coat drives are out), do a Winter cleaning verses a spring cleaning of the whole house, Get those decorations up and start to bring in the Holidays with a healthier energy. Yes we can enjoy this seasons Holidays and still keep a Healthy Lifestyle.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Our Solar Project- We are up and running.

The meter has been switched out and the monitoring system installed. Panel array looking good, Mr Sun is shinning and we are helping the environment. Wanted to share the last of the project and the company we used during this process.

We started our project in October. Deciding on what company and product to use. There was a post "We are Going Solar" and "Our Solar Panel Decision" about that process. Next "Why Solar?" was the topic. Once the decision was made we need to find a company that would give us what we wanted and the service we expected. We decided on 21st Century Power Solutions.Then we waited on the Government to update their incentives ("A solar family is about to be Born"). On Friday October the 30th Our Project begin "Our solar project has started". It went smoothly with no problems you can read about it at these links; The Electric Part, The Solar Inverter and Our New Solar Panels. All these links are to previous post on this blog by me, just in case you weren't following or missed one.

On the 12th of November the power company switched out the box. We now have a Digital one. So to see the meter go backwards I will show you the old one in test mode.

Hear is the new Net Meter Box. The numbers can go backwards.

Our days are short now so the Sun power is lower. I will up date you monthly in my "It's in the Bag- Monthly updates". Usually posted around the first of each month.

On Monday this week, the Monitoring system came in. 21st Century Power Solutions Installed it.
It is connected to the Inverter

Then to our Router

This monitoring system will allow us to check the system on line. We also have a read out unit (shown below) that will let us see how our solar system is working anywhere in the house. Of course I have it in the Kitchen, since most of my time is spent there.

So the project took a total of 18 days from the start of 21st Century Power Solutions first home invasion til completed. I have to say here, that I really loved those workers. We had so much fun with them. There was some jokes played on Jack , the director of sales. Knowing how hubby loves to do that kind of things and so did some of the workers. At times I felt bad for Jack... being one who gets the jokes played on me from Hubby. Now that he had others edging him on, you can just imagine and I will let you here. Just to make things clear....
We did not have any problems with the installation. everything went smoothly.
I was very impressed with the way they did their work. Any thing that needed our attention they explained and took care of. Very informative on the work being done. Did whatever we wanted as far as appearances. I was even surprised when they drywall and repainted the den walls. The Master Electrician even came and stayed the whole day waiting on the inspectors. Being sure he would be able to answer or fix any problem on the spot. So not to hold up the passing of the building and electrical inspections. This was a very pleasant experience and I am sure we will have a long relationship with 21st Century Power Solutions.**.

**I have not received any compensation from 21st Century Power Solutions for this post. I am only giving my personal opinion of the company's work and work ethics as I experienced.
This statement is in compliance with the new FTC Blogging regulations put in place on November 1st.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Time to Update to Greener Appliances

Now that we are up and running on the Solar Energy plain, we needed to look at the appliances in our home. Could we be more energy conversing in some areas. Most Refrigerators use a lot of the energy provided to the home. If you have a dishwasher it too can suck up the watts. Maryland has a program running that will pay you for replacing your appliances.

Refrigerators are the most costly appliance in a home. Therefore it was the first thing we looked at. Decided to update to a more efficient one. The one we will get rid of is about 15 years old, not an energy saver at all. It takes 700 to 1600kilowatts-hours to operate it. Therefore by replacing it with an energy star one, we will save half the kilowatts hours saving Money.
What to do with old one? Did you know that 120 pounds of recyclable steel is in the average ten years or older refrigerator? By recycling our refrigerator, we save enough energy to run our new energy star refrigerator for 8 months. Our Power company will give us fifty dollar for the old one and take it off our hands to be recycled.

Next the dishwasher. We have a good one, however because our family is small, we tend to run at half full. Not a wise move, yes I could wash by hand but with the flu and viruses we feel we need the sanitizing of the dishwasher. Also most dishwasher heat their own water saving on the water heaters energy consumption. One more thing, Believe it or not it takes less water to use the dishwasher than to wash by hand. So a dishwasher is a good choice. We decided to get a two drawer one it will save energy and water.

This Going Green is costing us in money however in the long run it will make us better stewards of it. You see when retirement comes we hope to be self sufficient enough to be able to keep our home and pay our daily expenses. I know not many of you younger guys think about that. You should, time goes by so fast and before you know it you will be wondering how you will ever make it without working on Retirement income. We do not want to live on credit cards, like some seniors are today. They never thought the cost would be so high that their retirement income would not be sufficient to live on.

So here we are just starting to figure out how to save the environment as well as ourselves. there are many Incentive's to assist in the paying for some of these upgrades and energy solutions. I will write about those later. For now we are taking every opportunity out there.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Aloha Friday- Home Heating

Kailani over at An Island life likes to take it easy on this day. We ask a question for our visitor to give their two cents. For more followers click on the Aloha Friday banner.

There are all kinds of Home heating in the market today. We are a very diversified world. Some heat with Oil, Gas, Wood , Hot water or Heat Pumps. A newer one on the market, for some years, is GeoThermal. Of course there are some who still use Electric heaters.

Here's Your Question of the Day:

What type of Heat source do you use in your home?

We use a Heat Pump however we are thinking about going GeoThermal. Looking into it now. It is suppose to be a more Greener choice. My parents have had it for some years and their Heating bill has gone down. They use to use Oil. I have lived in homes that have used all the above listed. I really think Gas heat is Warmer. We also have a pellet stove. We use that all winter long. It is also a much warmer heat source. Even though we do have a fireplace,our use of it is limited. I feel too much heat is lost, but it is nice to cozy up by it on a snow blowing day with a cup of Hot chocolate....Oh I must stop now.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Our New Solar Panels

The solar project is almost complete. All the panels are on the roof, the Inverter is in and the electric is done. The Electrical and Building Inspector have given their stickers of approval. Today the Power company switched out the meter. Now we are up and running, feeding our home and the grid.
Here are some project photos.

Conduit running from the attic to the power box.
Love that it is painted the house color.

Laying the rails for the Panels.
We will have three rows of Solar panels.

They used guide panels for wire placement.

The first Solar Panels laid out.

First day: half the panels done.

Finally done..It took two days to lay out the panels
Here is the photo of the array on top of our home.

We have 24 panels totaling 54kWh of harvesting sun power. This should reduce our power bill quite a bit. We will need to learn how to change our routines to use the suns energy wisely.
The system we have, has a Monitoring system. We are waiting for that to come in and be hooked up. I will post about that then.

Monday, November 9, 2009

It's In The Bag-Monthly update #3

Now in my third month. doing well,remembering to carry the bag into the stores. I now have clerks asking me if I want a bag! How nice a sound is that? We have three cars at the present time, One of them will be sold next month. I have managed to put green bags in all the cars, now I am not without a bag. I also carry a large bag with some others folded inside them. That way I am reminded to use them. Even carry one when window shopping just in case that unexpected thing spots me eye. When I am with out, which is very seldom, there is always one to pick up for under one dollar. My Family is still not on the green bag issue yet but, I will keep on them. This is an on going mission of mine. How are you doing? Thinking about starting?
Start and take it one day at a time. A habit takes some time to form.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Aloha Friday -TV Shows

Here is the Question:

Have you watched any
Going Green TV shows?

I started about 3 years ago watching "Living with Ed". It was mostly humorous, I love watching Ed Begley Jr in Movies and TV show, but this was truly something different. His wife Rachelle, reminds me of Me! Ed is like my Hubby. He was always trying to save electricity, going behind turning off lights, putting those LED ones in and looking into alternative solutions. Bringing home all kinds of new things he found in the market place, bring people over to talk about alternative solutions. And yes I like Rachelle would just stay in the background, protesting once they left. I Grew to love that show"Living with Ed". Didn't realize I would be joining the Green Nation group!

Join in the fun visit An island life for more Aloha Friday links.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Solar Inverter

The electric part is now complete. So, What does the Solar Inverter look like and what does it do? The photo on the left is the final look.
How does it work? The solar panels collect energy from the sun and stores it as Direct current(DC),like the power from a battery. Since home power is run by Alternating Current or AC, the energy needs to be converted to be used. The Inverter work like a transformer, turning the transistors rapidly on and off and feeding two different sides of the transformer tricking the transformer into thinking it is getting AC.
Our system is a Grid feeding one. That means the energy being collected that is not being used in our home at the time, will feed the power companies lines. Giving them a cleaner reusable source, we are doing our part to lower the CO2. You can see this by viewing the Meter box. As seen in the video below ours, in test mode, is going backwards.

What does it do? Besides the turning DC into AC the Inverter box supplies information to the consumer. We can see how much energy is being collected, the amount of CO2 being saved and other stats that are helpful. Now we must turn it off until it is hooked up to the grid. A few more days to go. The inspectors and Utility company to make their showing. A meter to be swapped out and an inspection sticker to be placed. Just a sneak preview for you all.

As I stated earlier the meter is going backwards. Here a short Video:

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Our Solar Project-The Electric Part

Two days of Electrical work. Our wiring in this old house was a "train wreck" as the electrician stated. Wires were old and some were degrading, all the wires were in a jumble and who knew what was lurking in the walls.
We were told our electricity would be out all day and it was. They started at about 8am and didn't finish til about 8pm. Thanks to our generator we still were able to carry on with daily activities. I did cook out on the grill however.
Needed to have 2 panels put into one. Some new wires were run for the solar Inverter box (I'll post that part later).

Rick the electrician did a great job with the Box. As you can see below. The box looks very organized, all the wires in their places. Two boxes now One with room to expand. Now for the job of labeling every thing. That is a job in its self.

Monday, November 2, 2009

I Did it Monday-My 100th Post!

Well here I am posting my 100th post on a Monday! This site started out with an idea of Logging my Fitness diary. So the name was born "Ready 2 Get fit". I found a following of people in the same boat as me. Meet Julie Malone and her success with the Wii. Bought a Wii and joined in with thousands on the Wii Journey. Along the way I met Jen, Jenn,and Colleen. These girls have been with me since the beginning, March 2009. My journey is still an on going one.
August brought in a new look and name for this site. Hubby was gun hoe on going green. Watching Ed Begley Jr on "Living with Ed" just made the need stronger. Hubby was on me all the time. One Morning in July I woke up and realized I needed to get on board. That is when the decision to go Green started and my blog took on a new venue. Not wanting to start a new blog the name of this one was changed to "Living Healthy with Auntie E" (that's Me!). My thought was Going Green and losing weight was inclusive in its self. Both are striving to Living Healthier.

To participate in "I Did it Monday" go to My Meme Mania