May 21st - How to make your house green?

on Thursday, May 21, 2009

I spent yesterday further investigating what the calculator might look like and what information it contains. Regrettably, majority of people care mostly about how much green gadgets will save in terms of money and maintenance; and less in terms of CO2. Hence, besides looking at the properties of green materials, we need to look at how much extra they cost, and subtract that from the total cost they save through their life cycle to provide users with the total savings.
I also came up with this simple interface (I will photoshop it when I go home):

Now I am collecting bits of information, divided into several categories, to use in the calculator. I tried to include stuff that are costy, and people are not sure if they will work out so that we save them the trouble of searching cost & results.
1) Laundry

  • "Machines that bear the Energy Star logo ... use between 18 and 25 gallons per load, roughly half of the 40-plus gallons guzzled by older, top-loading machines", HGTV Green.
  • Using cold water which can save $50 to $100 a year (based on average household 400 loads/year). Switch to cold website. This means switching to a cold water detergent.
  • Washing without water using Sanyo's Aqua.
  • 100% plant-based detergents and fabric softeners.
  • hanging clothes on the line. We need to calculate on average, how many days are warm and sunny during the year in Canada (so hanging clothes outside can be possible). Then calculate how much energy driers need per load. Form an equation to get the total energy savings.
2) Flooring
3) Electronic gadgets
  • Energy Star appliances.
  • Fluorescent bulbs and light dimmers.
4) Housing gadgets
5) Landscaping
  • LED solar lights.
  • Enrolling in a composting program.
  • Gathering rain water.
  • Planting deciduous shade trees.
  • Replacing power equipments like power lawn mower, string weed trimmer, gas leaf blower with manual tools.
  • Green roofs: some basic information here. But we need to investigate the cost much further.
There are still lots of stuff to add, but now I will shift my gears towards Electronic Lab Book Data Insertion Tool. I will discuss it with Maria so that we can collaborate on the two tools together (Lab book && insertion tool). I will keep updating the list above whenever I find other eco-friendly methods.