July 17, 2007

Doing our civic duty

So we just went and dropped a whole bunch of money yesterday.

In all actuality, we didn't drop the money but did put it on a credit card that will be paid off this month (as it is pretty much every month, thanks for asking), but it's not as much fund to say that we went and had a piece of plastic with a magnetic stripe swiped yesterday.

And I'm thinking that yesterday's spending was a bit of a big step in the right direction, environmentally-speaking.

The Girl and I have been talking for a couple of years about getting ceiling fans for our dining/living room (it's a big combo room with a cethedral ceiling) and our bedroom (much lower, eight-foot ceilings). They're an easy way for everybody to save a few bucks in the long run because they're much more efficient than an air conditioner and typically let you raise the thermostat a couple of degrees while still feeling as comfortable in the summer. We'd made up our mind that this summer was the time for the fans, and we started the hunt.

Before we began too much looking, however, we made a list of the things we wanted in a fan:
  • Energy Star rating - because they're even better for the environment
  • Compact fluorescent capacity - again, good for the environment...we had problems with this in the past as our old house had new ceiling fans that couldn't accept CFB...when the fan was on, the bulbs produced a strobe effect that was a little nauseating
  • Nice color scheme - no silver or golden colors...just wouldn't go in the house
  • Big wingspan - bigger fans move more air, and the two rooms we'll be fanning are pretty big (bedroom's something like 14'x28', living room's a huge L-shape)
  • Remote controls - we're lazy, and it's nice to turn the fan on/off/up/down from the comfort of the bed or couch
Our first turn was to the Hunter Grand Lodge that we had in the old house. They weren't too pricey; we liked the look; and they were in stock at the local Lowe's. Ah, but they aren't Energy Star rated, and we had that whole flickering problem.

After a bit of online searching and finally coming to the Energy Star site's list of ceiling fans with light kits and the Energy Star rating, we headed out to the local stores to look at the fans in person. Lucky for us, the first store we found had the fans that we ended up choosing. We went with the Craftmade Civic in Brownstone finish with the ring fluorescent light kit.

The Hunter fans would've cost somewhere around $149 each. The Civics cost nearly $1200 for the three that we bought.

But we're being environmentally friendly, right?

That's what it takes, isn't it?

Spend a few more bucks to tell manufacturers that we want them to make energy-efficient products, that we want them to stop using plastics that we can't recycle, that we want them to be good environmental citizens.

It's the same reason that The Girl and I combined our various errands from yesterday into one big trip, that I walked the five blocks to the Sharonville library from our parking spot over by the quilting store, that we've bought rechargable batteries for the Wii remotes, and that The Girl was painting the bedroom with low VOC paint today (for a fourth coat on the walls, but her issues are for another post entirely).

And it's what each of us needs to start doing.

Damn the pocketbook.

Ignore the cheap and disposable if you can afford to go with the more durable.

Spend the extra few bucks to get all compact fluorescent bulbs when you replace your old incandescents - or wait until the LEDs are available to be even better.

Walk or bike when you could've driven those half dozen blocks.

Build green.

Buy locally.

Think globally.


calencoriel said...

yes...clearly, you two are much better than the rest of us...

achilles3 said...

Lots of snippet thought on this:

1. Korea is amazing for this work to the point where, in Seoul, garbage bags are produced by the government in special sizes and colors to encourage/mandate waste removal. I'll blog on it soon when I get more info.

2. I love to hear about other people doing the Earth well! Great reminder and I need those.

3. One thing I will not part with is "yellow" lighting. I HATE those bright white stupid bulbs. They are ugly, they make everything else ugly with their ugly light and they give me a damn headache.

Time to go ride the cleanest safest subway in the world:-)

PHSChemGuy said...

Calen - that isn't what I meant...I just kida wanted to point out that we've sorta been talking a good game but are starting to head into the realm of walking the game, too...

Achilles3 - the CFB are very blue most of the time, but they're getting better and better