Wonderful Perchers

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Earth Day!

In honor of Earth Day, I would like to talk about ways that I try to be green. I would also love to hear how you are green!! Maybe we can learn from each other :) I am not the "greenest" person out there but I try to do my part.
To start, I had my local utility company come to my home and run an energy efficiency test. They locked down my home and tested to see where air was seeping out of which windows and plugged up any holes in the attic and crawlspace that air may be getting out. They also changed all of the light bulbs to energy efficient light bulbs and this was all done for FREE!!! If this is something that you would like more information on please feel free to contact me or check with your local utility company to see if they have this kind of program. I didn't know that this program existed until I spoke with someone who had it done. Not like they are going to advertise it since it costs them money but not me!! LOL! But it is a great program to take advantage of if your utility company offers it.

I also do my part in recycling plastic, glass, tin and newspapers. Every week our recycling bin goes out full with our trash.

Speaking of trash...I think my biggest "green" project is my compost pile. I started composting full time last year. I have a little bit of an advantage with having chickens. I use all the pine shavings I have in the chicken coop with the poop of coarse! Chicken manure is one of the best compost you can get. It just takes longer to compost then other manures due to the high amounts of ammonia in the droppings. I have 2 empty coffee cans on my kitchen counter...one for the chickens and the other for the compost pile. Not very many food scraps make it into our trash due to my little system. The compost can get anything that is not meat or food that will rot and attract rodent or nothing that has seeds. The girls get just about everything else.
The pictures below are of my compost pile from last year. It sat all winter and this is what it turned out like

When I left this pile at the end of the fall it was well up over the top of this black plastic "compost holder". I got this plastic from my town hall. I didn't know they offered this either until I saw someone walking out with one! There are so many little hidden secrets out there

This is a close up of what it broke down to. You can still see the shavings but the deeper you go the blacker the new "soil" gets

If you look on the right hand side of this photo you will see a longer piece of something...it kind of looks out of place...I think that is a piece of a corn husk. I did learn that corn cob doesn't break down like I would have liked it to.

These are my 3 raised beds that Mark built for me last year. I live on a rock ledge so there isn't much digging that can take place in my yard. Raised beds are supposed to be the best way to garden. They aren't expensive to make unless you go with top material of coarse but we always find a less expensive way to make things. We will try to make something before we buy it!

This is Ash in the compost pile. The girls love pecking around in it. When it gets warm out, there are all sorts of bugs and worms in it and the girls go crazy. When I find worms in the garden I feed a few to the girls and the rest go into the compost! The best thing for compost is a bit of moisture, different materials and WORMS!!
I just started a new pile when I cleaned out the coop and I have already spread the old pile into my raised beds to get the soil going. I cannot plant veggies until around mid May. Mother's Day is the rule of thumb for us up here in CT. I am nothing close to a expert gardener but I do try and LOVE trying!
Hmmm? I just thought that maybe I will write a little more on composting and take pictures of my new compost pile so you can see how it breaks down and how to do one. You don't need a big pile...you can make a small pile in one of the lawn and garden brown leaf bags..yep, really! it works! If you have children it is great to start even a small one so they learn there is another way to dispose of food and the reward of healthier plants later is a great one. I know Thomas loves taking the coffee can out to empty it. Sometimes he will notice it is full and take it out himself. This year he will learn what all that hard work has done for our garden. He gets very involved in gardening and it makes me happy to know that he would be able to feed himself, if necessary, when he is older. Hopefully it will stick with him and he will teach the same thing to his children.
Oh!! I can't forget to mention that I try to remember my reusable grocery bags every time I go shopping too!
I apologize for the long post but I feel as being green is very important and I feel as though we should all take pride in trying our best to be as green as we can!!
I would love to hear what you do to be green! Please share!


Jen said...

Karrie~ You rock! I love all of those 'green' tips. I love that your utility company does that!!! I, obviously, started my organic cotton t-shirt business to help with my daughters health and the environment. My husband has always called me 'tree hugger' and that is a compliment to me!!!

Karrie said...

Thanks Jen! I do try to do my best. It is also great what you are doing with your shirts that are so cute by the way!!

Cláudia said...

God, I miss you!
I have no time..
I'm still here ok?