Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Crazy Green Contest 1st Question

My First Question From the Crazy Green Cheapskate Contest Comes from Sherrie from Boogers Screams Headaches and Dreams. She even made it easy for me to give her a link with this swell button. So click the button and show her some love.

1) What made you decide to go green?

I started playing around with going green when we bought our first house. It was actually a trailer on an Air Force base Trailer Park. I think they are all closed now which is a shame because it gave Airmen a way to afford their first place without breaking they bank. There was a little spot in the back where the previous owner had a small vegetable garden. It had been a long time since I was able to have a garden so I was very excited. I started from seeds. I had tomatoes, peppers, beans and I even tried corn (just four stalks of it). In a black garbage can I started my first compost pile. The black color helped keep it warm in the winter months and when I turned the soil in the spring I added it to the garden. It wasn't full decomposed but I figured the rest would break down in the soil. The tomatoes peppers and beans did great the corn grew tall but got some kind of growth on it. It looked like it might be some kind of insect hive but there was never any sign of bugs. (to this day I still have no idea what it was).

3 Years later when I became pregnant with my daughter we moved out of the trailer and into a house. The backyard had about 12 trees and in the fall I started a huge compost pile. We set up a wire fence behind our shed and to keep it hot without turning it all the time I got a composting tool which is basically a short pole with a handle on one end and wings that fold in when you push it into the pile and open up when you pull it out to create new air passages.
When my daughter was old enough to start drinking milk we started buying organic milk. At the time there were several news stories and articles about how girls were entering puberty at earlier and earlier ages and though my husband and I hadn't seen anything to confirm our suspicions we decided it probable had something to do with BGH's. We decided that Samantha would get organic milk to help keep any possible side effects away from her.
Our final push to green living and as much organic food as we can afford happened when Samantha started 1st grade . The school wanted me to do a survey about my daughters behavior. She would talk constantly and would get up and do things while her teacher was giving lessons. (see where this is going?) The survey the teacher completed showed that she might have ADD and they started hinting that it might be a good idea to get her tested. Well having don't a research project in College on ADD/ADHD I know there is no REAL test they can give a child to show that they have ADD/ADHD they just watch the kid and decide whether or not they had it. We decided that there was no way we were going to give our child a personality altering drug we would try everything else possible. We started at the doctor's office and NO we didn't tell them the school though she had ADD. We asked for sleep tests, thyroid tests and had some other things tested. These were things that we looked up that could cause a child to have the same behaviors as a child that supposedly had ADD/ADHD. None of these were the problem.
Then we came across the Feingold Diet. I vaguely remembered seeing it when I was doing my research paper and started reading up. The Feingold Diet has a very simple concept. Artificial Flavors and Colors and Certain preservatives are made from Petroleum (that's right the same stuff you put in your car.) The HUMAN Body is not meant to digest Petro and has a negative reaction. Included for some children the same symptoms as ADD/ADHD. Well there was nothing in this diet that could hurt us so we decided to give it a shot. In two weeks my daughters behavior at school improved about 90%. The thing that sealed the deal was I had decided to go ahead and give them some blueberry waffles we had in the freezer so they wouldn't go to waste (you know the kind that don't have any blueberries just blueberry flavor chips ). My daughter was pinging off the walls for hours after having them.

Sorry that was so long. Now your second question.

2) What type of light bulbs are the best if going green? We've tried the ones that are swirly, and you know what...well, some have blown too quickly, so I'm not very impressed. Or -- do you HAVE to buy the name brand?

I use compact fluorescent. I don't really pay attention to the brand I tend to go for what is on sale. I haven't had any burn out yet but if they burned out really quickly you might try contacting the manufacture they may replace them. If I owned my home (we are renting right now) I would look into installing recessed LED lights which are even more energy efficient they fluorescents. (sometimes I think about buying some of the solar powered LED Christmas lights and put the solar panel in the window and attach the lights to the ceiling ) They tend not to be as bright as fluorescents though. So I think a mixture of the two would probably be best. LED's for general lighting and fluorescents for when you need more light like when your reading.


Michelle said...

Thanks for sharing your story. We've been trying to go green a little at a time. We started using the compact fluorescent too. Wow, what a difference in our electric bill. Have a great weekend.

Barry said...

Very interesting post. We have a garden as well and I tried growing corn one year, but the day before we planned to pick it, raccoons beat us to it and ate the lot.

At least it was good for them.

April said...

Your welcome Michelle. A little at a time is the best way to go green. Because it helps you deal with the changes. I hope you have a great weekend too. And don't forget to enter my contest I put a button on the side bar that will take you to the contest post :D

April said...

Hi Barry. I love your stories about Lindsay. They really make my day. Thanks for stopping by.

I love gardening this year it will be in containers since it was too expensive to buy a house here in Long Island. Maybe our next move we'll buy again. I hope the corn kept the raccoons out of the rest of your garden ;)