trešdiena, 2011. gada 20. jūlijs

OnGreenCarpet in the countryside and two homes

It's been very quiet on the online part of the green carpet.. but that's not because all the green things are gone, not at all. Quite contrary- the green carpet has become much more green now with the move to the countryside of Latvia, and the online silence has been so long due to many green things you can do outdoors.
One of my plans or I could even say- dreams- of life in the country has been reducing the time I spent at my computer, which was a lot when I was working in the office and doing some stuff on the internet at home as well. This was no challenge to reduce it to approximately 30min per day in total, it has been a pleasure. However, I'll try to increase it just a little bit again to dedicate some time on green carpet online as well :)

So life so far- my family has moved back to Latvia, and we are going to have two homes here- apartment in Riga and country house in, well, countryside :) First I'd like to tell more about the two homes.

Riga apartment is located in quite green area, at least down from our balcony there's a green patch with grass, trees and blooming bushes, which is nice. Another green point- it's on a 5th floor, no elevator. So we will have to get back to excersise on stairs :)
At the moment there are refurbishment works going on, we're changing the whole bathroom. Even though the tiles for it are coming from Spain, the "big" items like bath tub and sink are made locally :) We've also bought new washing machine, which is more energy efficient and uses less water. We could have done a bit better, but we had to work our budget, so we are having Samsung WF-0600NCW/YLE. However, we did not throw the old one just out, we gave it to my parents. Their household is huge and with rural tourism business the washing up is a big deal, so they needed a spare one in case something happens to the ones they have :)
We ditched the plan of changing the floors because they are still good and it's much more sustainable to take care of the ones we have till the end of their lifes. I think we can have them for couple more years. However, I will want to place some carpets in the winter here and there now with the baby coming soon. Just have to find some greener options!
We also arranged the fixing of balcony doors so that the apartment is more efficiently heated in the cold winters to come. We will also change the heaters, just have to arrange that with the company responsible for that. I wonder, what do they do with the old ones?
The kitchen will need some extra stuff as well. At the moment there's a small cooking surface using gas. As our family is growing, the plan is to change it to a bigger cooking surface using electricity. The gas is not very good for health and the prices at th emoment are closer to equal than before. We will also need an oven, but I haven't done the research on that yet. I know that all new ones are A+ on energy class, but I wonder if there's more info on other issues like resource saving on production, non-use of harsh chemicals etc.
I'll tell more on everything when we move in!

Country house we're currently living in belongs to my parents, I grew up there-it's very green and super-sustainable on one hand, and very un-green on the other. Since it's a household, we're responsible for our own water consumption, electricity use and heating. I'm not going to impose any green revolution here yet, but I try one baby step at the time. At the moment there's no heating at all because it's summer, and in winter we use wood. Some may oppose that the wood is not the best resource to use, but we use it very consciously and both of my parents are working with responsible forestry, so we put it back what we take from the nature. Water saving is also easier now in the summer as I don't take morning showers but go swimming instead. Electricity use, however, is one thing I am currently trying to work on here. For now it's turning all the lights off that are on unneccessarily. For example, my parents have got used to leave the light in the bathroom all day long. I have no idea why, but I always turn it off, when no one is there. The same with the small kitchen light and couple of household appliances. I hope they'll pick it up quickly!
My revolution here will be the stuff we use to take care of ourselves and our house. By this I mean cosmetics, soaps, washing up liquids, sprays and all the rest of the chemical stuff. At the moment we have about 25% of organic and eco-friendly stuff, mostly in body care and some washing up liquids. Every time my mom buys something, I offer an eco-friendly product instead of the "conventional". Sometimes it works, and that makes me happy. I hope it will work even more soon enough!

See you soon on green carpet again, I'll tell you more on life here!

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