Well this is a small departure from what you are used to seeing on Sprawlstainable, but recently I was inspired to get into a creative crafty mode and came up with this project for making a messenger bag purse out of recycled/reused cargo pants I bought at my local Goodwill, some fabric from an upholstery sample book, and a small piece of new fabric.
The heating and cooling systems on our trusty suburban ranch was more than twenty years old when we decided it was time to replace them with new, high efficiency models. So Mary and I began our due diligence on the subject and started comparing available options. When I first learned about geothermal heating and cooling for residential applications, it was both fascinating and a little intimidating. It seemed like a technology that everyone should be using, but since they weren’t, I was skeptical that it could really be as advantageous as it seemed to be on the surface.
Time for another tour of the garden! June is a big month for the garden!!! Things that were small in the beginning of the month are huge now. Beans and corn that were still seeds a month ago are now over 5 feet tall! Here is a gallery of photos I took, mostly from June 21st (solstice) so you can see what is blooming and how far along some of the vegetables are. Click on the thumbnail for detailed descriptions and larger photos. Everything is grown organically. Read More
Last updated April 25, 2011
We are implementing energy saving strategies to attempt to reduce our energy use at our home by 50% In this post I am going to be updating graphs showing our total energy use for Electric and Gas showing the difference between the average energy usage of the last 5 years to our current usage. Read More
I thought it was very important for you to have access to the garden design for the Sprawlstainable Garden. This drawing shows the entire site, the legend to all the edible plantings of fruits and vegetables, the house, the gardens, the patios, etc. The download is of the entire yard, the little thumbnail photo to the left here is just a small section of the garden.
I wanted to show you how easily you can save money by changing out some of your light bulbs to compact fluorescent or LED. With a few packages of new bulbs we saved 38% off the total cost of running lights in our house. Read more to see exactly how we did it. Read More
Growing Shitake Mushrooms
Did you know that you can grow shitake mushrooms at home? Well we are trying it and will report how it goes. We bought our first pre-inoculated log about 2 years ago. It cost about $30 from a mail order company. We did everything they said to do…soak the log, put it in the shade, keep it moist…but nothing happened. It was supposed to produce mushrooms about 8 months after we got it…in the spring and fall for up to 5 years. Well we didn’t have anything happen. I called the company, and for $10 more they sent us another one last spring….again nothing happened.
I had pretty much given up on them…but lo and behold, just this past week there were mushrooms! Read More
We’ll be doing a number of posts about our new geothermal heating and cooling system. It is a substantial investment in our home, and will go a long way towards meeting our goals of reducing our energy bills and our carbon footprint.
These videos are made from time lapse photography we captured during the outdoor portion of the installation process. Read More
With our goal of slashing energy costs by 50% over the next two years, we needed to know what we were dealing with in terms of the condition of our house.
We decided to get a home energy audit, which can be a great way to understand the current condition of your home for energy savings opportunities. In our case, two technicians from St. Louis based Home Green Home spent about three hours in our house. They checked the levels of insulation in the attic, walls, and basement. They used an infrared camera to look for areas of heat loss and inefficiency, and they performed a blower door test to analyze the air exchange in the house. Read More