Thursday, August 18, 2011

It's Official!

On Tuesday, my hubby and I officially became homeowners! Woo-hoo! I am so excited to get the house ready for move-in day. And of course I'm looking forward to all of the great greening we'll be able to do that we haven't been able to do in the apartment community we're currently in. Figured I'd make a little "Green To-Do List" to help keep my eye on the ball!

1) Paint any areas that must be painted with non-VOC paint. VOCs (volatile organic compounds) are gasses emitted from paint and other household chemicals and are a major source of indoor air pollution and a contributor to asthma and other childhood respiratory problems.

2) Seal the deck with an eco-friendly, VOC-free sealant to limit Jem's exposure to the pesticide-treated wood.

3) Pick up secondhand furniture and wall-to-wall carpeting from Freecyclers. :-) Thank you, fellow Freecyclers!

4) Install HE washer and dryer (I'm thinking of a Fisher & Paykel AquaSmart washer, I hear it's a good one for cloth diapers...any thoughts? I really want to keep using a top-loader!)

5) Make a vermicomposting bin and buy some red wigglers (we had one in our previous apartment but the landlord tossed it on the curb for trash pickup...English wasn't his first language and he didn't understand our label "Compost." Bye bye worms!)

6) Put a bucket under the faucet in the shower to catch access water to use for flushing toilets and cleaning.

7) Install a rain barrel to water indoor and outdoor plants.

8) Plant some fruit trees and start a container garden (someday I might have a backyard garden, but I've never had one before and you have to start somewhere!) I'm also seriously considering planting a soap nut tree. Apparently you can grow them here! It might take a couple of decades to bear fruit, but how cool would it be to have organic laundry detergent growing in your own backyard!

Eventually we also want to install solar panels, but that might take a few years to accomplish!  Do you have any other great green suggestions we could try in our new home?


  1. Congrats on your new home. I think you've pretty much covered most of the things to make it a green home.

  2. I have a HE top loader that I LOVE LOVE LOVE! It's a GE Profile! It's awesome for washing diapers! It has custom water settings to so you can set it to how much water you want in each load no matter how big your load is, which is awesome for washing diapers because I can set it for lots of water without 'tricking' it like some people say to do. It also has the Prefill option I use with my regular laundry where it only adds as much water is needed for the amount of laundry in the machine.

    It has a Quick Rinse cycle that I use alot when washing diapers for extra rinses.

    It also has the option to just add a second rinse to the end of any wash cycle as well as extended spin which is awesome for a shorter drying time!!

    AND our water bill has dramatically come down with this washer. Used to be about $200 a month, now its never more than about $60!! I've had it for 18 months now and LOVE it!

  3. Oh has settings to add a pre-soak to the beginning of any wash cycle. It has a 15 min and 30 min setting. About once every 3 loads or so of diapers I set it to the 30 min pre-soak so that it soaks for a half hour before starting the wash cycle. That way I don't have to remember to go out and start my wash after the soak, it automatically does it!(my washer is in the garage and I forget!)

  4. Thanks Virginia! A few questions: when you set it to hot, does it actually get hot or just warm? Also, I've heard reports of some HE toploaders being too rough on regular clothes, do you find this to be true with your machine? Are you able to use eco-friendly detergents (Lulu's, Eco Sprout, etc) or do you have to use Tide to get anything clean? Lastly, is there a pre-rinse option or just the pre-soak option? Sorry, I know that's a lot of questions, but I really appreciate your input!

  5. It does get HOT, I tried sticking my hand in to kinda stir the diapers around one day while it was running water into it and it was TOO hot to put my hand it, the fact that there was steam coming out of my washer should have been my first clue, but I had to try! lol.

    I don't think it's rough on my regular clothes. I've had no issue washing my regular laundry and I do A LOT, probably 8-10 load a week! If anything I like it better cause I don't get all that extra lint on my black shirts that I used to get with my old washer!

    Yes! You can use eco-friendly soaps, I used to use Rockin' Green and it worked GREAT but recently switched to Eco Sprout because I just like it better! I have used different sorts of detergents for my regular clothes, I just make sure the package says it's HE safe!

    There is a Quick Rinse option, sadly it doesn't automatically start the wash after its over like the pre-soak, I have to go start the wash cycle after the rinse is over. My rinse cycle takes 18 minutes or I can set it to do 2 rinses, one right after another (def nice for doing extra rinses afterwards if needed)

    The washer also has a digital timer on it, so you know exactly how many minutes are left until it's done, which I personally LOVE!

    Naw, not a lot of questions! I don't mind answering! I always here people talking about how HE washers are horrible for cloth diapering but I love my HE machine for washing diapers! Mostly because of all the different settings. I set my water setting to Extra Large or Super load, depending on how many diapers I am washing. Then I do a quick rinse (or set it do do a double rinse depending on how many pooped diapers are in there), then a hot wash with the double rinse option at the end, then usually atleast one more rinse with extended spin so that it takes more water out of my inserts, fitteds and prefolds so that they dry a ton faster! If I am in a hurry, I just do the wash with the double rinses and extended spin and skip the last extra rinse. Then once a week or so I do the pre-soak option with everything else the same!

    If you have anymore questions let me know!

  6. Thanks so much for all the info Virginia! One more question...what's the model number of your machine? :-)

  7. Its the GE Profile WPRE6150K2WT It's an Energy Star, High Efficiency machine. I'm not sure if they still make this exact model or not, I've had it for about a year and a half. They do make new models which is what my aunt has and its very similar and she loves it as well. Im not sure on her model number, but she just bought it about 2 months ago.

  8. Thanks again Virginia! They do only seem to be selling newer models, I'm trying to find out about the hot water. If it does get hot water without having to turn off the cold water line every time I need to do a hot wash than I'll definitely go with the GE Profile Harmony!

  9. Your welcome! I never have to turn off my cold water line when I do hot washes. The GE Profile Harmony is what my aunt has! She said she doesn't have to turn off her cold water when she does hot washes either. If you do decided to go with the GE I hope yo love it as much as we do!