Nov 8 2011 2:31PM
The emphasis on going green and the praise homeowners receive for making a conscious effort when building or renovating wonâ€™t fall short, but when doing these projects, on a budget - it is better to know which changes are worth making and what simply does not work.
Susan Carpenter of the LA Times reported on her experience in transforming her home with do-it-yourself green projects and found her inner idealist battling with her budget-conscious realist.
Carpenterâ€™s realist side came up with lists of which investments homeowners should make. For example, the Australian-made Waterwall works just like water barrels, and is more appealing to look at - but the cost and installation keep it from being suggested to homeowners.
She also admits that her attempt to live off the land by growing her own fruits and vegetables wasnâ€™t ideal with the California climate and quality of soil. The chickens she purchased to produce eggs became the diet of local wildlife - coyotes, raccoons and possums.
She ranks installing a grey water system as her most successful change - that is redirecting the use of wasted water from baths, showers and sinks to laundry and landscaping - saving around 1,120 gallons of water per month. Carpenter also suggests homeowners use solar power and rain barrels. Some simple and inexpensive changes that homeowners can make include investing in a clothing line verses using a dryer, composting left overs and, of course, recycling.Â