Tuesday, July 28, 2009

#56 This mower is REELY great.

This summer I decided I was fed up with my big old clunky smelly gas mower. It was really heavy, really noisy, and not in the greatest condition. It used to be that mowing was the man's job around here, but well, I guess I've just kept my hubby a bit too busy with other things (ie remodel) and it's fallen into my lap.
I went for a cheap ($20 on CL--woohoo!) no frills reel mower. I don't have a huge lawn and this little mower really isn't hard to use at all. The main difference is that instead of using muscle to push a big heavy mower I am having to move super fast to keep the blade spinning and cutting well. I never realized how much pollution an old gas mower could create until I read this article by the EPA. It makes sense.

Pros: Easy to use, no pollution, no noise, low maintenance. I can mow with my kids in the yard and not worry about flying debris, and my 7-year-old can even use it (and thinks it's fun.)

Cons: It doesn't cut grass that has gone to seed very well. I haven't yet figured out how to sharpen the blades. Little pieces of stuff sometimes get stuck in the blades and bind them up.

Monday, July 20, 2009

#55 Don't pay for hot water you're not using!

Wow! It's been a month since I last posted! It has been a very busy month and I've been gone for a lot of it.
Sometime back in March (I remember because I had just gotten back from somewhere) I read a suggestion to turn off your water heater when you are gone from your house for an extended time. What a great idea! But of course I couldn't post about it until I put it into practice. It's simple, just flip the electrical circuit for the water heater before you leave on vacation, and you won't be using electricity or paying for hot water that will just sit there. I don't know for sure, but I'd estimate that you need to be gone for at least 2 days for this to be an effective money-saving method since it takes quite a bit of energy to heat up the entire water tank once it's all cold.

Pros: Simple, effective, money-saving

Cons: You have to remember to do it before you leave. You will have to wait an hour or so after you get home (after you remember to turn it back on) before you have hot water.