Friday, June 13, 2008

trying to go a little greener

And although my garden is certainly green, the weeds have taken over, I swear the bags of dirt we bought were bags of instant weed garden, that`s not quite what I mean.
First, reducing our electricity usage drastically. We no longer watch as much tv. I`ve used the dryer for about a total of 1 hour in the last week, instead of about 7 or 8 (loads never take just an hour to dry!).

And, after seeing sellers on Etsy selling reusable produce bags, I thought I would make some for me. I will not be selling these bags on Etsy, as there are already several sellers there...check them out if you`re looking to buy! I figure if I use them, I`ll have cards ready for people who notice and ask where on earth I bought them.

Just think of how many plastic produce bags you use a week: a few potatos, one bag. A few apples, another. Lettuce, another. Grapes, another. Peppers, another...and on and on. The more fruits and veggies, the more bags. And where do they go...the dump. Multiply one week by And multiply that by (insert number choice here) people shopping...double wow.
Then, think of how many bags that would NOT go in the dump.

Some countries have already outlawed these bags. They blow around, clog the sewer drains, water backs up, get the picture.

So, I`m kinda excited about these bags. And hey, if a few people ask me to make some, my sewing machine really did enjoy getting a bit of a work out yesterday so I`m sure it will enjoy more. Not to mention a little extra cash would be nice.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Ontario Energy Savings...NOT

I used to pride myself that I wouldn't just sign anything. Then, I proved myself wrong.
Last year, a rep from Ontario Energy Savings came door to door, offering us a price protection plan. Rates were going to skyrocket, and this would protect us from a drastic rise for 5 years.
(Why oh WHY didn't alarm bells go off??)
How could they give their customers such a good price? Because they purchased blocks of hydro (or whatever the term was) from the original supplier at a good price.
GEESH. If they'd paid FULL price, they'd still be making a big profit. My local ELK is roughly 4.5 cents per kw hour. I'm paying about 8.5. DOUBLE.
At first, I thought my bills were higher because: it was summer, we had the air on (although I tried not to use it much) and the pool filter on. Then, it was fall, we had the lights on earlier now, the heat was on...after Christmas after struggling to keep up with the hydro bills, I just about fell over when one month was $200. For ONE FLOOR and an unfinished basement. Lights are always off in rooms not used.
We tried to cut back. STILL the bills were high, and we're still struggling.
Last month, I rarely used our clothes dryer. Lights were not on during the day, curtains were opened instead. $160.
The only way out is to cancel, which would cost me a few thousand dollars for 'their' damages.

How about MY damages? To heck with worrying about the price of gas for our cars, we can afford that! We just can't afford to keep cool at all this summer. Fans will rarely run, we won't be setting up our pool cause we can't afford to pay the hydro bill.
If we do get disconnected for failing to keep up, there is the reconnection fee. WITH THE SAME SUPPLIER. So, we can't win.

A couple weeks ago, a rep from OES came around to ensure we were still signed up. I wasn't going to bother going to get my bill. They should KNOW I'm still with them. I told her that unfortunately, I was, but that I'm warning people to stay away, I'm paying almost double the hydro I used to pay. She had the nerve to tell me that later this year, (made it sound like this was all hush-hush) rates were going up over 9 cents per kw hour.
I talked to the Ontario Energy Board who are THE ones who set the rate. THEY don't even know what the rate will be, so how could this rep know?? Answer, she doesn't. She's trying to make me feel better about being a sucker.

So, word of warning, anyone comes asking to see your bill to ensure you're getting the best rate, chances are, they can't give it to you. Learn from my very expensive lesson.

**I checked the date on my bill. And went to the trouble of reading my meter (okay, so it's really no trouble). Since their estimate on May 3rd, we've only 'used' under 400 kw hours. Still, makes me cry to think how much smaller my bill would have been if I hadn't tried to save money.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Neon meets watermelon meets checkerboard

View my page on EtsyHookers

At a request from someone on Etsy, I designed a pair of checkerboard slippers. Now, this is my rough draft, and I used a couple of colours I had handy (as opposed to going to the basement and browsing through my tubs) which just happened to be bright green (you may recognize from my Lion Allieghan--pattern available soon--I'm selling on Etsy. The pink...I really can't remember where that came from! The colours together kinda make me want to break out my sunglasses.
I designed these so that they are wider at the toe end of the foot than at the heel. I have yet to meet someone whose heel is the widest point of their foot!

This pattern will be available in my CrochetSal's store at Etsy, and also on my site, June 5th, along with a stuffed scorpion, the afore-mentioned Lion Allieghan and a tote. Pictures show bottom of slipper (left) and top of slipper (right).