Sunday, October 02, 2011

Trumpets Please!

I've been in a bit of a green funk since our move. Anyone who has followed this blog for any length of time knows that I witter on annoyingly and at great length about conserving energy, water, recycling, growing your own food, etc.

And moving from a place where we minimized our consumption and were able to do all those things to a city of 1 M+ sort of harshed my buzz, to quote the younger generation.

But I am not just old, I am also cunning. The condo's annual general meeting was the night after we moved in. And though I could barely put a foot in front of the next, when a nice young man knocked on the door and begged that one of us come down to the lobby for the meeting so it could reach a quorum and proceed, I went. And when they asked for volunteers to sit on the board for the coming year, I put my hand up.

I admit to an agenda, and if you can't guess what it is you haven't been paying attention. But in the commission of her duties this old girl has learned some very interesting and highly encouraging information.

This building has 183 units of various sizes, each of which has its own washer/drier. Fifty of those units have heated underground parking in the parkade. It's a nice building, not fancy by any means, but interesting architecturally, as it's laid out in three "wings", which come together in a central lobby. The roof has dormers and gables, it's not your ugly flat "apartment-style" block. It's got four floors and because it has level entries and two elevators it's accessible.

I look at the long hallways, with a light fixture every 15 feet and groan at the power consumption. (All replaced with CFL bulbs thank you very much.)

But all those TVs, all those washing machines and dishwashers churning away. I can just see the planet going up in smoke and flames. I look at the financials and see how much we spent on electricity and gas last year and think, we have to bring that down!

So I dive in and figure out how much each unit on average each unit consumes in electricity and natural gas for the year. Hmmmmm... that can't be right..... recheck figures. Turns out we use less power and heat here than we did in the Tin Palace. And the average unit here is at the very bottom of the consumption scale compared to other buildings of its type.

Okay, this doesn't mean we still shouldn't try to cut down, and my next newsletter will talk about how to reduce consumption so we can keep our condo fees (which include our electricity, heat, and water) down.

I also got permission to set up "Freecyling Stations" on each floor, in the room where the garbage chute is located. It's clean and well-lit, lots of room, and people often leave things there they no longer want but are still usable. We're just going to "Official" it, with boxes and signs, and encourage people to recycle clean, useful items rather than throwing them away.

And the coup de grace - (Trumpets please!) I got condo board approval to try to organize a community garden in the back corner of the property. The corner has a six foot fence on two sides and parking lot on the third. It's triangular in size with sun all day, and a few small insignificant trees spaced widely apart. Now to begin to recruit other gardeners.

Sigh - That feels better....


Anonymous said...

woo hoo!

That is the planet thanking you.

A receptive audience in oil country is inspiring to say the least.

Anonymous said...

Glad you're back. I missed you but know what it is like to move. Don't worry about the memory thing, our brains are just getting smarter, only holding so much in the short term and letting long term do all the hard stuff. you do know it , just have to dig a little deeper.

love what you are starting to work on with your condo board.

Susan ~ Patchkat said...

WOW! You work fast and well :-) Before long, you'll be running that place!!! Great to see you posting and greening again!

Bet you'll recruit new gardeners pretty quick, and if'll have lots of fruits and veggies to share come Summer!

Love you. Susan