Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It Ain't easy being green

So it's been awhile since I've posted.  

Basically, we got stuck in project purgatory, but at least there was green intent behind it! 

Remember "A is for Air Quality"?  http://alacartegreen.blogspot.com/2010/05/is-for-air-quality.html Well, in an effort to improve the indoor air quality, we embarked on removing the dust mite laden carpet in Tiger Lily's bedroom, and replacing it with bamboo flooring.  

In terms of "green" flooring, bamboo is extremely sustainable because it can grow between 1-2 feet a day.  It does not need to be replanted after harvesting because it has an extensive network of roots, and spouts new shoots continually.  In addition, bamboo perpetually converts greenhouse gases as it grows, filters the air while making oxygen, and doesn't need pesticides or fertilizers to grow at amazing rates.  This is one rugged, useful, rigid, sustainable grass!  Not only was our choice of flooring "green", but it saved us some green too.  Compared to the oak hardwood we'd originally considered to match the first floor, the bamboo cost significantly less, approximately half as much per square foot.  http://alacartegreen.blogspot.com/2010/05/bamboo-or-bambooooozled.html 

As a result of the difference in price, the flooring replacement extended into the hallway, and the next 2 bedrooms.  These areas also desperately needed to be replaced, and by removing the dust laden carpet and padding, and installing the green, clean bamboo flooring we've improved the air quality, as well as increased the value of the house.

To complicate the project, we took the opportunity to remove the horrible, contractor-special, "popcorn" ceiling that is sprayed on quickly and cheaply.  Besides the fact that we hate the look of the popcorn ceiling, it's impossible to clean off spider webs and dust because the "popcorn" flakes off.  So, the unhealthy ceiling needed to be scraped off before the carpet was pulled up.  Talk about labor intensive and messy!  Fortunately, the ceiling dust that didn't make it in the bag while scraping, fell on the carpet, which was rolled up and removed.  

Oh, and lest I forget...after removing the horrible popcorn ceilings, the entire upstairs ceiling had to be primed and then painted (low odor paint).   And just for good measure, we added to project purgatory, and primed and painted the walls in two of the bedrooms. 

Suffice it to say DIY projects, have many bumps along the way, both human (hubby smashed his finger, I wrecked my shoulder, and we both ached for weeks) and projected related.  As we did each room, the kids had to endure being displaced from their rooms, and having their stuff mostly inaccessible in piles and boxes.  In addition, we all put up with tools, project mess, and the inconvenience of it all.  Even with great planning there were extra trips to the store, plenty of snags along the way, and days it felt like it we'd never finish.  

Although it ain't easy being green, and we were in project purgatory for weeks, I can honestly say the rooms look AWESOME, and the pride in greening and beautifying our home is something that can't be measured :) 

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