During these stressful economic times it is important to look beyond today’s problems and maintain confidence in our collective future. While our household has been hit hard in the pocketbook by huge losses on Wall Street, we continue to hold an admittedly diminishing positive attitude. I keep asking myself, “Where is the bottom?” I still do not see any clear indication that we have reached it.
In the meantime, life goes on and it would be irresponsible to permit the investment in our home to fall into disrepair. Thus we are currently spending, just like our government, but we are doing something totally different. We are making a determined effort to direct our expenditures to local businesses and local contractors, which should have a positive impact to their bottom lines. I have written before about the importance to support your local businesses, but there is no better or more important time to do so than now.
Earlier in the week, we had a local contractor replace two broken light fixtures with energy efficient new ones (purchased at a locally-owned lighting store, not one of the “big box” stores). Additionally, we have a family room with a fireplace, but the gas burner was very old and operating inefficiently. Our man replaced the gas unit with a new, far more effective system (also purchased at a locally-owned retailer), and our fireplace now provides a beautiful fire that generates greater heat to the room. Hopefully, that investment will result in a reduction in our heating bills, too.
Yesterday, the same local contractor returned and spent the entire day making three important improvements to our beloved home. It took most of the day to blow new, environmentally safe insulation into the attic above the second floor. Our home is over twenty years old and the original insulation was in need of being replenished.
Later in the day he installed a new, energy efficient 50 gallon hot water heater which is warranteed for nine years. Last, but not least he installed a railing beside the stairs leading from our boot room to the garage. As I get older it is harder to navigate the stairs, especially when I have bundles in my arms, so safety first seemed to be a wise course of action.
All told we dropped about $3,000.00 into the local economy, and we should have a significant improvement in the energy efficiency of our home. Additionally, with the passage of recent legislation we will have an opportunity to take a tax deduction on some of our expenditure as it relates to a direct improvement of energy efficiency when we file our 2009 taxes next year.
My God, I’m going Green! Can you believe it?