Sunday, August 13, 2006

Part IV: In Search of a New...

Making smarter, healthier choices is surprisingly easy! Sustainable options can be made in virtually every corner of our lives. Check out some practical, easy tips below:

For your car…

• Keep tires properly inflated
• Keep current on auto maintenance (e.g., air filters and oil)
• Shut off all accessories (fans, radio, lights, etc.) before turning key in
• Avoid driving aggressively (“jack rabbit” starts and aggressive braking)
• Keep windows rolled up on the highway to reduce “drag”
• Remove roof-top racks and storage units you aren’t using

In the kitchen...

• Food cooks fastest on the outer edges of the microwave plate
• For small dishwashing loads, skip “Rinse Hold” and you’ll save 3-7 gallons
of water
• When using the oven, avoid repeatedly opening the door. Each time door
opens, you lose ¼ of its heat.
• Always use cold water when running the disposal.
• Keep frost build-up in the freezer to less than ¼ inch to maintain efficiency
• Vacuum coils on back of fridge twice and year and make sure there’s space
between unit and wall on all sides.
• Install a $5 faucet “aerator” and reduce water consumption up to 50%.

For your diet…

• Try delicious “one-pot” meals
• Enjoy “shade grown” organic coffee
• Know what foods retain the highest amounts of pesticides and make smarter,
healthier choices for you and your family!
• Like fish? Choose Wild Alaskan Salmon, Tilapia, Pacific Halibat, Striped
Bass and other varieties that are considered “sustainable” from a
harvesting, species management and health standpoint.
• Reduce meat (beef, chicken, pork) consumption

Things that Creep and Crawl…

• Use natural methods of pest control. For bugs indoors, we use a spray
product (available where chemical pesticides are sold) with “rosemary oil”
as an active ingredient. It’s safe around kids and pets and it works!
• Look for “Neem-Oil” based products

Lawn & Garden…

• Don’t give your lawn a “buzz cut.” Mow often, but not too short
• Water deeply, but not too often
• Water early in the morning
• Leave clippings on the lawn (otherwise known as “grass-cycling”)
• Investigate the new “reel mowers” (these are not your father’s lawn mowers!)
• Choose a grass that is adaptable to your climate and know how often that
grass needs to be watered before it goes brown!

These are just a few of many wonderful tips available from the eartheasy website. Check it out! You don’t have to stage a coup on your lifestyle in radical and extreme ways to make a difference. Make one or two simple changes this week. Follow the link below… and see where it takes you!

p.s. If you don't see a "link" above... it's because I'm a baby blogger... how come I can't get it to highlight so you can click on it and go there? Hmmm... a mystery.


Donna said...

Thanks Sarah!! Lots of food for thought there!

NancyM said...


Good info....thanks.

What I don't hear anyone mention when it comes to energy conservation is the driving habit of speeding. I say habit, because it seems to be the "norm" to do so. I'm as guilty as anyone. If the speed limit is 55, everyone drives 10 miles over the limit. On a recent trip from our home in Northern Virginia to Maryland, my husband was driving 76 mph in a 65 mph zone, while other cars passed us by.

If everyone in America drove the speed limit at ALL times, can you imagine the savings?

In reality, it will never happen, but the next time you are out and about driving over the speed limit, consider slowing down.

I'm trying.


Sarah Onderdonk said...

Nancym... what's with that, anyway? if you don't go with the flow of traffic... which invariably well exceeds the speed limit in non-rush hour... you will get run over!

thanks for posting!