Energy Aware and Waste WiseWritten by Lillian & Dave Brummet
Energy Aware and Waste Wise (583 words)
Constantly bombarded with negative information about environment, finances and natural resources? Feeling overwhelmed? Each and every one of us can do something to help our world - starting right where we are, right now. Though not everyone can afford to donate cash or time to a cause, there are endless tactics that will decrease an individual’s contribution to landfill and their resource consumption. Mirrors, placed strategically in a room can be used to make use of natural lighting more efficiently, and reduce energy use as well. When placed near indoor plants, mirrors act like a second window creating better growing conditions while giving illusion of increased space and greenery to ambiance of a room. When loading clothes dryer, fluff wet and tangled laundry before tossing into machine. This allows for immediate and more efficient use of dryer energy. Very hot settings (which can actually shrink clothing) can thus be avoided. Typically, heated air from a clothes dryer is pumped outside and wasted. Consider purchasing a dryer vent converter - available at most hardware stores. These are little boxes that divert heated air from dryer into house during cold and dry winter months – making better use of your energy dollar while saving a little on heating costs. Be warned that this air is moist, and this may not be appropriate in all situations. Homes with dry static air or wood heat would benefit from moisture, but buildings that already have a moisture problem (evident by mould and mildew or sweating and frosted windows) will only have their issues compounded by doing this. Instead of buying disposable dryer sheets for static control, consider using a liquid fabric softener with a reused rag or sock. Pour a Tablespoon of liquid on rag, roll it up and squeeze (to soak up all softener) and toss in dryer. Wash rag periodically by throwing it in with a normal load. Just imagine number of dryer sheets, packaging they came in, along with costs, energy and resources to produce them that can be avoided by this one simple act.
Reuse in the WorkshopWritten by Lillian & Dave Brummet
Reuse in Workshop (476 words)
The workshop is a great place for reusing items formally destined for landfill. Even if you do not have a shop or craft area you can always donate items mentioned in following paragraphs to friends, schools, shops, youth centers… The concept of reusing is as limitless as your imagination.
Screws, bolts, picture hooks, plant hangers, curtain hooks, and hinges are common hardware items used in most homes. Although not overly costly when purchased a few pieces at a time, they can add up over years. Salvage any reusable hardware and parts from old cabinets, furniture or mechanical items before discarding. These can easily be organized and stored in plastic containers of different sizes. Shop with this in mind and purchase items like peanut butter or mayonnaise in clear plastic containers. These are our favorite as they are recyclable, sturdy and you can easily determine jar’s contents at a glance. When buying screws and bolts avoid small plastic packages and try to find a store that sells these items out of bulk bins. You save money and packaging too.
Strong plastic jugs from juice, milk, or detergents make excellent storage containers for tools, rags or parts in workshop. At a section near top of jug remove all but a flap of plastic to attach it to a wall or post. Any rough spots can be filed off or covered with tape. Drill a few holes in bottom for drainage and use in same way outside in garden and for storing clothespins.