clothes hangers

photo by priscilla du pree

Most of have extra hangers rattling around and taking up space in our closets. You don’t have to throw them away or toss them in the recycling- drop off old hangers to your local dry cleaner so they can use them again!

borrow or rent

Photo by Alexandru G. Stavrica

Why buy and store that chainsaw/steam cleaner/rototiller you use once a year? I know, it is nice to be prepared. That’s what I tell myself when I look at the 15-year old generator that’s still wrapped in plastic in my garage. On the other hand, if you borrow a neighbor’s power washer and accidentally set it on fire, you should replace it. Just saying.

And if you’re the one with the garage full of tools and stuff, thanks for sharing with the rest of us!

greener shopping

Use your wallet to change the world in little steps. Buy organic food, especially in season. Look for recycled or undyed paper goods like paper towels, writing paper, and wrapping paper. Recycled clothing items, like jeans and shoes are becoming easier to find. You might pay more at times, but prices should even out as demand increases.

For starters, I’m going to buy more organic fruit this season, and look for undyed tissues, which we use all the time. What changes can you make to your buying habits?

Lighting Quiz

Photo by Raul Varzar

How are you doing with your lighting? See how you stack up in the quiz below, and pat yourself on the back for the progress you’re making!

WARNING: Think twice about the lights. Someone at work turns out the lights in our restroom on occasion. One day I walked in and turned on the lights and a voice in the stall said, “thank you!”

Novice: You’ve changed the light bulbs that get the most use, and are waiting for your incandescent bulbs to burn out before replacing others.

Intermediate: Among other changes, the outdoor lights are on a timer, and turn off automatically at night. The lights are only on in a room if someone is in it.  

Pro: All your bulbs are high-efficiency, indoors and out. You’re talking to facilities managers at your job and at the local school to make sure they’re on top of the latest technologies.

tires are like coffee

tire with bright yellow hubcap
Photo by Thomas Millot

Tire pressure is like drinking caffeine. Too little and your car is sluggish- using about 0.4 % more gas for every psi (pounds per square inch) under the recommended number. Too high and the over-inflated tires will make the car rattle and shake.

So maintain the correct air pressure in your tires. You can find the psi number on the driver’s door jamb or user’s manual. It’s usually around 32-34.I check my tires at home with a little pressure checker thingy. Gas stations do have machines, usually in a corner somewhere, and either broken or with a line of people waiting. See, you’re not alone! Take a couple of minutes to save gas– and have a safer ride too!

https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/a940/4199963/

https://www.cars.com/articles/2013/06/how-to-check-and-fill-tires/

The Car You Hate to Love

Yep, this one is mine.

Owners will privately admit it: the minivan is the Car You Hate to Love. Believe me, I was not an initial fan. But we have lots of family members to transport. Kids to carpool. Stuff to haul. When we had a little ole pontoon boat, we’d hitch it right up. The minivan does it all, and with better gas mileage than most SUVs.

Here’s the secret to saving gas: commit to driving more often than your non-van friends and family. Because you can. And you’ll take 1-3 cars off the road every time you do! If for some reason you feel super-uncool, just tell people it’s a loaner or your grandpa’s car as everyone piles in for the office lunch/football game/guy’s weekend. It ‘s the most comfortable party car around.

Dead set against owning a minivan? When you buy your next car, give priority to those with higher gas mileage. And carpool whenever you can. I’m happy to give you a ride.