Keep it Cool

In the winter, it’s easy to be seduced by the heater. But when you get the electric or gas bill, it’s not always good news. 

Many thermostats can be programmed to adjust depending on your schedule. Be sure to turn the heat way down when you are away. I like to turn mine to 58, to make sure the plumbing stays warm enough. The house rarely reaches that temperature because of its awesome southern exposure, but it will if I am away over night. There are even fancy new thermostat regulators that can be programmed from your computer or phone. 

At night, you may find that you’re comfortable at a lower sleep setting than you thought possible. I like to sleep at 63 degrees. I find it’s the perfect temperature with an extra blanket. I feel I sleep better and my throat doesn’t dry out like it does when the heat is higher. But, every house is different, and 63 can feel like 68 to some or like 50 to others. Much of that depends on how well the house is insulated and whether the doors and windows are sealed tightly. If you have not already sealed any leaks in your home, try to get this done now. There are lots of DIY sites that can help you find and seal cold air and wind leaks.

And it may sound silly, but dress for winter, even when you’re home. Wearing a sweater and socks can warm you enough to keep that 63 degrees even during the day. Give it a try. You’Imagell be amazed at the savings on your next gas or electric bill!

 

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CSA- Community Supported Agriculture

greensSpeaking of greens, do you know where yours come from? Most of the time, most of us have no idea. I know that when I know where my greens come from, I feel a certain satisfaction, especially when I learn that I’m eating local!

This fall, I have been gifted lots of veggies from two neighbors who participate in farm co-ops, or CSA’s (community supported agriculture). The food has been outstanding and I have been exposed to vegetables that I have never had. Hence, I have cooked things I never have. I know. It’s a learning curve, but what a great learning curve it is. If you are like me, you can’t eat the same thing every Wednesday night. I like my OCD’s to manifest in more minute ways. When it comes to food I love variety. CSA’s not only provide families with great nutrition at an affordable price, they also provide the armature for creative thinking.

Below is a link to a website/database of CSA’s and farms across the country. Just plug in your zip code and learn what is available in your town. Many CSA’s will deliver food to your home, or at least to a community drop site. It seems to be an even better deal if you go in on a package with friends or neighbors. In addition to vegetables, some CSA’s provide eggs, meats, local honey, cheese and other food items to their list of offerings.

Happy Eating!

http://www.localharvest.org/csa/

Clean Drinking Water

stainless-bottles-in-a-row

Clean Drinking Water

In the US, we are fortunate to have fairly clean water sources.  Most of us have healthy drinking water, right from the tap. But many of us prefer the taste of filtered water, which is often what is found in bottled water.

If you are not drinking your tap water, maybe because of taste, or suspicion of unhealthy contaminants, try a gallon jug filter, or one that goes right on your kitchen tap. There are many filters on the market, ranging in price from ten dollars to thousands of dollars. Many of the inexpensive ones work just fine.

Once you have found the filtered water you like, stop buying plastic bottled water and purchase a few stainless steel containers to fill and carry with you on outings. This little deed will go far in protecting the earth and the creatures who inhabit it. The devastation from plastics in the oceans is at a fever pitch and is only getting worse at this point. We can make a difference with our actions.