Q: What are the most eco-friendly types of appliances? A: There is no one-size-fits-all response to the appliance question. In general, we wait until an appliance dies since so many resources go into manufacturing new items. The exception is something that uses a lot of energy or is on 24/7, like a refrigerator, where the… Continue reading Eco-Friendly Appliances
Q: I cant afford to replace the windows in my home. How can I better insulate my home? A: When we moved to Kentucky, we couldnt afford new windows either. Instead, I made heavy curtains lined with white material. Lined curtains do an amazing job of keeping the heat in during the I giochi roulette… Continue reading How can I insulate my home on a budget?
Q: What is composting and why is it so important? A: Composting is a completely natural, Earth-friendly process that blessedly takes care of two serious environmental problems at once – it reduces our landfill waste and it reduces our need for synthetic chemical fertilizers. Composting is nature’s way of recylcing material that was once living… Continue reading Why is Composting Important?
Q: What’s the best environmentally friendly way to handle all of the fallen leaves that come down from the trees in the fall? A: The leaves that drop to the ground in fall are God’s way of preparing the Earth for the next year’s harvest. Fallen leaves are, quite literally, a gold mine when it… Continue reading What should I do with fall leaves?
Q: I”ve switched to using cloth bags, but sometimes, when circumstances can”t be helped, I accumulate some plastic bags. What”s the best way to handle them? A: First, you”re to be commended on making the switch to reusable bags. Every single plastic bag that isn”t used is one less item that”s sent to the landfill.… Continue reading What can I do with old plastic bags?
Q: What are some things to consider when buying furniture? A: Shopping for secondhand furniture is the way to go. Check out www.craigslist.org for local furniture listings. When we set up our son’s first apartment two years ago, we furnished it with beautiful, solid wood furniture that will last a lifetime. We found most of… Continue reading Buying New Furniture?
Q. I hear that I should use white vinegar as a green cleaner, but I don’t like the smell of vinegar. What can I do? A. Vinegar is a highly effective cleaner, working on everything from countertops to toilets. Before you give up on the natural cleaning power of white distilled vinegar, keep these ideas… Continue reading Making Vinegar a Better-Smelling Cleaner
Q: What uses the most energy in my home? A: This is a great question, because the most energy-intensive users are where we can also realize the greatest savings. Space heating and cooling makes up 44% of the average home’s energy consumption. Turn the thermostat up 3 degrees in the summer and down 3 degrees in… Continue reading What uses the most energy in my home?
Q. I recently read Serve God, Save the Planet, and it inspired me to take another step in my environmental stewardship — hanging the laundry out on a line. I have done this now for two weeks and really enjoy the change. I am 36 and don’t remember ever doing this before, so there was… Continue reading Can I soften up line-dried clothes?
Q: How are we supposed to dispose of the lightbulbs – do they really have mercury in them? A: Great questions! It’s true: a CFL bulb contains a minuscule amount of mercury (5 mg), about one-fifth of the mercury found in the average watch battery and less than 1/600th of the mercury found in a… Continue reading How do you dispose of light bulbs?
Q: I”ve been reading through Serve God, Save the Planet and been challenged in a variety of ways through reading it. I”m also hoping to share the book and ideas in it with as many other people as I can. I”m e-mailing because reading the stories where donated medications were given away on a medical… Continue reading Recycling Medications
Q: Should we use matches or lighters? A: Matches, while made from trees (although many matches are now made from recycled cardboard) don’t use very much wood. The wood that is, in fact used, can be composted and return to nature easily. Need to put the amount of wood used in perspective? About one million matches… Continue reading Matches vs. Lighters
Q: Isn’t it dangerous to have my refrigerator and freezer on the highest setting? A: Matthew is a doctor, and I trust him! He has assured me that it’s perfectly safe to have our refrigerator and freezer set to “cold” rather than “coldest.” We’ve had ours on the highest setting for 10 years now, with… Continue reading Is it safe to turn the fridge temperature all the way up?
Q: What are some things to consider when buying clothes for my family? A: When it comes to clothing, less is more — and I’m referring to your closet, not your body! The biggest savings is not being a slave to the latest fashion trends. Be happy with what you have in the closet. When… Continue reading With Clothing, Less is More
Q: Which method uses less water and energy: hand-washing dishes or using the dishwasher? A: My husband says that when something doesn’t make sense, follow the money. The original studies showing that dishwashers use less water were sponsored by applicance companies. Not hard to guess their bias! The average dishwasher uses more than 10 gallons… Continue reading Hand-Washing vs. the Dishwasher
Q: How can I reduce the amount of junk mail that I receive? A: Register at www.dmachoice.org. If you continue to receive catalogues, call their toll-free number and ask to be removed from their mailing list. Whenever possible, ask to receive bills, insurance information, and investment information electronically. Visit www.newdream.org for more ideas. It… Continue reading How do I stop receiving junk mail?
Q: What is the biggest water-user in the home? A: Inside the house, the toilet is the biggest water-user because we flush so many times a day. Modern, high-efficiency toilets use less than 2 gallons of water per flush. If you cannot replace your older toilets, consider placing bricks and/or milk jugs filled with water… Continue reading What is the biggest water-user in the home?
Q: What is a phantom load? A: Phantom load refers to energy used by products even when they are turned off. For example, audio systems in the United States use more power when off than when on because they are off (but partially powered) for all but a few hours per week. If your TV,… Continue reading What is a phantom load?
Q: What is green power? A: Green power is electricity that comes from renewable resources, such as hydro, solar, and wind. They didn’t offer green power when we moved to Kentucky, so I made regular phone calls to my local utility for two years. Now they do offer a green power option in our area! … Continue reading What is green power?
Q: Doesn’t it use more energy to return my home to the desired temperature than to leave it at my optimum temperature all the time? A: No. This is another one of those urban myths that persists despite all evidence to the contrary. In the winter, most nights we turn the heat completely… Continue reading Doesn’t it use more energy to return my home to the desired temperature than to leave it at my optimum?