Eco-Friendly Appliances

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

Why is Composting Important?

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?

Buying New Furniture?

Q: What are some things to consider when buying furniture? A: Shopping for secondhand furniture is the way to go.  Check out 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?

Recycling Medications

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

Matches vs. Lighters

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

Is it safe to turn the fridge temperature all the way up?

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?

With Clothing, Less is More

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

Hand-Washing vs. the Dishwasher

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

How do I stop receiving junk mail?

  Q: How can I reduce the amount of junk mail that I receive? A: Register at 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 for more ideas.  It… Continue reading How do I stop receiving junk mail?

What is a phantom load?

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?

What is green power?

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?

Doesn’t it use more energy to return my home to the desired temperature than to leave it at my optimum?

  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?