Here are a couple the small things we are doing at SCT to make a big difference in saving the planet while we save money:
- Now that the weather is improving why not go back to line drying the laundry?
Hanging out the clothes on the line is the cheapest whitener on the market. Bed linens are instantly brightened and any small stains are removed by the sun. And the bonus is that they smell lovely and fresh too! One of life’s little gifts to you can be to climb into a freshly made bed with line-dried sheets and pillow cases.
You can also hang out your washable clothes. Be careful of sun-bleaching your colored clothes though by making sure you don’t hang them out longer than it takes to dry them. If they feel a bit “rough” or “wrinkly” a quick spin in the dryer on the “fluff” cycle will have them bouncing back to freshness and newness.
Towels can be line-dried then fluffed in the dryer on a heat-less setting. They’ll soften up again without the use of harsh chemical “softeners”.
You don’t need to use those toxic dryer sheets to make your clothes smell good, the fresh air will do it for you and air-fluffing in the dryer will put the softness back. Simple: saving money and the environment.
Did you know that up to one third of your household energy bill can go to tossing your tee-shirts around in hot air? When you think of it in those terms, perhaps the additional time it takes to hang your laundry and take it in will make it all worth while.
Additionally, the feeling of slowing down and doing something that takes care of you and your family can make you feel good: I always have a pleasant sense of accomplishment as I take the laundry off the line and fold it. Slow down and enjoy this little chore and you’ll be saving money and helping the planet too!
For more ideas on natural home care, click here.
- Turn the notch up on the air conditioner.
Yes, up towards warmer; opposite of turning it down to get colder. Did you know that over-chilling can often be a pre-cursor to “summer colds”. I hate it when I have to take a cardigan to a restaurant with me and take it off when I leave. I first noticed this in Florida in the early 80’s. When I moved to Canada I became aware that a lot of air conditioned restaurants were not as cool as our US cousins often like to keep them. Over the years I have noticed a trend to over chill has developed in Canadian restaurants and places of business, including shops. Strange that! We are using more energy and having to wear cardigans and jackets in our homes and places we visit. I always keep a cardigan in the car for grocery shopping as the stores are so often really chilly, but then that does speed me through the supermarket more quickly, so I guess it’s not all bad!
Turning the air up a notch means we save money on the energy bills and we are not causing as much stress on the body as we move through such shocking temperature changes.
Ask the places you shop and dine out to make the change too. Most owners will be happy to have your feedback. And try using restaurants and diners that have those big windows that open right up the front of their establishment. They can be especially pleasant in the evening when the sun has gone down and it’s not so hot.
Try opening the car windows instead of just cranking on the cool air. I have curly hair and if it blows around too much end up with a frizzy mess, just like in the movie Bridget Jones Diary. When driving I open the back windows and my hair is not blown around as much. I also use the sunroof as a vent when on the highway. Sometimes the sunroof open is just too hot on top of the head! If you do need the air conditioner on in the car, then regulate it as you do your home air conditioning and don’t just crank it all the way.
Using one of those sun shields when parking the car may take a couple of extra minutes, but it saves a tremendous amount of energy because you don’t have to cool the car as much. If you haven’t got the time to use one, then you may need to revaluate some aspects of your life as it really only takes a few seconds to pop it into place and remove it before you drive away. And like Bridget Jones, take a hat or scarf with you to keep your hair in place when driving in a convertible, just remember to tie it tight if you are driving fast!
And don’t forget we love hearing from you, so send us your ideas and we’ll share them with others. The two suggestions we have shared today are from Sarah (Fairbrass) Pelchat. Check out Sarah’s page on the site, Kenny’s Korner for more tips to living an environmentally healthy life.