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What works best for you?

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Last year we ran a story in the Farmers’ Almanac about the Dollars and Sense of Going Green. We shared the pros and cons of various efforts that help save energy, reduce waste, and save money.

While the idea of solar panels and windmills are really great, we realize that for many these efforts are out of reach financially. So what works best for you … for your pocket and for your earth-friendly efforts?

For my family, recycling and composting are the easiest ways we make a difference. Where I live, they do recycle many things although not all. We do our best to recycle those materials that our local garbage collection company picks up.

Composting is easy. Coffee grounds, vegetables scraps, egg shells and other organic matter is placed in a plastic container and then piled up outside.

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Here’s one from our article last year: Idle Your Engine or Switch It Off?
Shut off your engine. Idling for even 10 seconds uses as much gas as stopping and restarting your engine. That may not sound like a lot, but that’s gas money being spent just to pollute the atmosphere. Wouldn’t you rather use it to buy something you’ll enjoy.

What do you do? Do you collect water in a rain barrel? Use cloth shopping bags? How about using cloth towels and rags rather than paper towels and napkins….

Share what works best for you here.

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1 Frutero { 10.26.10 at 11:38 am }

I add that if you keep forgetting to take your cloth bags to the grocery, save your plastic ones and use them as rubber gloves for dirty clean-up jobs. Paper ones are good if you have a fireplace or woodstove, because if you stuff them with dry pine straw or camphor leaves and candle ends, they make splendid tinder. Keep glass jars and use them for most of your condiments (shaker tops will frequently fit the small ones) and use the now-empty plastic containers for seed storage. Empty yogurt and cottage cheese cartons can be washed and used for refrigerator storage, or drain holes made in them can turn them into starter pots. The kind of tall cans used for Hunt’s spaghetti sauce aren’t bad for starting cuttings, either.

2 Frutero { 10.24.10 at 12:04 pm }

If you like to grow woodlanders, such as violets, strawberries, or trilliums, keep a raised bed or planter where you layer coffee grounds and oakleaves and maintain earthworms. keep it moist. In the north, if you start in early summer, this bed should be ready for turnover and planting by last frost date the following Spring. In the gulf South, you can start in mid- October and plant by February. Save cold coffee (no sugar or cream) to water them with. A handy friend tells me that in the Gulf South, you can install a coil of heavy ag-grade black hose on a sun-facing roof and get enough hot water for a shower a day, but as I am not a plumber, I will leaveit to someone more knowledgeable to comment.

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If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1919, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.

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