Properly dispose of the most littered object in the world: the cigarette butt, with its plastic filter that never disappears and roughly 4,000 chemicals that wildlife ingests.
Windows contribute a great deal to the look of your home, are important parts of your home’s architectural history, and are often made from high-quality and valuable materials that are no longer available.
If your windows predate about 1950, the wood itself is likely to be valuable and now scarce old-growth wood, which is denser, more rot- and warp-resistant, and holds paint better than modern, plantation-grown wood. Additionally, if a component is damaged it can be repaired or replaced without having to replace the entire window.
While historic windows have all this going for them, they are often the first elements people look to change when trying to improve their home’s energy efficiency. Fortunately, the decision to retain historic wood windows needn’t get in the way of improving the efficiency of your home.
Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is going.
An open damper can let 8 percent of the heat in your home escape. In the summer, cool air escapes. That can add up to about $100 a year—up the chimney.
If your damper leaks air when closed, as (particularly in older homes), consider having a chimney-top damper installed. It provides an airtight seal and can pay for itself in just a few years.
Considering a new Big Screen purchase this Fall Football and Soccer Season? Some of these new screens are big energy consumers.
ENERGY STAR’s website, provides a tutorial on how to purchase an energy efficient television. They also provide some examples of their most efficient televisions. Check out both webpages at:
ENERGY STAR Television Tips
ENERGY STAR Rated Televisions
So, for all the “man caves” out there, new and old, energy efficient televisions are available. And the best part is they save energy and money.
Are you overwhelmed by all the things you’re “supposed” to do in your garden? Are you confused about what to do first? Well, relax!
No, really, that’s the best way to begin: look for a place to relax in your garden.
Begin by making a place for you and your family to sit down, and think about incorporating room enough for friends. During the summer, use this place in your garden to eat weeknight dinner or weekend lunches. Another idea is to make a pathway through a thicket in your backyard. Pathways are always inviting and people want to follow them so provide vignettes along the way and interesting destinations. Something that is visually appealing on or next to a porch or patio would be an example. Pathways also provide a shortcut for kids to take. This is a good thing; children add life and vitality to a garden. And their curiosity is infectious, so make room for it.
The more you enjoy your garden, the more you will notice the details of nature. As you become attuned to the particulars of your garden, it becomes easier, more spontaneous, to make it a great place for people, animals, and plants.
This is one of nine Green Gardening Suggestions from the Swarthmore Horticultural Society (www.swarthmorehorticulturalsociety.org) compiled by Kit Raven of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.