Whole Story

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Change is in the Air

By Archive, October 31, 2007  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Archive
M. Deaton writes: “Last year we installed thermostats upstairs and down so now we can more efficiently heat and cool the zones to save energy. We also regularly replace our air filters and have our ducts cleaned.” What steps do you take to prepare for changing seasons and cooler temperatures? Now might be a good time to check the house for drafts. For more tips on making your home or office as energy efficient as possible, check out these links: Residential Energy Efficiency: Priority Checklist No-Cost Low-Cost Tips for Saving Money & Energy
Category: Green Action




This past summer at a park food fest in Chicago I saw a line of "green Designer clothes"but can not find info on your web site,please let me know where to go.Thanks.Fernando
11/01/2007 9:04:24 AM CDT
ronnie mareschal says ...
why is it impossible to find your solution about any carbon footprint calculator on your website, so much blabla! and nothing clear about it! neither about waste & packagings?
11/01/2007 10:45:43 AM CDT
Arlene Helsel says ...
I keep a good sized pitcher by my sink. Any liquids not consumed that would not be harmful to plants, are emptied into this pitcher each day. Glasses of water not finished, tea without milk or sugar, even citrus juice if no sugar has been added, and water that vegetables have been cooked in. At the end of the day, the pitcher is usually full and ready to be applied to plants in my garden. Leftover coffee, without milk or sugar is applied to my Citrus trees. They like the acid. The plants don't mind if it is second-hand liquid!
11/01/2007 5:37:36 PM CDT
Lisa says ...
We save our cooking water from pasta, steaming, etc. for running our garbage disposal and flushing the toilets. We also use a vinegar water solution (3 parts vinegar, one part water) to soak hard to clean pans.
11/01/2007 5:39:54 PM CDT
Flynn says ...
After baking or roasting, anytime you use your oven. I always open the oven door and let the heat permeate through the house! Keeping your thermostat at a reasonable temp and wearing your wool sweaters helps cut costs so by opening your oven adds a little extra free heat...smells great too.
11/01/2007 8:01:21 PM CDT
Judy Selby says ...
I am gradually phasing out the use of plastics and paper in my kitchen. There are many alternatives to plastic wrap and plastic bags-- use covered dishes and waxed paper for leftovers. Substitute tea towels for paper towels and always use cloth napkins; both towels and napkins can be washed and reused. Use tea towels for drying and storing greens-- it works. Re-use wraps from bought items(mostly cellophane) for food storage. Paper is biodegradable while plastic generally is not. We can still use less paper, if we make it a priority. Take canvas bags to Whole Foods so you don't have to use paper or plastic bags to carry you groceries home.
11/01/2007 10:31:00 PM CDT
pat jasper says ...
The most obvious yet unattractive one is putting plastic over your patio doors. We found that it really kept the blowing winter winds out of our family room. We put our Christmas tree in front of the window and it blocked most of the plastic for a good month out of the 2 and a half months that we keep the plastic up for.
11/02/2007 6:25:54 AM CDT
B. Dreher says ...
My husband and I close the vents and doors to rooms we do not use very often in our house. This saves on the energy used to heat our house and helps keep our utility bill lower.
11/02/2007 7:42:03 AM CDT
Daniel says ...
Not only does it save energy, but it improves the quality of indoor air. Now you can breath easier, too! Indoor air pollution levels are surprisingly higher than outdoor in most instances, so cleaning the vents is a great way to mitigate this affect! Sometimes a dehumidifier can also make a room few cooler and it uses much less power than a/c!
11/02/2007 9:23:43 AM CDT
Margretta Chase says ...
Fold up your summer beachtowel to block draft under doors--leave that electric heater in storage till rates come down or season changes. Create ambiance with the warm glow of strategically placed lit scented candles in your minimally heated room.
11/02/2007 12:05:55 PM CDT
June Lane says ...
We decided since we live in Florida and have storm awnings up around our windows, to put the awnings down to help us save on electric while air cooling our house. Also, we have installed energy saving bulbs all over our home. I use recycled/cloth bags when I grocery shop.
11/02/2007 2:03:58 PM CDT
john filler says ...
All electrical equipment that have power sources such as tv, cell phone rechargers, etc. are still on unless you remove them from the outlet. I have electric power for heat but, it is in the ceiling like some of the older homes. Turn off the heat in the ceiling at the junction box and use a space heater in the room you occupy. Ceramic heaters are best since you can direct the heat. Whole room heaters are just that, they heat the whole room before you notice any difference.
11/02/2007 2:41:36 PM CDT
Ninesuns says ...
Who doesn't agree with this one! All the tips are great. Adding an on-demand hot water heater will save you bucks since it only heats the water on demand. Magnets on the inlet and outlet pipes of a WH are also beneficial since they keep the build-up inside the pipe down and water is better. We use cold water to wash clothes and try to fill to medium loads; works great. Have gone to all flourescent lights inside and out. In winter, we cover the fireplace openings when not in use tro retain warm inside air. We don't seal every crack since clorinated water eliminates helopful bacteria and leaves dead cells behind to create mold; so we let the air circulate a bit. The big money eater is gas; while elctricity can be better conserved and generaly using it is cheaper. We don't leave our TV on standby, but shut it off as we do our computer as well. Suprisingly, this saves several dollars. When we cook, we use plug-in cookers for most meals, while using the gas stove infrequently. We also have double insulationin the ceiling and don't use A/C in the summer (in Fresno that's a real feat); but we have double drapes, keep the house dark and closed, and have ceiling fans. This month's bill was $66. Not bad for a house built in 1947. Of course, we dress warm and cool and cuddle allot.
11/02/2007 3:10:39 PM CDT
Serena Vikki says ...
The days are getting shorter and we are turning the lights on more often in the house. This is a great opportunity to replace all your incandescent light bulbs to the energy efficient CFLs. The CFLs last much longer and your energy bill will be lower!
11/02/2007 3:37:41 PM CDT
William Johnson says ...
Everyone in our family has a designated color bath towel that they use until it really needs to be washed -- sometimes two or more weeks. This really cuts down on the loads of laundry we do each week.
11/02/2007 7:29:11 PM CDT
Jennifer Lewis says ...
I just walked past my neighborhood Wild Oats location in Pasadena. It closed this past Sunday as you are opening a new Whole Foods superstore tomorrow. I was disappointed to see that EVERY LIGHT (including the neon signs over the kitchen area and Deli) were blazing, and there was not a sign of a single person in the now empty store. I strongly advocate your message of environmental awareness. I just think it would carry more weight to others if you actually practiced it.
11/06/2007 10:01:45 PM CST
L Worachek says ...
In addition to replacing most of the bulbs in our house with CFLs, I had my husband install motion detector switches in the bathrooms that the kids use. The little ones (toddler +) use to forget to turn the lights out. Now the timer on the motion detector shuts it off after about 90 seconds. If they are still using the bathroom, they just need to wave their hand over their head to reset for another 90 seconds. We also put one in the laundry room since our hands are often full when leaving and we couldn't turn them off without scuffing the walls with the laundry basket.
11/11/2007 3:18:04 PM CST
Darvina Galla says ...
I love the fact that I can say that I telecommute. I have been doing this for the past 3 years. I have two jobs and I do both of them from home. I understand that not everyone is able to do this, but it makes me feel so great to know that I can. I save so much time, energy, gas, carbon, etc. My fiance teases me by saying that I only leave the house once a week to go shopping. I just look at him and say, "Yeah, well Im greener than you". :)
11/14/2007 11:47:52 AM CST
Energy-Guru.com says ...
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11/14/2007 1:38:42 PM CST
Slaton, Whole Foods Market Team Member says ...
Thanks everyone for the terrific comments! Hopefully, together we're all making folks more aware of how easy it is to make smarter decisions when it comes to the environment. Jennifer Lewis, In response to your observation that the Wild Oats store's (which recently closed) lights were on while it was vacant, I went ahead and followed up with those responsible for this property and confirmed the following information: "We had the Store Team Leader who closed down the location working in the store getting the last of the product out early that morning. We officially took that store over that afternoon after all the product was removed that morning. All the power and refrigeration was disconnected that evening." I hope this helps address your concern and please let us know should you have any further questions about this issue. Thanks for the feedback.
11/15/2007 3:20:41 PM CST
Steve Fine says ...
Every time I shower I take a plastic pail into the shower with me. While waiting for the water to warm up, instead of wasting the water by letting it go down the drain I catch it in the pail for other uses. I've watered plants with it, added it to my washing machine, even used it to flush the toilet.
11/18/2007 6:29:00 PM CST
Jon Labelle says ...
As long as you're going all green and stuff how about keeping an eye on the thermostat in the summer so that I don't have to wear a winter jacket and gloves to shop in your store in July.It's absolutely ridiculous.Granted practically every store and restaurant does the same thing but perhaps you could lead the way.I can't imagine how much energy could be conserved if every commercial establishment turned down the ac by even a few degrees.
12/07/2007 11:36:32 AM CST
Lisa Nelsen-Woods says ...
I did the candle test to all of the doors and windows of my house (built in 2004) to check for drafts and found quite a few. I added rope caulk around the interior seams of all of our double pane windows. I also checked that there is weatherstripping on both bottom panes of my windows. I added door sweeps to the front & back exterior doors. I looked for and sealed any gaps I found around exterior faucets, TV cables, etc. and the interior switchplate & exlectircal outlets. I also caulked around exterior windows & doors on the sides of our house that had to be resided due to a recent hail storm. We are also in the process of putting foam sealer in any gaps we find between the drywall and the floors that are covered up by the baseboards of our home. Even the most well-built home will have small gaps throughout it and by sealing them you can save up to 10 to 20% on your current heating and cooling costs. Granted in the green arena it's not as "sexy" as telling people to replace all of their current appliances with solar but it's a cheaper altnerative to the same green result. And you don't have to worry about how you can responsibly dispose of your old and still working applicances!mall gaps like this
02/06/2008 6:16:07 PM CST
Bouhedli says ...
It is good post Thank You
07/06/2014 5:43:52 PM CDT