Green Pages — Warm Tips for Cold Weather
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Warm Tips for Cold Weather

Chill out a little

Baby itís cold outside, and who doesnít want to make sure the cold stays there? Yet heating costs can leave you reeling. Besides, doing something really simple, like putting on a sweater or keeping your furnace in tip-top shape, can help put a serious dent in that exorbitant utility bill.

Start with your filter. Itís amazing how cruddy it gets, and the more clogged it is, the harder the furnace has to work to keep you cuddly warm. To check the filter, turn off the furnaceís power source, remove the filter and hold it up to a light to see if light shines through. If itís fuzzy, itís time for a little trip to the hardware store.

The good news is that filters are only a few dollars, and easy to install. Just be sure to measure your old filter before you run out, all gung-ho, and buy something that doesnít fit. Also, since best practices say that filters should be replaced every three months, go ahead, throw caution to the wind and plop down money for a couple extra, so you have replacements on hand.

Keep your thermostat to 68 degrees (or lower) during waking hours, and down to 55 degrees (if not completely off. overnight). As a general rule, every degree you lower a thermostatís set temperature saves 3 percent of energy costs over a 24-hour period, and setting the thermostat properly can save from 5 percent to 20 percent on your monthly heating bill. If that doesnít warm you up, I donít know what will!

On the flip side

As much as I try to go paperless, between my home and office, I print a lot. Most of the time, itís just for my reference or for a project Iím working on. Once Iím done, off to the recycling bin it goes. But, wait a minute. Thereís a whole other side of pristine, white paper just begging to be used! (Canít you hear that little whining voice?)

While printing on the backside of paper can be difficult in an office setting (nothing like a perturbed co-worker who goes to the printer, only to find his clientís presentation on the back of a Google map), itís not so tough at home. So, unless youíre prepping for a business meeting, or plan to hand out print-outs, simply flip the page over and put it back into your printer! Itís a two-for-one deal!

The other thing is that once-used printer stock serves as great scratch paper for your little darlingsí ďart projects.Ē I promise, while youíre busy trying to figure out if the drawing is of a cow or a dump truckóas if there were a significant differenceótheyíll quickly move onto the next sheet.

Lastly, itís really simple to save up a small pile of sheets, bulk cut them into quarters and staple them. Voila! Instant scratch pad!

Toys we love

Just when you thought there were some things that you just couldnít recycle, along comes sextoyrecycling.com.

Yes, folks, once your trusty love rabbit has given you your last thrill, you can help the environment by not burying it in newspaper and stuffing it in the bottom of your trash can!

All you need to do is contact the company, and they will send you a pouch in which you can return your well-loved products. All the company asks is that you tidy up a bit, washing the product before returning it.

For some, this may prove added incentive: For every misfit toy you send back, you get a $5 voucher toward the purchase of your next toy. Ainít recycling grand?

ABILITY Magazine
Other articles in the Cheryl Hines issue include Headlines—MDA, Microsoft, Pepsico and more; Humor Therapy; Gone, Baby Gone; George Covington—On he Real Charlie Wilson; One Boy's Story—'Buy Me Something'; Green Pages—Warm Tips for Cold Weather; Tech Access—A Mother and Son Push Boundaries; Diana and Kathy—A Film About Friendship; Objective Science; Ricky James—Part II; Motorcycle Safety—Air Bags, Helmets, Leatt's Brace; DRLC—Respect-ABILITY Statewide Conference; ABILITY's Crossword Puzzle; Events and Conferences...subscribe

More excerpts from the Cheryl Hines issue:

Cheryl Hines — Interview Podcast

CVS — Leveling the Playground For All Kids

Julian Schnabel — by Allen Rcuker

UCP — Wheeling Around the World

Motorcycle Safety — Air Bags, Helmets, Leatt?s Brace

Green Pages — Warm Tips for Cold Weather

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