Jane's Tips From Cave Creek, AZ
1. Work at home. We keep our small business based at home. Part of the garage is a workshop. A spare bedroom is our office. No commuting. No use of office energy because weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re using a room that would be using energy to some extent even if we worked elsewhere. Less need for fancy clothes and doing laundry or dry cleaning -- in fact, I wear the same jeans all week. The dogs donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mind.
2. Work outside. Although itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s brutal here in the summer, during much of the year we can work outside and really turn down our energy use inside.
3. Go low tech. Yes, we use the latest computers and energy-wise appliances but we also use basic low tech stuff where we can Ã¢â‚¬â€œ like a hand-cranked can opener, manual pencil sharpener, etc.
4. Go solar where we can. Total solar is still too expensive for us, but we went solar at least for heating our water and for some of our outdoor lighting.
5. Make our own meals. Instead of buying prepared meals, frozen dinners, boxed and packaged stuff, we start with fresh meats/seafood, vegetables and herbs Ã¢â‚¬â€œ local and organic where possible Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and keep it simple but nutritious and delicious. At first, it seemed like more time and trouble but weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve found that once you make it a habit and rediscover cooking, you can get pretty fast and efficient.
6. DONÃ¢â‚¬â„¢T plant a tree. Where we live Ã¢â‚¬â€œ in the desert Ã¢â‚¬â€œ less is more. Forget growing grass or planting non-native trees and shrubs that all use precious water. And DONÃ¢â‚¬â„¢T water the native stuff; itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s learned to thrive in this arid climate so let it be and take a note on what we can learn from that. Our yard is pretty natural; the desert comes right to our door.
7. Encourage our retailers. For example, we buy from Safeway because theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re stocking so many organic products and we write them occasionally to say thanks, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve noticed.
8. Make a statement. My license plate says SAV R RTH; itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s on a Prius. I believe the more people who Ã¢â‚¬Å“come outÃ¢â‚¬Â about being green, the more it makes it okay for others to do so. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s especially important in places like the wild west where that hasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t been the Ã¢â‚¬Å“coolÃ¢â‚¬Â way to be.
LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s help make it so!
Jane R., Cave Creek AZ