Live With Less

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Have you ever wondered how to live with less? These sufficient and versatile possessions may help you to reconsider your purchases.
[edit] Steps

1. Furniture: Assemble 3’ x 7’ shelf as window seat and bed. Store bedding in floor cushions. Use cushions at shelf to dine or as desk. Store laptop, clothing, linen and pantry beneath shelf. Cut slotted handles in side of cardboard box for easy pull-out storage.
2. Clothing: 7 outfits, hooded jacket, gloves, envelope as wallet. Garment hooks. One pair each: boots, shoes, sneakers. Under-counter washer/dryer-in-one, clothes drying rack. Use towel over counter to iron. Use one hanger - iron night before.
3. Cosmetics: Mirror, comb, toothbrush.
4. Linen: Two each: bath, hand, face towels. Towel hooks.
5. Kitchen: Use cutting board cover under-counter fridge. Use portable stove top, large knife, deep fry pan to steam or sauté veggies, medium and large pots as mixing bowls, colander, spatula to stir and serve, 4 kitchen towels. Use bowl for meals, mug as ladle or to measure, fork as whisk, and spoon to measure. Dry dishes on a towel. Use a towel as a potholder. Reuse jars for food, utensils, or flowers.

Shelf: Consider the thickness of a cushion - when deciding upon the height of the shelf. Place storage boxes about one foot from edge of shelf - to allow for your knees to fit under the shelf while sitting on a cushion.
Bedding: Roll-up cushion and sleeping bag as options.
Floor cushions: Favorite old fabric.
Laptop: Paperless
Outfits: Choose two or three colors to mix and match.
Garment hooks: Coat hook near door. Hook on back of bathroom door.
Towel hooks: In bathroom and kitchen.
Kitchen: As an option, use cutting board to cover washer/dryer-in-one with small fridge beneath sink.

Ensure strength and stability of shelf - in reference to your weight.

Set Goals to Reduce Water Usage in Your Home

Freshwater degradation is a looming crisis that we must face head on with strong and effective actions. You can do your part to protect this precious resource and call upon your elected representatives to take action today to protect not just future generations but our own future by adopting sustainable water practices.

Only 3% of the earth's water is freshwater - protecting this critical resource is essential. In addition, water-related energy consumes a large amount of energy. In California, for example, water use consumes 19% of the state's electricity, 30% of it's natural gas, and 88 billion gallons of diesel fuel annually. Here are some ways in which you can set goals to reduce water consumption in your home.

1. Set specific water reduction goals. For example, commit to using 20% less water per month.
Determine a baseline to start reducing from. Print the energy and water consumption chart and post it in a visible spot in your home. Chart the number of gallons of water used in the last 12 months (for comparison to each month this year).
Make specific changes in products used and family member habits. For example, buy water saving products where needed, such as a low-flush toilet and a water-saving showerhead.
Get your family involved by asking for specific changes in everyone's habits. For example, place signs near water outlets reminding family members to reduce consumption (e.g., shorter showers, turning the faucet off when not needed, only watering outdoor plants in the morning or evening).
Make adjustments. Once a month, add the new usage information to the charts and make adjustments as needed to reach your goals.
Use the money saved to do something fun with your family. If you have children, increase their allowances by the amount saved to encourage them to get involved in finding new ways to conserve.

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