conserve energy http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/6409/all en-US How to Stay Warm This Winter Without Turning Up the Heat http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stay-warm-this-winter-without-turning-up-the-heat <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-stay-warm-this-winter-without-turning-up-the-heat" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/573767_43395671.jpg" alt="hands in mittens" title="hands in mittens" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>According to the <a href="http://www.farmersalmanac.com/weather/2010/12/06/which-pole-is-colder-north-or-south/"><em>Farmers' Almanac</em></a>, the average temperature at the North Pole is -30&deg;F, while the average temperature at the South Pole is -60&deg;F. While both of those sound like miserably cold places to spend the winter, I would argue that my small, Midwestern city is also bone-chilling this time of year. So how is a young twentysomething on a budget to stay warm this winter without cranking up her heat? Here are my top five ways to beat the chill. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-ways-to-keep-your-home-warm-this-winter" title="10 Frugal Ways to Keep Your Home Warm This Winter ">10 Frugal Ways to Keep Your Home Warm This Winter</a>)</p> <h2>Space Heater</h2> <p>Space heaters are a good way to heat a small area of your home or office, and they can lower your overall energy bill if you turn down the thermostat in conjunction with using one. A space heater is my method of choice for staying warm at work. Knowing that my office is warm and toasty makes the long trek from our parking lot (OK, three blocks &mdash; but still a frigid expedition in the winter months!) more bearable. Some space heaters use natural gas or propane, but the majority are electric. If considering a natural gas or propane heater, check out the <a href="http://www.epa.gov/iaq/co.html">EPA's Introduction to Indoor Air Quality</a>.</p> <p>A great website to visit if you&rsquo;re trying to choose a space heater that will lower your heating bill while maximizing comfort is the <a href="http://www.dnr.mo.gov/energy/residential/spaceheaters.htm">Missouri Department of Natural Resources</a> (Missouri is my home state). The site has information about choosing the right space heater, determining the cost to operate it, efficiency, and safety. When you&rsquo;re ready to buy, visit <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/appliances/heating-cooling-and-air/space-heaters/index.htm"><em>Consumer Reports</em>' Buying Guide</a> to compare various models.</p> <h2>Warmer Clothing</h2> <p>I&rsquo;ll admit, part of my reason for wanting a space heater at work has to do with my clothing choices. Giving up skirts and short sleeves entirely for four to six months just seems unreasonable to me. However, I could cut down on heating costs at work and at home simply by buying a warmer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-update-your-winter-wardrobe-on-the-cheap" title="10 Ways to Update Your Winter Wardrobe on the Cheap">winter wardrobe</a>. Many experts agree that <a href="http://www.gore-tex.com/">Gore-Tex</a>&reg; is warm, waterproof, and one of the best &ldquo;fabrics&rdquo; (in quotations because it is actually a membrane that is laminated to other textiles) for outdoor gear. If your office generally frowns upon wearing full <em>al fresco</em> attire indoors, though, other warm options are fleece and wool apparel. The important thing to note when considering warmer attire is whether it could be <em>too </em>warm &mdash; if a sweater makes you perspire, some fabrics, such as cotton, are terrible at absorption. The result is that you&rsquo;ll end up both wet and cold, a pretty awful combination.</p> <h2>Snuggie</h2> <p>What option do you have for staying warm <em>and</em> keeping your hands free to answer the phone? The <a href="http://www.mysnuggiestore.com/">Snuggie</a>&reg;, of course! I personally don&rsquo;t own one, and I&rsquo;m honestly more amused by the commercials than intrigued by the product, but I couldn&rsquo;t resist adding this one to the list. And although I don&rsquo;t have one, my 80-pound Boxer does. Yes, they make Snuggies&reg; for dogs. He seems to enjoy his, although I haven&rsquo;t asked him if it keeps him warm.</p> <h2>Gas Fireplace</h2> <p>You might think that firing up your wood-burning fireplace is a good way to cut down on your heating bills while staying warm. Unfortunately, you&rsquo;d be wrong. According to the <a href="http://www1.eere.energy.gov/consumer/tips/printable_versions/fireplaces.html">U.S. Department of Energy</a>, wood-burning fireplaces are one of the least efficient heat sources you can use. Gas-burning fireplaces, however, can be fairly energy efficient. A vented gas fireplace like the one I have in my house can have an energy star rating as high as 77%. I especially enjoy flipping the switch on mine in the evening in order to thaw out after my usual after-dinner run.</p> <h2>Programmable Thermostat</h2> <p>I don&rsquo;t have one of these, but I sure wish that I did. According to <a href="http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm/ia/new_homes/qhmi/index.cfm?fuseaction=find_a_product.showProductGroup&amp;pgw_code=TH">EnergyStar.gov</a>, the average household spends $2,200 per year on energy bills &mdash; nearly half of which goes to heating and cooling expenses. Homeowners could save about 15% on those costs just by correctly setting and maintaining their thermostat temperature. The Energy Star website above also has guidelines for temperature settings at night and when you&rsquo;ll be gone for several hours. Typically, you should adjust your temperature by 5 to 8&deg;F (higher or lower, depending on the season) during these times in order to save energy.</p> <p>Do you agree with my list? What other methods do you use to beat the chill in the wintertime?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/janey-osterlind">Janey Osterlind</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stay-warm-this-winter-without-turning-up-the-heat">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stay-warm-without-burning-a-hole-in-your-pocket">Stay Warm Without Burning a Hole in Your Pocket</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-lower-winter-energy-costs">7 Easy Ways to Lower Winter Energy Costs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-these-5-hidden-costs-of-winter">How to Avoid These 5 Hidden Costs of Winter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-air-fresheners">The 5 Best Air Fresheners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youre-washing-your-clothes-too-often-what-to-do-instead">You&#039;re Washing Your Clothes Too Often! (What to Do Instead)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home conserve energy heating heating bills keeping warm saving money on bills Tue, 14 Dec 2010 13:00:12 +0000 Janey Osterlind 385305 at http://www.wisebread.com Book Review: Confronting Collapse http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-confronting-collapse <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/book-review-confronting-collapse" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/confronting-collapse-wide.jpg" alt="Cover of Confronting Collapse" title="Cover of Confronting Collapse" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="221" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1603582649?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisbre08-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1603582649"><em>Confronting Collapse: The Crisis of Energy and Money in a Post Peak Oil World</em></a> by Michael C. Ruppert.</p> <p>We hardly talk about collapse here. Wise Bread is all about living large, while collapse mitigation is usually about living small. But that doesn't mean that there aren't things we can learn from books about collapse.</p> <p>I'm kind of a connoisseur of books on collapse. I've been reading them since the 1960s (when they were mostly about overpopulation) and read a lot in the early 1980s (when they were mostly about financial collapse due to government debt and inflation). The most important thing I've learned is that many systems &mdash; biological, environmental, social, political, economic &mdash; are more resilient than people have any right to expect.</p> <p>Ruppert's new book largely focuses on the threat of peak oil. It effectively makes the point that energy drives everything in the economy: When energy gets expensive, so does everything else (in particular, food and water). It does a workman like job of dismissing the fantasy sources of additional energy (tar sands, clean coal, fusion). More important, it gets it just about right on the non-fantasy sources (wind, solar): They're real and important, but they're no substitute for cheap oil.</p> <p>The book is structured in the form of a program statement such as might be prepared for a U.S. president by his policy wonks. After laying out its case for collapse, it presents a 25-point program for mitigating collapse. Those are largely exactly right: re-localize the economy (especially food and energy production), remove subsidies from energy boondoggles, shift infrastructure money from road and air projects to rail (oddly, he doesn't mention canals), support community-level efforts at the national level.</p> <p>The downside of the structure is that, although there is guidance for ordinary people, you have to read between the lines to find it. Re-localizing is something that's going to be done person-by-person and community-by-community anyway. Home-scale solar and wind energy production is possible and quite reasonable, even if it isn't economic without the feed-in tariffs he proposes. A lot of the infrastructure decisions (on roads and the power grid) are going to be made at the local level, where two or three active concerned voters can have as much influence as the President of the United States.</p> <p>So, why should a Wise Bread reader have any interest in collapse, when so many books on collapse are all about living small (and the ones that aren't are all too often bizarre fantasies of post-apocalyptic violence)? Well, I read them because the good ones turn out to have a lot of overlap with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/self-sufficiency-self-reliance-and-freedom ">my own personal vision of living large</a> &mdash; living large through freedom, rather than living large through mass consumption funded by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wage-slave-debt-slave ">wage and debt slavery</a>. Making your household and your community centers of production rather than centers of consumption enables living large in a way that lasts. The fact that the same lifestyle mitigates collapse is just a bonus.</p> <p>It's worth comparing this book to Dmitry Orlov's <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0865716064?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisbre08-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=0865716064 "><em>Reinventing Collapse</em></a> that I <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-reinventing-collapse ">reviewed for Wise Bread</a> a couple years ago. Ruppert's book has none of Orlov's humor and little of Orlov's practical, household-level advice. What it does have is a lot of background information on oil production and depletion, petroleum inputs to food production, alternative energy sources, and so on. If you want to laugh at your problems, go with Orlov. If you want to try to do something about them at the national or global level, go with Ruppert. If you want to do something about them at the household and community level, read both.</p> <p>Although I regret its lack of practical suggestions for ordinary people, leaving those out has let him steer clear of a lot of survivalist cliches. (And it is the survivalist cliches that turn so many collapse books into a sort of anti-Wise Bread &mdash; tracts on living small.) <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1603582649?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisbre08-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1603582649"><em>Confronting Collapse</em></a> does a good job of laying out the case for peak oil and suggesting policies for dealing with it. It's especially good if you want to take action to help everybody, rather than just taking action to help yourself and your neighbors.</p> <p><em>Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-confronting-collapse">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-good-life-on-less-energy-even-in-the-us">The good life on less energy--even in the US</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/energy-price-spikes">Energy Price Spikes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-game-over">Book review: Game Over</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/an-energy-bill-of-0-00">An energy bill of $0.00</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-the-government-pays-you-to-live-green">11 Ways the Government Pays You to Live Green</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Financial News Green Living alternative energy book review clean energy conserve energy cut energy costs energy famine peak oil Sat, 15 May 2010 13:00:05 +0000 Philip Brewer 81146 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Save Computing Power http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-computing-power <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-save-computing-power" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/580210_60447338.jpg" alt="computer system" title="computer system" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Lurking within your office and home is a group of workaholics that are costing you money. Who are these offenders? They're your computer system.</p> <p>The average computer wastes roughly half the power it draws from its energy source. This power never reaches the processor or other components yet it creates heat that places extra demand on your cooling system. These energy vampires translate into higher bills and unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions. Here are 10 easy fixes to protect your wallet without reducing your computer's capabilities.</p> <h2>1. Upgrade</h2> <p>Make energy efficiency job one when shopping for a new computer or peripherals. Look for the Energy Star labels or check out the <a href="http://www.climatesaverscomputing.org/search/index.php">Climate Savers Computing</a> product catalog.</p> <h2>2. Downsize</h2> <p>Switch to a laptop when you don't need the fuller capability of a desktop. Laptops typically consume less power and, hey, they can be used at a coffee house!</p> <h2>3. Take a Nap</h2> <p>Use computer and <a href="http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=power_mgt.pr_power_management">monitor sleep modes</a> to save nearly half a ton of CO2 and more than $60 a year in energy costs.</p> <h2>4. Kill the Screen Saver</h2> <p>Screen savers make for pretty pictures but they aren't necessary on modern monitors. Studies show they actually consume more energy than if you simply dimmed or turned the monitor off when not in use.</p> <h2>5. Dim the Screen</h2> <p>Turn down your monitor's brightness setting. The brightest setting on a monitor consumes twice the power used by the dimmest setting.</p> <h2>6. Nix the Extras</h2> <p>Shut down such peripherals as printers, speakers and scanners when not in use.</p> <h2>7. Fight Phantom Power</h2> <p>Plug all your electronics into one power strip and switch it off when you're finished. If you want to avoid rebooting, put processors on a separate strip.</p> <h2>8. Minimize</h2> <p>Close unused or infrequently used applications. Is it really necessary to keep Photoshop, Word, Outlook, Safari and Internet Explorer all open at the same time?</p> <h2>9. Monitor Energy Use</h2> <p>Give your system a once over with a power meter that displays how much energy you're actually consuming.</p> <h2>10. Create a System</h2> <p>Establish multiple power schemes to address different usage models. For example, create a power scheme to play CDs that immediately shuts off your hard drive and monitor without putting your system into standby mode.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This is a guest post by the <a href="http://www.couponsherpa.com/">Coupon Sherpa</a>, a source of reliable online, printable and grocery coupons. You can download the free <a href="http://www.couponsherpa.com/mobile-coupons/">Coupon Sherpa iPhone app</a> with in-store mobile coupons, or check out more great tips from the <a href="http://www.couponsherpa.com/ask-coupon-sherpa/">Ask Coupon Sherpa blog</a>.</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/coupon-sherpa">Coupon Sherpa</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-computing-power">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-small-ways-to-save-big-on-ink">11 Small Ways to Save Big on Ink</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-good-life-on-less-energy-even-in-the-us">The good life on less energy--even in the US</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-confronting-collapse">Book Review: Confronting Collapse</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-your-next-car-be-electric">Should Your Next Car Be Electric?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-computer-faster">Make Your Computer Faster Instead of Buying a New One</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Technology computer hacks conserve energy Tue, 11 May 2010 13:00:53 +0000 Coupon Sherpa 71807 at http://www.wisebread.com The good life on less energy--even in the US http://www.wisebread.com/the-good-life-on-less-energy-even-in-the-us <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-good-life-on-less-energy-even-in-the-us" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bicycle-on-rural-road.jpg" alt="Bicycle on rural road" title="Bicycle on Rural Road" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="185" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whenever I write a post about energy, I point out that we know it&#39;s possible to have a high standard of living while using less energy--people in European countries do, so it must be possible.  That always draws comments from people who say that things are different here.  When it comes to opportunities for saving energy, that&#39;s simply not true.</p> <p>Oh, sure, the Europeans have a much better train system.  In the US we&#39;ve spent that money on airports and highways.  But we do have <a href="/travel-on-amtrak">passenger rail</a>, and it&#39;s actually a pleasure to ride.</p> <p>Many European cities are also more compact than many US cities, making it easier to get around on foot or by bicycle.  But there are plenty of nice, compact US cities.</p> <p>Mass transit is spotty in the US compared to Europe, but there&#39;s <a href="/high-tech-for-mass-transit">good mass transit</a> in many US cities.</p> <p>Many European cities are more friendly to bicycles than many US cities, but there are plenty of cyclists in the US, and many US cities are bicycle-friendly.</p> <p>So, all these things exist in the US; <strong>they&#39;re just not widely distributed.</strong></p> <p>I&#39;d like to make two points in relation to that observation.</p> <p>First, as fuel prices continue to rise, all these energy-saving advantages that the Europeans have will become more widely distributed in the US as well.  As long as you live in a town or city (as opposed to a <a href="/rural-living-in-a-world-with-expensive-fuel">rural area</a>), these advantages will come to you eventually.</p> <p>Second, you can choose where to live:  In a compact, bicycle-friendly city that&#39;s on an Amtrak line and has good mass transit, or someplace else.  </p> <p>Making a drastic change like where you live is not something to be done lightly.  Doing it smoothly may require a long lead time.  There may be jobs to find--even careers to change.  There may be houses to sell.  There may be elderly relatives that you&#39;d rather keep in their long-time home than move to another city.  There may be children who&#39;d much rather graduate from school with their friends then at some new school where they don&#39;t know anybody.  But, even taking all that into account, you still choose where to live--now and in the future.</p> <p>I&#39;d like to gently suggest that waiting for these advantages to come to you is probably the wrong choice, for three reasons.</p> <p>First, you miss out on the advantages in the meantime.  You&#39;ll be having to buy more fuel than people who live in communities that support efficiency. </p> <p>Second, as those advantages come to more and more places, you&#39;ll be stuck paying for them.  If you move someplace where these advantages already exist, you&#39;ll be taking advantage of ones that have already been paid for.  If you stay where you are, you can expect taxes to go up to pay for bringing rail and mass transit to you.  No doubt the costs will end up being spread around--but that just means that the people who get these advantages last will have been paying longest for everyone else.</p> <p>Third, these advantages will increasingly be reflected in property values.  It&#39;s already started.  A couple decades ago, being on a bus route was a negative.  (It brought undesirables--i.e. poor people--to the area.)  More recently, it&#39;s been pretty much a neutral.  (Even poor people have cars, so who cares?)  Just very recently, though, it&#39;s begun to boost property values.  (Quick test:  look in real estate ads and see if they&#39;ve started mentioning being on a bus line as a positive.  They&#39;ve always done it for apartments.  Now they&#39;re doing it for houses too.)  Property values in communities without these advantages haven&#39;t suffered much yet, because communities that provide no services can have low taxes.  But as the taxes go up anyway, the lack of services will drive property prices down.</p> <p>As fuel prices continue to rise, these &quot;European&quot; advantages will spread.  But they&#39;ll spread pretty slowly.  The US has spent trillions of dollars on infrastructure that really only useful for cars and planes.  Things like nationwide passenger rail and citywide mass transit systems don&#39;t just pop up overnight--they&#39;ll cost trillions of dollars as well (although a just a few billion will bring us much closer to the Europeans).</p> <p>Some of you--probably many of you, given the sort of people who read Wise Bread--already live someplace that has some or all the advantages that Europeans have enjoyed for decades.  As I see it, the rest of you can move to where you have these advantages as well, or you can stay where you are.  But, if you make the latter choice, you&#39;ll not only lose out on the advantages, you&#39;ll do so while still having to pay taxes to provide them for everyone else, and then you&#39;ll have to sit back and watch as your property values decline and the values of the properties in places that have them go up, making it more and more expensive to move in the future.</p> <p>Is your local area on the leading edge for any of these things?  Are you on an Amtrak line?  Do you have a good bus system?  Are there places to live that are within walking distance of shopping and jobs?  Are the roads safe for bicycles?  If you&#39;ve got some of these things, and the rest are coming, then you may be set already.  If not, be sure your plan for the future includes not just higher prices for fuel, but also higher taxes to pay for the infrastructure improvements your area needs.  If that doesn&#39;t appeal, be sure your plan includes moving to someplace that supports a lower-energy lifestyle.</p> <p>We know there are ways to have a high standard of living while using less fuel.  The Europeans have demonstrated one for us.  We&#39;re heading that direction as well--our present course simply isn&#39;t going to be affordable much longer.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-good-life-on-less-energy-even-in-the-us">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-confronting-collapse">Book Review: Confronting Collapse</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cut-your-electric-bill-with-solar-panels">Cut Your Electric Bill With Solar Panels</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-transport-bicycling">Frugal Transport--bicycling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-hidden-advantages-to-getting-rid-of-your-car">7 Hidden Advantages to Getting Rid of Your Car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/think-you-can-afford-more-house-in-the-exurbs-think-again">Think you can afford more house in the exurbs? Think again.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Green Living Real Estate and Housing bicycling bike buses clean energy conserve energy energy mass transit rail save energy train train travel walk walking Thu, 10 Jul 2008 12:18:50 +0000 Philip Brewer 2227 at http://www.wisebread.com Beat the heat with cool summer meals http://www.wisebread.com/beat-the-heat-with-cool-summer-meals <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beat-the-heat-with-cool-summer-meals" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/gazpacho.jpg" alt="gazpacho" title="gazpacho" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="167" height="250" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Some summer evenings are simple too hot to contemplate firing up the stove or using the oven. Some nights, even standing in front of the grill flipping burgers sounds like a bit too much warmth for comfort. </p> <p>For those nights, here are some of my favorite no-cook soups that satisfy without the sweat. These recipes serve 4, so double if feeding a larger group.</p> <h4>Cold Cucumber Dill Soup</h4> <p>The great thing about this recipe is you can pretty much substitute any other fruit/veggie in for the cucumber. Avocados are another popular choice for this soup.</p> <ul> <li>2 English cucumber (chopped into several pieces), or 2 conventional cucumbers (peeled and seeded)</li> <li>1/4 clove garlic, or a very small garlic clove</li> <li>8 oz plain whole milk yogurt</li> <li>dill (if fresh, several fronds, if dry, 1 tablespoon)</li> <li>mint (if fresh, several sprigs, if dry 1 tablespoon)</li> <li>1/4 cup chilled gin or vodka (optional)</li> <li>salt and pepper to taste</li> </ul> <p>Put all ingredients in blender or food process and puree. Add water as needed until desired consistency is achieved. Add salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with chopped chives or green onion. Chill for 20 minutes before serving.</p> <h4>Gazpacho</h4> <ul> <li>between 5-8 fresh tomatoes (you will have to decide how many are needed based on size - feel free to use a wide variety of tomato types, as heirloom varieties are particularly good for this soup)</li> <li>small can of spicy V-8 juice</li> <li>roasted red bell peppers, chopped (optional)</li> <li>English cucumber, chopped (optional)</li> <li>1/2 onion, chopped</li> <li>fresh parsley, chopped</li> <li>green onions or chives</li> <li>1 tablespoon olive oil</li> <li>lemon juice to taste</li> <li>salt and pepper, to taste</li> <li>1 tablespoon Worchester sauce (optional - leave out for vegetarian option)</li> <li>tabasco, to taste</li> <li>pinch dried ground chipotle</li> </ul> <p>My mother likes her gazpacho chunky, whereas I love mine smooth and blended. For chunky, chop all choppable ingredients finely. For smooth soup, add ingredients to blender and puree until smooth. Place all ingredients to a large glass or plastic bowl and mix well added seasonings as needed, then refrigerate for a couple of hours. </p> <p>Gazpacho is even better the next day. Top each bowl with a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche and ground black pepper, and eat with lots of fresh French bread.</p> <h4>Cold Melon Soup</h4> <p>For some reason, one of the cooks in my college cafeteria had a real fondness for cold soup. It was a novelty to me, but once I tried it, I was impressed.</p> <ul> <li>chopped, peeled, and seeded ripe honeydew melon or cantaloupe</li> <li>8 oz yogurt, either plain or flavored</li> <li>lemon juice, to taste</li> <li>pinch of salt</li> <li>5 oz sparkling white wine (or 3 oz white wine and 3 oz sparkling mineral water)</li> </ul> <p>Put everything but the sparkling wine or soda into a blender and puree until smooth. Chill for at least 1 hour. Add sparkling wine right before serving.</p> <h4>Also: Cracker Sandwiches</h4> <p>Here&#39;s a frugal habit that more people need to pick up.</p> <p>My dad is a really good sandwich maker. This is not to say that he could get a job at a New York deli, for his has no penchant for piling rye high with cold cuts. Rather, he is really good at using whatever leftovers we have in the fridge to make open-face sandwiches that always have the rest of us drooling.</p> <p>One of the reasons that my mother never had to make casseroles was because Dad pretty much ate all the leftovers for lunch. Dad&#39;s Leftover Sandwiches are always a hit, and here are some of the combos that we like the best:</p> <ul> <li>chunks of cold salmon</li> <li>fresh chopped dill</li> <li>lemon juice</li> <li>sour cream</li> <li>cracked black pepper</li> <li>capers</li> </ul> <ul> <li>sliced beef, lamb or pork (cooked but chilled)</li> <li>fresh sliced tomato</li> <li>sliced cheddar or other sharp cheese</li> <li>thinly sliced dill pickles</li> <li>mayo</li> <li>mustard</li> <li>cracked black pepper and salt</li> </ul> <ul> <li>cold chicken, shredded</li> <li>cream cheese, with a pinch of chipotle mixed in</li> <li>salt, to taste</li> <li>sliced apple</li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beat-the-heat-with-cool-summer-meals">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/growing-my-own-food-in-my-apartment">Growing My Own Food...In My Apartment</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-preserve-your-early-harvest">7 Easy Ways to Preserve Your Early Harvest</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-grilled-veggie-dishes-that-hold-their-own-with-meat">15 Grilled Veggie Dishes That Hold Their Own With Meat</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-moonshine">How to Make Moonshine</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-122-scrumptious-super-bowl-party-snack-ideas">Flashback Friday: 122 Scrumptious Super Bowl Party Snack Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink alcohol conserve energy Food heat outdoor dining over summer temperature vegetables Sat, 23 Jun 2007 20:27:48 +0000 Andrea Karim 773 at http://www.wisebread.com