Monday, January 18, 2010

Important Community Clean Energy Meeting!

As I mentioned on the Bruce and Betty show on Friday - 60% of our energy here in Virginia is generated by dirty coal burning power plants. Our political leaders are feeling the HEAT from big coal and oil companies and therefore need OUR help!

Do you care about clean air? Do you care about becoming energy independent? Do you care about our planet?

You can do something tomorrow night... Attend this important COMMUNITY MEETING at CCDC's City Space on the Downtown Mall from 7-8pm (TUESDAY, JAN 19th)

According to the Sierra Club's field organizer, Ryan Doyle, whom I met on Thurs evening at Betty's two-year anniversary, America is still sending 1.2 BILLION dollars overseas for foreign oil, not to mention the impact on our environment and the threat on our climate.

We DO have solutions and Ryan along with Sierra Club members are excited to share and make a difference by passing KEY legislation which would bring Virginia CLEAN ENERGY JOBS - bringing economic prosperity, protect national security, and cut pollution at the same time.

Take action, attend tomorrow night. Steps to a better world, y'all!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Betty says, you are so NOT terrible!

The other day I went to pick up some necessities at the local grocer and as I got out my reusable bags and placed them on the counter, the woman in front of me got a sad look, sighed and said to her husband, "I'm so terrible! I'm always forgetting my bags! I feel so guilty!"

I wanted to scream out loud You are so NOT terrible. You are lovely and wonderful and human. And for Earth's sake, stop feeling guilty and use that as fuel for change! Clearly this person CARES or she wouldn't have had such a strong reaction.

Is feeling guilty really going to help her remember her bags next time?

Now, I'm no social scientist, but likely if she that's the reaction she feels when she sees others doing a green action, no wonder she is not remembering her reusable bags!

Here's the truth y'all. Forget your bags? Left the light on again? Forgot to turn the thermostat down before you left on vacation? Let it go in the moment AND then put something in place to help you make the right decision. I.E. Take action. Give yourself a pat on the back for caring and renew your effort at change.

Research says it takes less than 90 days to formulate a habit. I was just reading up on it, because I have some habits of my own I desperately need to curb (uh-humm the hot shower buzzer goes off and I'm still lingering in the steam with this FREEZING weather we've been having). Try ...

*use 100% recycled paper post-it notes
*tell people your intention/goal - you are more likely to do it
*consistency builds habit Always hang your bags on the exit door or put them in the passenger seat of your car.
*feel the internal reward when you DO remember
*buy a LOCAL, farm-fresh yummy treat as an external reward when you DO remember

Hope that helps!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Betty's help in the kitchen, saving energy

This article appears in this month's issue of Abode magazine. Read it here or on their website:
Let’s take a tour of your kitchen, where refrigeration and appliances use 17% of home energy, and see if Betty can create an energy saving recipe for the New Year!

Your biggest energy loser in the kitchen is the refrigerator.

*Does your fridge door hold a dollar bill in place? If not, seal those gaskets

*Up the temperature to 37 or 38 degrees and the freezer temp as high as 5 degrees (don’t have a read out - stick a glass of water in the middle of the fridge w/an appliance thermometer and read it after 24 hours)

*If possible avoid putting the fridge in a warm spot

*Regularly defrost your freezer

*Let hot foods cool and keep your freezer full

*Finally, keep dust bunnies on the coils in the back at a minimum


*Reduce your cooking time by microwaving and skipping pre-heating

*Match your pot size with your heating element

*Defrost frozen foods before cooking

*Avoid peeking in the oven

*Toaster ovens use a third less energy than regular-sized ovens

I for one cringe when a well-intentioned friend offers to wash the dishes and proceeds to chat while the hot water is running full blast. More studies are proving modern dishwashers outperform even frugal dishwashers (are you reading this, mom?) Also, scrape, don’t rinse, and wash only full loads. Take advantage of the energy settings and if you haven’t already, turn down your water heater to 120.

Finally, keep the kitchen faucet lever in the cool position – when it’s turned to the hot position it uses energy even when it’s not running. Remember to unplug all surface appliances when they’re not in use so they don’t waste energy.

Happy Savings!
Better World Betty
Green living made easier in the Charlottesville Area