Sunday, August 28, 2011

What's on Betty's Bookshelf?

Starting off the Sunday slow with some great reads, so I thought I'd share!

I feel remiss that some of these are still on the shelf, but hey, I need to give myself a break. Starting a non-profit, or any ground-up endeavor for that matter, as well as being a single-mother of two active boys doesn't leave a whole lot of free time, ya know?!

Ecology of Commerce by Paul Hawken. With the recent kick-off of the Better Business Challenge I was excited to get inspired by the pioneer of sustainaiblity in business. This book will continue to inspire change for generations...

Same can be said of Cradle-to-Cradle by Cville's own Michael Braungart and William McDonough which I feel totally embarassed admitting this publically: I'm still not finished with this important work. (Points for honesty?)

The Better World Handbook Small Changes That Make A Big Difference by Ellis Jones, Ross Haenfler and Brett Johnson I found this book ten years ago and refer to it often. Instrumental in creating the vision for Better World Betty.

Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky. A bunch of great ideas on turning vision to reality and creating action-oriented methods for making ideas a reality.

The Nonprofit Board ANSWER BOOK. Borrowing this from Center for Non-Profit Excellence. Next 18 months Betty's transitioning from an advisory board to a governing/working board. Betty's growing up!

I just cracked open: Getting Things Done by David Allen. A friend of mine says this one's a must for busy multi-taskers like myself.

Fostering Sustainable Behavior by Doug McKenzie-Mohr. Read this several years ago - relevant, helpful, inspiring.

Always on the shelf: The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. Nothing short of life-changing.

Just purchased: highly recommended If the Buddha Dated by Charlotte Kasl. that's for a different blog...

Still want to read: LOADS of books! Including...

Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature by Janine M. Benyus

Better Bylaws (yawn) I'm sure it has important infomation

and with a name like Betty, how can one go wrong with this humorous guidebook:
Backcountry Betty by Jennifer Worick. A "Tongue-in-cheek wilderness manual for women who appreciate nature but prefer to maintain their coiffure while interacting with it" I'm pretty OK with an unshowered do, but could be funny!


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fridge and Freezer Tips from Betty

A greener cool
Read this Abode article here or on Cville Weekly's website...

What is the one appliance in your home that is on ALL the time, and yet is absolutely essential even for the carbon tiptoers? Your refrigerator/freezer. This month Betty helps you reduce costs on the biggest loser in your kitchen.

First, if your fridge is older than 10 years, you should really replace it with a newer EnergyStar model, which can be as much as 40 percent more efficient. Remember: a top/bottom style is good and freezer on top is the best. Ditch the auto ice-makers and through-the-door dispensers, which increase energy use by 14–20 percent.

Keeping your existing model? Here are some considerations for placement, maintenance and usage. Place away from stoves or direct sunlight, areas where your fridge has to work harder. Vacuum the coils every six months or less. Set the fridge temperature at 35-38 degrees. And please, remember to close the door! According to Home Energy Magazine, door openings account for 7 percent of your fridge energy use.

Now here’s another “cool” tip: place a dollar bill in the door of the fridge and see if it holds. If it falls out easily, you need to fix the seal.

As for freezers, most new models self-defrost, but older models require regular defrosting. A friend recently confessed that she changed her garage freezer when she finally realized it was heating their garage instead of keeping food frozen. Also, keep your freezer packed, so that it doesn’t have to work as hard. You can do this by even filling plastic milk jugs with water (allow for expansion).

Finally, make sure you dispose of your old refrigerator properly by taking it to Cycle Systems where refrigerants can be drained and the scrap metal re-used.

Hope that helps!
Better World Betty