Fall has arrived, and now is the time you should prepare for winter.
This year you need to consider how to prepare so you are saving money and also being environmentally friendly. Conserving energy along with energy cost is always a concern for many people.
Turning down thermostats whenever possible can help you achieve significant savings on your energy bills. In rooms without plumbing walls, you can turn those thermostats off when they are not being used. In rooms with plumbing, it is best not to go below 50 degrees to make sure pipes do not freeze. Energy Star’s default setting for their programmable thermostats during active hours is 70 degrees, and the set-back temperature is 8 degrees during periods of sleep or when no one is home. By choosing these settings you can reduce your heating cost without sacrificing comfort.
During winter, lights are used more, so make sure they are turned off when not in use. Replace as many as you can with CFLs, which saves energy cost. Also, do not forget to weatherize your home. This helps significantly to keep wind and weather out and warmth in. Seal and caulk those cracks and gaps, weather strip your doors and make sure your windows are tightly closed. There are indoor plastic storm window kits available at your neighborhood hardware store; you should use these if your windows are older or particularly drafty.
There are a couple of other things that can help the environment and your pocket book. Do not idle your car. If you want your vehicle warmed up or to run better in cold weather, a well tuned engine will help. With today’s vehicles, it is better to drive the car to warm the engine, rather than to let it idle.
Snow removal is another place to save and get some beneficial exercise. Gas powered snow blowers pollute your neighborhood. Leave your snow blower in your garage and shovel. You will get the workout you were hoping to get at the gym.
Winter is coming, are you ready?
The Wilderness Act wasn’t written with Forest Service bureaucrats in mind. It was written to allow citizens to protect the crown jewels and hidden gems of the backcountry from logging, mining, energy development and overuse by humans. We can and do sometimes love areas to death. The “leave no trace ethic” written into the Wilderness Act ensures these protected areas will remain alive and wild for the benefit of the environment and people, including our children and grandchildren.
It’s important to remind ourselves that most of the wilderness we enjoy around here now exists because of the vision and hard work of the people who live here. I urge Forest Supervisor Fitzsimmons to take time to get out on the land and see the Hidden Gems areas before he makes up his mind. Locals have been working countless hours to identify wilderness quality lands and to craft a proposal for both the community and Congress to consider. That’s the way it’s always been.
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