Can You Share A Ride?

Carpooling is a good alternative to driving alone yourself. It helps to save you money and save the environment.

It's been a long long time since the horse and buggy days. But now, look at the traffic congestion on our inner-city roads and highways.

I don't love to drive, and have been always happy to use public transportation instead of being stressed by the road-rage and "accidents waiting to happen" that are out there.

There are benefits to sharing the drive and not being irritated by traffic, looking for parking spots that don't exist, and worrying about road conditions. And then there's the degradation of our environment from so much vehicle use.

Millions upon millions of vehicles put their pollutants into our atmosphere that in turn, come right back down to poison our waters, and contaminate farmland. What doesn't come back down, rises higher to do damage to the ozone causing further climate warming, which is the greenhouse effect.

What clings here on earth is in the air we breath every second of the day.

So many lung diseases are attributed to outright air pollution.

Sharing the ride would have such an invaluable effect on our roads not just for safety sake and help with fuel-costs but on our environment too.

If you currently drive alone, please consider advertising your ability to offer to carpool with other individuals who commute within the same area that you do. Even public transit has it's limitations and it's not always all that enjoyable an experience for the rider.

Safe Passing Law

Now on the other hand, are you are a new cyclist trying to reduce your carbon footprint by not using the car? Good for you.

You will also be happy to know about the Safe Passing Law that comes into effect in Pennsylvania April 2nd. This will require drivers to allow at least four feet of space when passing a cyclist and to do so at a reduced rate of speed. They can cross over the yellow line only if safe, otherwise they wait. No more whizzing by a cyclist within inches.

Good to know, but seems like plain common sense to me. I know as a driver, I've always been very conscious of not wanting to frighten someone on a bicycle half to death going past them.

Considering a scooter? More Domino's Pizza places are opting for making Pizza deliveries by scooter. We may have mentioned this topic before, but another news item creeps up again about more scooters being added. Better for the environment they say. They certainly are seen being used more and more by everyday regular commuters. Good idea if the season is right. Fuel savings must be astronomical.

Here in Ontario, we hear that our hydro bills are about to increase. As if they aren't high enough now as far as I'm concerned.

This might be a good time for a quick reminder and refresher for all of us about keeping energy costs down as much as we can in line for the seasons. It all starts and means the most to us here at home, right?

1. Set your thermostat a few degrees higher in the summer and lower in the winter to save on heating and cooling costs.

2. Install compact fluorescent light bulbs; they use less electricity.

3. Unplug all appliances when you're not using them. Make it easy for the family to unplug televisions, VCRs and DVD players by plugging them into a power strip and switching off the strip when you're finished.

4. Wash your clothes in cold water whenever possible. Clothes will be clean and cold water reduces damage to fabrics.

5. Use a drying rack or clothesline. Heavy items? Air dry 2/3 first, and then use the dryer.

6. Turn down the thermostat in your water heater. We don't need to be lobster red.

7. Check energy loss through your windows during summer and winter. Cover with plastic sheeting during the winter if you can't afford new windows at this time.

8. Take advantage of the free sunlight. Open those drapes and freely heat. Close at night to keep the heat in.

9. Install insulated window shades to help heat or cool your home.

10. Let a Pro inspect and clean the AC unit and furnace. Change the filters to save energy.

11. Short showers, and less tubs full of hot water. Don't heat more water than you need. Check out showerheads that are energy efficient.

12. Don't let heated air or cooled air escape when the furnace or AC is on. Close doors, check fireplace dampers.

13. Operate the dishwasher and washer only when full. Air dry dishes.

14. Recycle dryer exhaust through a filter; ask at your hardware store for the kit. Capture that heat without the dust.

15. Install weather stripping on doors and windows to retain heat and AC. You will notice the difference.

Over the summer months, maybe you could tackle some of these items to be ready for the Fall and Winter. We were slack with some of these things, but determined to get things properly in place this year.

Garage Sale Season is Coming

I can't stress enough that NOW is the time to get ready for this, if you don't mind holding garage sales, or just want to try having one for the first time. My Mom was unconvinced, until she did a thorough clean-out and made alot of money for her "crap" as she called it.

Start with one room at a time. Clean out a drawer, a cupboard, etc. It's good to be organized, and it just makes you feel better. A few boxes is all you need to get started.

Remember, one man's garbage is another man's treasure. Someone could really use what you don't want, so recycle it.

Check out these very useful Garage Sale Tips if you haven't seen them yet.

Until next time,



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