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Happy February! Valentine’s Day is coming up and I was thinking about what exactly is a Valentine? Well, it is a gesture telling someone that you love them, that you appreciate them, or that you’re just thinking about them. It is also (possibly) a nightmare for boyfriends and husbands, who are basically forced to buy chocolates, sexy underwear, or roses, to avoid the storms of female disappointment. “Hell hath no fury…” You know the rest of it.
And speaking of female disappointment, since we can all feel the effects of global warming, I think Mother Nature needs a valentine. My friend, Ed Begley JR’s book, Living Like Ed, is just the Sweet-Tart heart she needs.
Ed is a wonderful man and talented actor whom I have had the pleasure of working with several times on the stage. He has been an activist and pioneer for responsible living since 1970. Ed drives an electric car, lives off the grid in a 100% solar house, saves rainwater for gardening, cooks in a solar oven, and grows his own food. Which is pretty amazing and let’s be honest, pretty annoying. But the really remarkable thing is he cares so deeply about the environment and yet never proselytizes or criticizes others for their choices. I asked him once how he restrained himself and he said, “If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have any friends!”
Using Ed’s book I have been able to go green, lessen my carbon footprint and save some money without turning my life inside out. The book is a treasure of ideas from obvious to ingenious that will help you live green. I’ll just list a few things to give you a taste of how easy but, meaningful the changes are:
1. Clean the filter on your dryer. A clogged filter makes your dryer expend over 30% more energy.
2. Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible. I have been doing it for months and I haven’t noticed a difference in terms of clean – but energy consumption, yes.
3. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth; saves over 1000 gallons a year!
4. Unplug all your electric stuff (toaster, blender, iPod charger, etc) at night. This takes care of “vampire” energy loss that occurs when our electronics and appliances pull power, even when powered off. Vampire loss can account for up to 15% of our total home electricity usage.
5. Replace burned out light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. If every American home changed just one light to a CFL, it would reduce greenhouse gasses equivalent to the emissions of nearly 800 thousand cars.
This is just some of the “low hanging fruit” we can easily pick to save money and our natural resources. I love this book so much I am giving away 12 copies, signed by ED, to WTF readers. If you miss this opportunity just click here and order one.
It’s a valentine to yourself, your kids and the Mom of us all, Nature.
*Editor’s Note: Felicitations is a monthly letter from Felicity Huffman that premieres in our Newsletter before being published on the site. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter for other exclusives, updates, and giveaways from WhatTheFlicka.com.