The easiest thing was to to replace our old incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent ones (CFLs). The various companies that make them have really improved from the days when you felt like you were stuck in an old phone booth. I went ahead and made the investment to replace every bulb in the house. We had some trouble with the fixture on a dimmer switch in the dining room; it’s only recently there are CFLs available that can be dimmed. Check out some at The very next month our electric bill was down about $30.00.

The next step was to do nothing to our lawn. All it takes is a mental adjustment! We like to say we have a “diverse lawn.” All manner of species make their home here. We’d much rather do our best to add organic fertilizer or compost to strengthen the lawn, than to go with chemicals.

It’s an ongoing project to make the choice to refrain from buying products with excessive packaging. I’ve made the personal commitment recently not to buy anything that doesn’t come in a recyclable container. It means I need to make a lot more from scratch. However, my virtuous commitments can be notoriously malleable…

I take the train to work! I walk more than a mile to the train, a mile from the train to work, and the whole thing in reverse. I get about five miles a day of walking exercise, I save $$ ($71.00 for a monthly pass as opposed to $120.00 in gas alone) and I have time to think and appreciate the day.

I thought about installing occupancy sensors; the light comes on when you walk in a room and go out after you leave. I decided against it, as it was too much trouble and money for a few pennies difference. Besides, this way I can still bug my daughter to remember to turn out the lights when she leaves her room…

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