ECO-FRIENDLY FRIDAY: Reducing energy use in the winter.
With all the snow we’ve been having here lately and the temperature continuing to drop I thought a post about regulating the temperature in your house would be appropriate for Eco-Friendly Friday… Errr Sunday… Also I really wanted to share this TED talk! It brings up some really great points and I love the idea of using behavioural science to find more and better ways to motivate people to reduce their energy use.
The best way to lower your energy use in the winter is to have a strong insulative barrier for your house. This includes windows and doors. At our current rental property this is a huge issue. We lose so much heat to the windows and doors. I can actually feel the cold air when I get close to them. Last year we tried to put plastic sheeting over all our windows. The kind you tape on then use a hair dryer to shrink to trap in the heat. It didn’t work out too well. What plastic didn’t fall off on its own got shredded by our cat.. So now I have heavy fabric curtains in front of the windows and keep them drawn 90% of the time. It makes for a gloomy living room but at least it’s semi warm. We also keep an abundance of cozy blankets in there at all times. Plus we kinda got used to wearing sweaters, long johns, and wool socks most of the time (not that it’s freezing in our house but I like being warm).
I also recently set our thermostat to lower during the day while we’re at work hopefully that will make a difference in our energy bill as well. A programable thermostat is a must for energy savings! As the days get shorter we also tend to use more energy lighting our homes. One way we try to reduce this is by both being in the same room. This is easy since our house is so small that our living room is also our computer room/office. By both hanging out in the same area we only need one light on in the house instead of two or three. It also means we spend almost all our time together when we’re home even if we’re doing different things. Although this doesn’t work when I’m in the kitchen cooking or sewing/crafting in the basement.
It’s been snowing like crazy all weekend and it’s making me wish I were in the mountains right now. A weekend trip is in order stat! For now, I’ll just go play in the snow outside. Snow fort!!
Our yard last winter. So pretty!
Happy Remembrance Day Everyone 🙂
Green Smoothie aka Energy Boost!
So unfortunately I have a coffee addiction.. I got hooked in college, like most people, and to this day I feel dead, tired and unmotivated before my first coffee. Some days I’ll be running errands with my boyfriend and all of a sudden become incredibly irritable and I’ll realize I forgot to have my morning coffee.. It’s really sad actually. I can remember being in Australia and even while backpacking always having to buy instant coffee to make in the kitchen in order to start the day. I’ve tried to quit over the years but it just seems impossible to do. I’d start the days miserable, moping around at work until I’d finally cave grab a cup of joe and be back to my cheerful self. I tried switching to tea, many different kinds, but I always find tea makes me feel a little nauseous, especially when drinking 2-3 cups at a time or on an empty stomach. Recently I’ve noticed that if I forget to have a coffee throughout the day I get bad headaches. At first I had no idea what was causing them and I’d keep drinking gallons of water or taking Tylenol because the last thing you want when you have a headache is coffee. Finally I gave up and having nothing left to try I made a pot, instant headache relief.
One thing that does work as a coffee substitution is a green monster smoothie. I discovered these when a friend mentioned she was drinking green smoothies at work for breakfast and lunch. She explained that they were great for getting enough veggies as you literally drink your veggies yet mixed with fruit they taste delicious! I instantly went searching for recipes and for about a month I had green monsters for breakfast. I slowly got out of making them everyday but with the new job starting next week I decided it was the perfect time to get back into the habit. I switch up the ingredients depending on what I have, but for the most part it’s an apple, spinach, kale, celery, banana, yogurt(or honey), almond milk and hemp hearts. This combo gives me so much energy in the morning I don’t even think about having a coffee, until the afternoon that is.
This week’s green smoothie ingredients.
Adapted from Oh She Glows Green Monster recipe. (I love ohsheglows.com! One of the best sources for vegan recipes I’ve found on the web. Plus the author is also Canadian so even better!)
- 1 apple, de-cored but not peeled
- 1 ripe banana
- 1-2 kale leaves chopped
- handful spinach
- 1/2 cup berry yogurt
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1 Tbs hemp hearts
- 3-4 ice cubes
Throw everything in the blender (magic bullet) and blend away. Makes one large vitamin packed smoothie! Once you get over the initial skepticism of a vegetable smoothie it’s fun to experiment with all kinds of different veggies. I like to switch it up and have avocado smoothies one day, cucumber/celery the next and try out lots of different fruit-veggies combos. If they ever taste a little too “green” I’ll just throw in a Tbs of honey to sweeten things up. Lately I’ve been making them with chia seeds too!