by Lorne Holden Here's my confession for today: I flunked out of Brownies. That's right. I flunked out. Right when everyone was supposed to “fly up” to become a Girl Scout, I was told that I wouldn't, in fact, be continuing. I still don't quite understand why this happened, but I suspect that it was because I didn't understand that great Girl Scout saying: “Be Prepared.”
I am reminded of this every time I look out my window lately and see a crazy grey squirrel who is putting way a stash of walnuts from the tree in our front yard.
She has inspired me, this squirrel (she would have made it to Girl Scouts !) and so I've begun efforts to Winterize my home. I think of Winterizing as alter ego of Spring Cleaning. Instead of pulling your life out and up to prepare for the expansiveness of warm weather, Winterizing invites us to batten things down and cover things up, before the long, cold nap of winter.
Here are some great, green tips for Winterizing your home or living space:
+ Cut down on drafts. You can do this with caulking around windows and doors and by using a “draft snake” or piece of fabric under a doorway. Making these draft snakes can be a fun project with kids. Simply sew some fabric into a tube shape and then fill with beans, sand or even kitty litter. Let the kids adorn the snake that will be used for the door to their bedroom.
+ Clean out your dryer duct. Again, this simple action can save you energy and money. Here's a great link with instructions: http://www.doityourself.com/stry/how-to-do-dryer-duct-cleaning#b
+ Turn down your water heater thermostat. Many water heaters are turned up too high. Check yours and see if it is at 120F. This simple change can really save both energy and money.
+ Begin the habit of keeping your thermostat lower. There have been studies that state that for every degree that you lower your thermostat, you save between 1 and 3 per cent on your heating bills. And don't forget that layering up on clothing when you are indoors, can keep you toasty. Apparently, it's an old wives tale that we lose most of our heat through our heads, but it's still a great idea to wear a soft hat indoors on very cold nights.
+ Switch your ceiling fan direction. Who knew that such a simple act as this could help, but it really does. Enabling ceiling fan blades to spin clockwise will draw warm air trapped near the ceiling down to the living area. This can improve comfort and save money on heating.
Look around your life and world and see you can inspire you! Here's the future Girl Scout of America working on her Winterizing badge.
Lorne Holden is an artist and the author of the Bestseller “MAKE IT HAPPEN in Ten Minutes a Day/The Simple, Lifesaving Method for Getting Things Done” and the creator of LifeBloom Online Coaching. Learn more about her here and sign up to join her list! www.makeithappenintenminutesaday.com.