One size smaller going green in winter

Reduce your carbon footprint for one day only. I took the challenge and 24 hours later, ouch! The squeeze into the smaller size was painful. You could turn as nasty as Cinderella’s sisters.

Single-digit temperatures with sub-zero wind chills – a real test. The incentive? Reduce my carbon footprint, reduce my utilities bills, save money and feel great. I thawed out only this morning and realized a bunch of facts. Going green in winter is not for sissies.

Saturday night, I set the thermostat at 58. Snuggling under a heavy down comforter was cozy. A hot morning shower steamed up the bathroom and I was on my virtuous first morning of green: coffee, the Heights Observer, and the thermostat hiked up to 64.

A bit chilly, a second cup of coffee helped, but not enough. After adding more layers – a long-sleeve turtleneck, a sweatshirt, sweat pants and heavy outdoor hiking socks – I started feeling warm. I looked like the Michelin Man (a warm Michelin Man).

With a dangerous drop in temperature outside, there is an equally dangerous drop in the humidity inside. Human skin needs moisture. You might as well give away hundreds of dollars of moisturizing effort when the house gets this dry in the winter. But, you couldn’t pay me to take off my layers to slather on cream.

However, there is always a load of laundry waiting for me. I did a load, but stopped the spin cycle mid-way on the final rinse. I just hung up the wet wash, dripping wet. Most Heights homes have a drain on the floor in the basement. If you don’t, just finish the spin cycle before hanging.

The clothesline helped me get an upper-arm workout, added humidity without using the humidifier, and saved energy by not using the dryer.

That was Sunday morning. By lunchtime, I caved in. I turned the thermostat to 66. It was either that or pay the doctor; great rationalization, right? Closing off a small room was my next creative solution. Live in a smaller space. By mid-afternoon, I was ready to throw in the towel and turned it up to 68. One more idea struck, go visit friends or go to the movies. I did.

I managed to reduce my carbon shoe size only a little over the 24 hours. But every bit helps. Right?

Anita Kazarian is a resident of University Heights and enjoys being an active citizen.
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Volume 2, Issue 1, Posted 11:01 AM, 12.08.2008