DIAL IT DOWN
Save the world from overheating. Run your dishwasher only with a full load. Use the energy-saving setting to dry the dishes. Don’t use heat when drying. Carbon dioxide reduction: 200 pounds a year. Also, wash clothes in warm or cold water, not hot. Carbon dioxide reduction (for two laundry loads a week): up to 500 pounds a year. Turn down your water heater thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Prevent 500 pounds of carbon dioxide a year for each 10 degrees of reduced heat. Don’t overheat or overcool your house. Adjust your thermostat. For each 2-degree adjustment, save about 500 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Also, clean or replace air filters, saving about 175 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
PILE ON THE SAUERKRAUT
Scientists say fermented cabbage (sauerkraut, kimchi, etc.), even more than raw or cooked cabbage, is loaded with healthy isothiocyanates, which have stopped the growth of cancer in animal and test tube studies. Of course, eat this healthy veggie in moderation, because it is fairly high in sodium.
Find all kinds of earth-friendly office products and services online at ecogreenoffice.com. And Preserve/Recycline (preserveproducts.com) turns plastic from ketchup bottles, yogurt cups, industrial scrap, and elsewhere into safe new plastic building materials, toothbrushes, razors, storage containers, and what not.
BATTLE OF THE BULGE
The Earth is getting fatter around the middle because of climate change. Melting ice caps and glaciers are feeding the oceans, causing the globe to bulge at the equator. Is Mother Nature trying to tell us something?
At Tippi Hedren’s Shambala Preserve (shambala.org), the actress/conservationist operates a 75-acre, free-range wildlife sanctuary in Canyon Country northeast of Los Angeles. Shambala houses big cats and other exotic animals, many of them castoffs from zoos or private owners unable or unwilling to properly care for them. Tippi writes on her website, “I have been rescuing Exotic Cats since 1972, all born in the U.S. to be sold as pets or financial gain. I began wondering why there were no laws preventing the insanity of allowing these Apex predators, top of the food chain, one of four of the most dangerous animals in the world, to be used for financial gain and sold as pets. In 2003 I co-authored a bill titled ‘The Captive Wildlife Safety Act’ to stop the interstate traffic of the big cats. I brought that bill to my U.S. Rep. ‘Buck’ McKeon, 25th District, who introduced it. It was passed unanimously in the House and Senate, and signed into law by Pres. Bush on Dec. 19, 2003, and finally enforced in 2005.”
Antelope Valley Indian Museum (avim.parks.ca.gov), in the heart of the Mojave Desert near Lancaster-Palmdale, was built on Piute Butte, incorporating some of the rock formation’s large boulders into its interior roofed with Joshua tree timbers. This unusual folk art structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Five rooms of exhibits include rare and one-of-a-kind artifacts. The museum is part Swiss chalet and part rock garden, the result of two different eccentric owner-builders from the 1920s to the 1940s. The State of California acquired the property in 1979 and operates it as a state park.
Equal Exchange (equalexchange.coop) sells fair-trade coffee, cocoa, and many other exotic foods from around the world. EE also educates consumers about the lives of Third World farmworkers who provide the goods EE sells. EE partners with Ten Thousand Villages (tenthousandvillages.com), which markets Third World handicrafts (jewelry, ceramics, housewares, musical instruments). Similar fairtrade retailers are Serrv (serrv.org) and Marketplace Handwork India (marketplaceindia.com). This is a great way for consumers to enjoy unusual, quality products while helping struggling workers survive economically.
John Maybury is a blogger (PacificaRiptide.com), freelance copy editor (Goofbuster.com), and newspaper columnist (Pacifica Tribune). His Meandering column and features for the Loma Prietan date back to the previous century. Send your questions and answers to Meandering Maybury at firstname.lastname@example.org