Park, Plant, and Power


Wars are fought today over energy. But are we thinking outside the box? Do we need the “energy” we are fighting for?

Could anything be done differently?

Joel has a myriad of suggestions in this chapter on how and why things should be different, but it all boils down to one thing: It’s you and me making the change in our own homes.

Each of us is the answer.

What is one thing that you could do save on energy that wouldn’t cost you a penny?

I’m not talking about buying an electric car, or paying a bunch of money to build a new solar house. Think of the little things, for in doing so the big things will become that much easier and more apparent.

Go ahead, list the things that you could do starting today without any extra money to reduce energy.

Now, let’s take that thought one step further. What if EVERYONE did what you were doing?  How would our community look different?

There are no wrong answers, let’s brainstorm together!


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About Sheri Salatin

Sheri is married to Daniel Salatin. She is the marketing director at Polyface Farm and stay-at-home mom of three children. Sheri is passionate about clean food and is enjoying working the land along side her husband. When not farming, Sheri can be found reading, writing, sewing, baking and serving in her church family.
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14 Responses to Park, Plant, and Power

  1. Anthony says:

    Composting kitchen scraps seems like the easiest first step. Not only does it reduce the amount of “trash” that needs to be transported to a landfill, but it also eliminates my need to drive to a big box store to buy someone else’s compost. Plus, it helps make my garden more productive, reducing the need for transporting vegetables to my house from somewhere else.

  2. PeterPansDad says:

    Put in a garden. That’s a timely tip, too.
    Find entertainment at home.
    Stop flushing nutrients and potable water down the toilet. Yeah. I know.

  3. Julie says:

    Hanging out the laundry is one “little” thing I do that I believe reduces the energy I consume. I don’t know the numbers or how I’d begin to figure it out, but I do know it’s a little guilt-free time I can spend daydreaming outside. I always wondered why my Granny seemed so happy about a chore like laundry, and now I get it. 🙂 Plus, the clothes are so much easier to fold, one at a time, off the line, instead of a sad heap out of the dryer. Saves me some emotional energy too, I suppose!

  4. Beth Rogers says:

    I hang out laundry—saves $40 a month!

  5. Joe Bergfeld says:

    To save energy (I know there’s small costs involved but overtime these can save a ton of money). Fixing cracks in your walls and ceiling can drastically improve your energy bill. Let the Sun shine in on Sunny Winter days. This can heat parts of your home thus reducing costs. Conversely, planting shade trees to help cool the house in the summer. If you can’t afford to replace drafty windows then try using window thermal coverings to stop drafts.

    If you live close enough ride your bike or walk to stores. Pay bills online. Reduces someone physically having to deliver your payment.

    Everyone’s comments so far are really great! Keep it going!!

  6. Simply Me says:

    Eat at home, wash clothes on cold, use your crockpot, turn your heater down to at least 65 at night and during the day while you’re gone, plan your outings to conserve gas, and recycle.

    Love this post–looking forward to seeing more comments and ideas!

  7. Lacy says:

    Use more human powered items rather than electric powered items, a hand crank can opener and mixer for example. Chunk your microwave – it’s not good for us anyway. Eat more raw meals, it’s better for us anyway (salad, etc). Simply choosing to be intentionally not wasteful is a good start. Only use lights you need, only wash clothes and towels that are really dirty, only go to the store when you have a long list of items to buy, hang out your clothes when you can, and in general, just start by caring about reducing your consumption of all things you consume, including energy.

  8. Chris says:

    I guess it’s more water than energy, but I’ve started containing water waiting for the tap water to heat up. Depending on ambient temperature, my kitchen faucet can take over a gallon of water to get “hot.” Also, me and the three boys pee outside on the compost pile. When I lived in town, I rode my bicycle almost exclusively. Being more rural makes that more difficult and far more dangerous, but it saved me loads of money and gas and usually didn’t take a whole lot longer to get where I was going. As it is now, I try to plan my car trips to town to accomplish as many things as possible per trip, reducing need for more trips.

  9. I plan to introduce my five children to the “Spring and Summer of the Outdoors!” We will be turning off the screens, the air conditioning, the dryer and getting aquainted with our bikes as much as possible. There is talk of getting a couple of rabbits and a few chickens and bees for a top bar hive as well as taking painstaking care of our garden as we bartered with a friend: garden produce for guitar lessons for our son. We will stay at home more, cook outside more over a fire and stay outdoors at night around a fire rather then turn on lights inside.

  10. Dawn says:

    Yes, if everyone did these things “we” all know to do, the world would be very different. I’ve always kind of assumed that everyone in the “West” lived like we do here, but I discovered on a visit to Europe that this is not so – Greece has large areas that are basically unpopulated and the hills of this windy land are sprouting wind turbines throughout the country. In Athens, every apartment building roof was covered in solar hot water heaters, and laundry hung to dry on every balcony. Italy was much the same. Air conditioning is only for the very wealthy, museums and the hotels patronized by North American tourists. Peoples homes are on average much smaller than ours. Train systems are very efficient and well used and in addition connect with other transportation systems (bus/air) reducing people’s need to own multiple vehicles. Vehicles in Europe are virtually all small – trucks are only driven by people who actually need them to carry loads (imagine!)and look like the working vehicles they are. Europe’s not perfect by a long stretch, but it’s a great example of people with a lifestyle similar to ours who do the small stuff much more energy efficiently. It those of us with cheap fuel who squander it, just because we can, not because we need it. And we all know how cheap it really isn’t.

  11. Elaine Pierson says:

    We live at a higher elevation in western Colorado. Here is one of my favorite energy saving ideas. We do Not have air conditioning, but I hate the heat. Every night I open all the windows to let cooling air in, mornings I close windows. House stays cool all day and smells better- except when the dogs agitate a skunk ! ! ! Also I remember grandmother spraying the big lilac bushes with water to create a cool breeze. we also painted the house a light color to reflect heat.

  12. //Ann says:

    How about starting with just turning out the lights when no one is in the room! (You’d think a man 60 years old would have learned this by now, but no, I have to follow him around, flipping switches.) Don’t forget the ceiling fans, too. They do not cool the room, they only cool PEOPLE. No people = no cooling = turn it off.

    Also: turn off the dry cycle on your dishwasher (if you use a DW). I don’t know why that cycle even exists – dishes dry just fine without it – and they won’t give you 3rd degree burns when you go to empty the gadget.

    Crank down your water heater a few degrees – what do they recommend the max be now? 120 degrees? And get that poor baby a jacket! (Or better still – get hot-water-on-demand – I say, kicking myself that we didn’t do this when we replaced our water heater a few years ago.)

    Consolidate trips running around town.

    // Ann

  13. Sheri Salatin says:

    Such great ideas, Everyone! Thank you for sharing. Keep the ideas firing 🙂