Blizzard Jonas isn’t slapping us as hard as it is our neighbors to the south, but along the Connecticut shoreline there were over seven inches recorded by late afternoon. Other parts of the state have been brushed, hit or hammered, depending upon location.
But wherever you are, you’ve been cold today and are only thinking about one thing: turning up the heat. If you’re out and about, hopefully you are layering up (no such thing as too many layers, and don’t forget the feet!)
As sustainability-conscious Nutmeggers, storms such as Jonas are an opportunity to test our mettle – and our resolve. Are we truly envrionmentally-conscious or do we throw concern for our carbon footprints out the window when it’s 28 or 12 degrees outside?
Here are some tips for staying warm and green all at the same time:
1) Keep the thermostat at 60 degrees. Use a space heater as needed, especially late at night and early in the morning or in the bathroom. Ditto cranking up the thermostat for 30 minutes at a stretch during the coldest parts of the day and night. If you can manage it, try not to crank up the heat when you sleep unless the frigid temps awaken you. It may sound counter-intuitive, but keeping a window open for part of the day is both refreshing and healthful that it circulates air. We don’t get sick from cold air but from germs we transmitted by others.
2) Wear your socks again. During this kind of weather it’s impossible to keep one pair of socks clean because tons of snow come in with our boots. Put the same socks over the radiator or a rack in the bathroom and wear them again the next day with your snow boots. Not only is it greener to do less laundry, but you’re already exerting more energy during the colder months; one less chore is welcome this time of year. More time to sit before that cozy fire!!!
3) Candles. Not only are they romantic and beautiful but they are eco-friendly. Be careful where you put them, of course, but burning them on the dining room table at night will significantly offset the overload you’re exerting on the planet if you’re burning oil. (While not too many of us in the state use geothermal to heat our homes, hopefully that’s the wave of the future.) Light those candles!
4) Snow as a freezer! Rather than running that second freezer out in the garage, use the snow to hold those extra grapejuice cans and bags of peas.
5) Eat more veggies! While meat and potatoes are a New England staple on cold winter nights, try a nice split pea soup instead. Even a clam chowder is better for the planet than consuming too much beef. Check out this recipe for Black Bean and Kale Tortilla Soup by Rachel Ray.
Stay warm, Connecticut!!!
Note: WFSB Ch. 3 is calling this “Winter Storm Anna” here in the state.
UPDATE: By 7:30 tonight, Jan. 23, Emergency Services in New Haven reported to WFSB that over 12 inches of snow had fallen in the Elm City.
Write the examiner at Examinerweegs@aol.com and tell me what you do to stay warm while also keeping it green.