How to Make Just About Damn Near Anything... Last Longer

    Electronic Stuff

    Photo via: Random J

  • CD/DVD Player
  • Tip 1: Never leave a cd/dvd in the player, some brands continue to spin even when the disc is not playing. This wastes energy and causes unnecessary wear and tear on the unit. This advice also goes for many gaming systems. Always take the disc out after watching and turn the player off (unplug if if you really want to get down and dirty with energy savings).
  • CD/DVD-R discs
  • Tip 1: Do not purchase CD-R or DVD-R discs in bulk, as they have a shelf life much like flour or baking soda. The organic dye found in these discs will expire within a few years, making them unreliable for recording important data. Buy these on an “as needed” basis. Tip 2: Do not throw away scratched or skipping cd/dvd's, these can be easily repaired by following just a few simple steps.

    Automotive

    Photo via: Mike Licht, How to Rotate the Tires on Your Covini C6W

  • Tires
  • Tip: Automobile tires will roll most efficiently and last the longest if properly inflated and rotated as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Windshield Wipers
  • Tip: The longevity of any rubber squeegee on a windshield wiper can be extended by keeping it clean. This is accomplished by either wet-sanding with a 1000 to 2000-grit sandpaper or cleaning with (91%) isopropyl alcohol.
  • Battery
  • Tip: Many car batteries are scrapped long before their time because they were not kept properly charged. Things such as stereos, GPS, cell phones, and MP3 players can deplete a battery quickly, and if the vehicle is not driven enough distance each day, it will not be able to recharge itself. The best way to handle this dilemma is with a dash mounted solar powered battery charger.

    Miscellaneous Stuff

  • Paint brushes
  • Tip: Trying to clean an oil based paint off of a paint brush can be a futile experience. It is almost not even worth bothering with. Instead, try wrapping the end of the brush with aluminum foil and a sealed plastic bag to keep the paint from drying. The only downfall, is this of course only works with one color of paint at a time.
  • Clothes
  • Tip: One way to make a all your clothes last longer is to wash then in cold and keep them out of the dryer. Dryers wreck havoc on fabrics. Think about what you see each time you empty the lint screen... your clothes slowly being eaten alive. Hang dry whenever possible.
  • Fruits & Vegetables
  • Tip: While many refrigerators have a bin designated for "fruits and vegetables", it is actually better to store them in separate bins to slow the process of ripening, or I should rather say, over-ripening.

What about you, Treehuggers, do you have any other damn advice to add to this list?

More on how to reduce, reuse, and recycle
The Three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle, Relate: A Post-Earth Day Manifesto
Mottainai! "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" Gets Ethical in Japan and Beyond

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