Weather the Storm with These 6 Green Tips
The persistent snow and other bad weather that has blanketed the northern U.S. and much of Canada has ground several cities to a halt and made many everyday activities all but impossible for folks from Seattle to Boston and Toronto to Portland. But just because you're snowed in doesn't mean you have to start burning your furniture for heat or trapping neighborhood squirrels (if you can find any) for food.
In these days of economic upheaval many of us are thinking about ways to lower our expenditures. We all eat and we all spend a big portion of our income on food. Probably the most effective way to keep your food costs down is to simply eat what you bought. An enormous amount of food gets wasted every day, much of it thrown out without even opening the package it came in. We've all found something moldy in the bottom of the vegetable crisper that we'd forgotten about and all pushed leftovers to the rear of the refrigerator until they go bad. It's wasted food and wasted money and none of us can afford that.
Here's how:Clean Out Your Refrigerator and Make DinnerUse up That Leftover Turkey: Barley Risotto with Turkey and MushroomsMake A Leftover PieImage credit: Alfred Eisenstadt/ Getty Images
Preserve what food you've got
If cleaning out your fridge and pantry yields some perishables you won't be able to polish off before they turn, consider preserving them for later consumption (and, as a sidenote, if you had thought of this earlier this fall, you wouldn't have a problem now). Everything from Jerusalem artichokes to green beans and peppers can be pickled, relished, or otherwise preserved for just such an occasion.
Photo credit: Lloyd Alter
Don't put away the bike
If it comes time to make a break for it, and you don't have to navigate too many treacherous hills or icy hairpin curves, don't forget about your two-wheeler; remember, winter biking isn't so bad. Bundle up, grab your tote bags and watch out for other slip-sliding vehicles -- car, bike, or otherwise -- on your way. Here are a couple of posts to show you how to keep it up:Ride Your Bike All Winter: Part 1Ride Your Bike All Winter: Part 2Photo credit: Greg Pye via Flickr/Creative Commons
Be careful how you drive
If walking, biking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, public transportation, or other wintertime transportation just won't do, and you have to venture out in your car, be careful! If winter weather has gripped your area, take care to keep your tires gripping the road, and be sure to adjust your hypermiling habits for winter safety and minimize fuel consumption in this wintry weather -- who knows when you'll get to a gas station again!
Ponder this: Survivalism is the new black
In this post-Katrina world, can you be sure the next storm won't be the one that outpaces the snow removal/flood mitigating/power grid-busting infrastructure designed to keep us safe? The idea that survivalism is the new black suggests we can't. The New York Times quotes Barton M. Biggs, the former chief global strategist at Morgan Stanley, who says we have to:
'...assume the possibility of a breakdown of the civilized infrastructure.Your safe haven must be self-sufficient and capable of growing some kind of food,' It should be well-stocked with seed, fertilizer, canned food, wine, medicine, clothes, etc. Think Swiss Family Robinson. Even in America and Europe there could be moments of riot and rebellion when law and order temporarily completely breaks down.
Golly. Better stock up before the next storm hits! That leaves us with one for after the thaw...
Image credit: Getty Images
Stock your kitchen
Over at Planet Green, Kelly says, "The key to being able to cook dinner everyday is to have a well stocked pantry." If you've got a solid cache of the basics, weathering a few days without a grocery run isn't a problem. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean piles and piles of canned foods (which can contain dangerous bisphenol A); a solid stock of dry goods can be combined to make lots of yummy meals. Learn more in the two part series: Cooking Basics: Stocking Your Kitchen and Stock Your Kitchen Part 2: Chinese Cooking, and read up on what you should have done before this one hit.
Are you having to weather the storm? Tell us how it's going in the comments section below.