Earth Matters by Jacqueline Milner – Energy & Repurposing tips for living – November 15, 2010 – Cornwall Ontario

Cornwall ON – The following are repurposing and energy saving tips which can easily be incorporated into ones life regardless of ones place in life at the present moment.

Take advantage of the free energy from the sun by opening your blinds or drapes on south facing windows during the day. If you have large windows that don’t receive sun consider keeping the window coverings closed on these windows.  Let the sun warm and energize your space.  Conversely close your blinds and drapes after sundown to conserve the warmth in your living space.

According to SaskEnergy “you can save 2% on your heating bill for every 1 degree C you turn down your thermostat”.  Consider installing a programmable thermostat to turn down the temperature when your household is sleeping or away from home.  You could save up to $60.00 yearly with a programmable thermostat to consistently lower your heat when you do not need.

Keep return air grills and heating vents clear of drapes, rugs; any item which may block the flow of heat through your home or work place.

Ceiling fans are used in the summer to cool our space and are most useful in the winter time to push the hot air from the ceiling to the floor where is appreciated.  Take note of the ceiling fan blades in the following image.  The fan would have to run counter clockwise to push the heat from the ceiling to the floor.

You can save money and energy by selecting COLD water when doing your weekly laundry.  About 80% of the energy used to do your laundry is used in heating the water.

Consider using rechargeable batteries.  I have been using rechargeable AA and AAA batteries for about the past year and a half.  The initial expense is larger than their expendable counterparts however I have found them to be reliable power sources for my electronic day timer, small auxiliary flash equipment and other small electronic equipment that I use.  These batteries are easily and quickly recharged when necessary.

I was recently in the market for an alarm clock.  I decided that it would be a good idea to get a small wind-up alarm so that I could have a reliable alarm should the power go out and have a tool that would function as needed without using excess energy or resources.  I had a hard time finding one however they still are being made are can be purchased here in Cornwall.

Repurpose your empty Kleenex boxes as holders for your plastic bags.  This makes them easily accessible and stackable.

I was sent an e-mail some time ago which talked about all the things coffee filters could be used for.  Here are a few which may be of help to you.
-they can be substituted for cheese cloth when a fine straining material is required
-they can soak up the grease from fried foods such as fish or bacon
-serve as great friction material between frying pans or plates
-can serve as packing material for fine china etc.
-perhaps you have a tip you can share here for our readers.

Your comments are encouraged and appreciated and can be shared here or to


  1. Yes Jacqueline, on the subject of coffee filters, the used filters and coffee are easily composted and your garden will love the fresh compost.

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