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 August 28, 2005 3:25 AM

Simple Solution
Eight Steps to the New Green Diet

Step 1: Eating Organically Produced Food
Organic agriculture strives toward being sustainable – sustainable meaning that which can be continued indefinitely, without depletion of resources beyond a rate such that they could be renewed.

Step 2 and 3: Eating Local, Seasonal Food
Eating local, seasonal food saves energy from transporting food from many miles away and needing less refrigeration, and supports local farms.

Step 4: Eating a Variety of Food
"The loss of genetic diversity – silent, rapid, inexorable – is leading us to a rendezvous with extinction, to the doorstep of hunger on a scale we refuse to imagine," writes Kenny Ausubel in the book Seeds of Change: The Living Treasure." Organic farms grow a wide variety and diversity of plants to keep the soil healthy and preserve diversity. Industrial farms, on the other hand, monocrop, meaning they grow nothing but a few commodities.

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 August 28, 2005 3:25 AM

Step 5: Eating Low on the Food Chain
Humans can eat both high and low on the food chain and be adequately nourished. Residues of persistent chemicals such as DDT, PCBs, dioxin, and many pesticides concentrate in animal fat.

Step 6: Eating Whole Foods with Adequate Fiber
Whole foods are nutritionally complex and complete. Refined foods have had much of their nutritional value and fiber removed.

Step 7: Avoiding Processed Food
The average American eats 150 pounds of additives a year, much of which is sugar and salt, but by no means all. Three thousand additives are intentionally used in processed food. Many of these additives, such as hydrogenated oils, can cause health problems.

Step 8: Reducing Packaging for Public Health and the Environment
Chlorine and dioxin are just two chemical compounds that are released in the manufacture of many packaging materials. Toxic chemicals can also migrate to your food from packaging.

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 August 25, 2005 1:47 PM

Twelve Tips for How to Stretch a Tank of Gas
Adapted from 547 Ways to be Fuel Smart, by Roger Albright.

Simple Solution
We can conserve gas with some car maintenance steps. For example, we can get 6 to 20 percent higher mile per gallon (mpg) with a properly tuned engine. Keeping a mileage record will tell us when our gas mileage is slipping, which is a signal for a tune-up.

Here are 12 more tips for how to stretch a tank of gas.

* You can easily take care of a few items without going to a service station. One of them is the air filter. A clogged air filter leaves your engine gasping for breath and means you’re probably running with a “rich” mixture, that is, more gas and less air. Many department and auto stores carry air filters, and they are simple to change. A clogged air filter can cost you 1 mpg. Replace your air filter regularly.

* Dirty oil cuts back engine efficiency, so make sure your oil is changed according tot he car manufacturer’s recommended schedule. You can change your own, and buying your own oil is much cheaper. There’s a drain plug under your engine that will come out readily with a wrench. Have a bucket ready to catch the dirty oil, and remember to dispose of it safely.

* If your fan belt is too tight, your engine is working too hard and wasting gas. The belt should give a little to finger pressure when the engine is not running. if it doesn’t, you can easily adjust the tension with a wrench.  [ send green star]
 
REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE - HELPFUL TIPS August 25, 2005 1:46 PM

* Badly worn spark plugs can cost you as much as 2 mpg. This is probably a job for a trained technician.

* The car has been a way of life for most Americans. There are alternatives. These include mass transit, bike paths, and car pools.

* Heavier cars are more costly to run. A reduction of 200 pounds in automotive weight typically improves fuel economy by nearly 5 percent.

* Use the air conditioner in your car as little as possible. It uses a lot of gas. Roll down the windows and get some fresh air!

* Using cruise control can save gas. If you drive on the open road often, staying at a constant speed will save fuel.

* If you are taking a trip, start early in the day while traffic is light. Plan to stop for meals at times when traffic is heavy.

* Don’t let your car idle for a long time to warm it up. Also, don’t let your car idle for more than a minute after it is warmed up - this idling wastes more gas than restarting your car.

* Do not rev the engine and then quickly shut your car off. This wastes gas. It also pumps raw gasoline into the cylinder walls. This can wash away a film of oil that protects the cylinders and will increase engine wear.

* Check your tires. Your owner’s manual has important information on your tires, including the correct air pressure that should be in them. Under inflation of your tires can cost you as much as 1 mpg. Radial tires have 50 percent less road resistance, so they give you 3 to 19 percent better mpg.  [ send green star]
 
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