Saving Energy,Money,Planet Earth My advice:housewives and home makers need not fret or waste time to worrying about the inevitable;instead they should adapt lifestyle changes at home and at work to minimize the impact of his problem on their wallets. POWER-HUNGRY ROOMS-Our homes have three major power consuming areas:the laundry room,the kitchen and the bedroom.In the laundry room,the power- grabbers are the washing machine,the drier and the flat iron.The kitchen has various cooking appliances:stove,coffee machine,water dispenser,blender,microwave oven,turbo,electric grill and the main range oven.Main culprit in the bedroom is the air-conditioner. NIGHTLY FAMILY BONDING-To reduce energy bills,many families have resorted to keeping only one bedroom air conditioned,with everyone sleeping in the same room.The positive attitude of treating the inconvenience like a camping out treat contributes a lot to keeping the family happy despite the often cramped situation.Other families report a more harmonious relationship amongst all the members because of the bonding that resulted from sharing one bedroom."We felt like we were on one side fighting a common enemy,"said a high school classmate who is raising three high school-age grand children.In addition to sharing only one air-con,frugal families have also learned to turn off their bedrooms air-con a few hours before their normal wake up time.They do this either manually or by installing timers,a few models of which automatically shut off the air- con and turn on the fan.This means if the family sleep sleeps eight or nine hours,the air-con is on for only five to six hours,or equivalent to more than 35% savings in electricity. CRUCIAL KITCHEN PLANNING-To reduce power consumption in the kitchen,a lot of advance planning is necessary.Meals should be listed in advance,preferably the night or the day before.Frozen ingredients should be taken out of the freezer and allowed to thaw naturally in the refrigerator for safety against contamination and spoilage.This means not using the microwave for short cut thawing of frozen food except for emergencies.Cook double portions of food,particularly dishes that need long simmering.Freeze half for another meal.this energy-saving method is used by many restaurants,who tenderize big amounts of pork or beef in one large pot,to be later divided into variety of dishes.When simmering meat to tenderize,set stove to lowest heat level after the pot boils.the food will cook within the same period whether the stove is on high or low.Using a thick metal pot for this purpose helps a lot as this vessel retains heat,keeping the food at simmer even at the lowest stove setting.As a rule,smaller pieces of meat or vegetables cook faster.Keep this in mind when making dishes like chicken adobo,which takes only minutes to finish with cut-up pieces versus at least half an hour when using whole thighs and drumsticks.Another example is tiny whole marble potatoes,skin-on,which are done in 30% of the time needed for medium whole potatoes.Keeping spuds unpeeled likewise retain the vitamins and fiber in their skins.Wash them well,scrubbing with a brush reserved for use on root vegetables and fruits with thick peels.When chopping,mincing,grating and slicing small amounts,use the knife and shopping board instead of machines.Good for your muscles too.squeezing juice from lemon and oranges is often done by restaurants and foreign families using machines built for that one purpose.One can save energy by squeezing citrus fruits manually using those old fashioned glass or heavy plastic squeezers that do the job as well. SUN POWER FOR CLOTHES-The unbearable heat during this season could reduce everyone's electricity bill.I normally spin-dry wet clothes for three to four minutes,until they are barely damp.But when the sun is hot and the warm easterly winds are blowing,I use the spin-drier for only one or two minutes at the most,just to the point when the clothes are no longer dripping.After that,I let the clothesline,the sun and the wind do the rest. SOAK DON'T RUSH-There is wisdom in our grandmother's practice of making soak dirty clothes in sudsy water for an hour or so before rinsing.The soaking loosens most of the dirt,allowing the detergent in the water to do its work on the grease and other stubborn stains.I used to dump dirty clothes into the washing machine,with water and measured detergent,then turn the machine on for eight minutes immediately.After resting the machine for ten minutes to soak the clothes,I would run the soaping cycle for another eight minutes before draining the dirty sudsy water completely.Two rinse cycles at four minutes each were followed by a final three-to-four-minute spin-dry.that's a total of 28 minutes of washing machine engine running.No wonder my power bill was astronomical!These days,I soak the clothes before two soap cycles of four minutes each(with 15 minutes of soaking in between) and rinse twice for two-minute spin- dry.Total?Only 14 minutes of machine use. EXERCISE WHILE WASHING-While soaking and washing the clothes,my arms,shoulders and chest muscles get a thorough workout when I lift,mix and rub the clothes in the tub.Clean clothes,lower power bill and toned arms.What else would anyone want?
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