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					                               COLORADO LIVING
                                Fall 2008
                               Happenings on the Western Slope-Northwest Area

Cutting Energy Costs
by Leigh Fortson               First, think about having        To find a qualified auditor:
Western Region                 a detailed energy audit          •Go to the Residential Energy Services Network:
                               conducted on your home.          www.resnet.us/about/default.htm

A     ccording to Consumer
Reports, the nationwide
                               These audits can identify
                               the source of your home’s
                                                                •Conduct a do-it-yourself audit via the Governor’s
                                                                Energy Office www.colorado.gov/energy/ or the
                                                                Smart Energy Living webpage: smartenergyliving.
average cost of regular        greatest energy loss and         org/Library/EnergyLogic.lowres.pdf
gas in October 2007            advise you about how to          •The Department of Energy also has good
was $2.87. Diesel was          fix them. You may be              information: www.eere.energy.gov/consumer/
$3.16. Since then, it has      surprised that most air
fluctuated dramatically,        leaks out from utility cut-
reaching as high as $5.00      throughs for plumbing
a gallon. Who knows what       pipes, gaps around
tomorrrow will bring.          chimneys and recessed
                               lights, and unfinished
The non-profit Smart            spaces behind cupboards
Energy Living Alliance         and closets.
www.smartenergyliving.         Meanwhile, follow these simple
org states that the average    suggestions provided by the
house leaks 50-60 percent      American Council for Energy
of its conditioned air every   Efficiency www.aceee.org.
hour. Plus, an average
home is responsible for two    These steps really do save energy, which means they really do save you money.
times as much pollution as
the average car.                  •   Turn off the lights even if you’re leaving a room for just a few minutes.
                                  •   Use compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). Due to mercury contents,
Every step we can take                dispose of them according to directions.
to conserve energy will           •   Purchase an Energy Star programmable thermostat that can set the best
translate into saving                 temperatures for waking hours, sleeping hours and while you’re away.
money. There are lots of          •   Change the air filter on your heating and air conditioning units once a month
things you can do in your             and get them inspected every two to three years.
home—you’ve probably              •   Insulate your water heater with a blanket from the hardware store. Also,
considered doing them                 reduce the water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
before. With hair-raising         •   Buy low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators.
fuel prices, your efforts         •   Insulate hot water pipes and ducts in areas where there is no heat.
will pay off now more than        •   Unplug products when not in use. That includes cell
ever before.                          phone chargers, hair dryers, toasters, blenders, etc. Use
                                      a power strip with an on/off switch for home electronics
                                      such as computer, DVD players, and stereos.
                                 About
From Gas Guzzling to Green Goin’ Energy Star
by Leigh Fortson
                                                                 The next time you need a new major appliance, purchase
Looking for                                                      one with the ENERGY STAR label. You’ll find it on
a more fuel                                                      refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, clothes washers,
efficient                                                         central and room air conditioners, heat pumps, furnaces,
car? Go to                                                       boilers, lighting fixtures, compact fluorescent bulbs, and
greencars.org,                                                   numerous electronic appliances.
a non-profit that can help you select the best (and worst)
value for the class and comfort you’re after. They               Go to www.energystar.gov/ and select the appliance
provide comparative charts for all kinds of vehicles—            category you are searching for at the top left-hand corner.
not just hybrids—so you can know which truck, van,               Once on the appliance page, look for “Product Lists” near
SUV, or compact best suits your needs.                           the top right-hand corner of the page. Here’s an idea of
                                                                 what you’ll save with Energy Star products:
The good news is that cars that most of us only dream
of—Lamborghini Roadsters and certain Mercedes                    •Freezers use at least 10% less energy than older
Benz—rank low because they’re the most offensive to              products.
our wallets and the environment. The vehicles that most          •Compact refrigerators and freezers use 20% less energy
of us are looking to actually buy are easiest on the air         than old and larger units.
we breathe and at the fuel pump.                                 •Dishwashers save 25% more energy.
                                                                 •Air conditioners save 10% more energy.
More energy saving tips:                                         •Clothes washers use 50% less energy than those
                                                                 manufactured before 1994.
•Don’t warm up your car when it’s cold. Just drive
“gently” for the first few minutes
•Avoid idling your car. It wastes more gas than turning
it off, even for short periods of time




2   Western Slope- Tri River area   Colorado Living Fall, 2008
The Similarities between Dehydrated Yogurt and Cheesecake

They taste the same. That’s what Routt County Extension          “It’s relaxing for me, and it’s
agent Karen Massey says, anyway. Her office hosted a              really fulfilling when you look
food dehydration workshop on July 29th and participants          at the pantry and have your
got to taste some samples. Master food safety advisor and        food stacked up for the win-
class instructor Gina Hackett said her children prefer the       ter,” she said. “A lot of the
dehydrated yogurt to candy.                                      time, you can’t get out to go
                                                                 to the grocery store anyway.”
“It’s a good way to get your kids to eat it,” Hackett said.      Hackett also is knowledge-
Massey said about 20 people attended the course, putting         able about food safety.
it close to capacity.
                                                                 “Food preservation is one of those things where if you
                        “There is just a lot of interest right
                        “The                                     do it wrong, you could really be making somebody sick,”
                          now in Routt County surround-          Massey said. “She’s gone through a lot of training for
                            ing food preservation,” she
                            in                                   good standards of preservation of food.”
                             said. According to Massey,
                             s
                             those who are interested
                             t                                   Hackett recommends people buy a commercial dehydra-
                             include people who want to
                             i                                   tor if they want to preserve food that way. She has taught
                             buy and store locally produced
                             b                                   classes before and said people tend to pick up the process
                           food, as well as backpackers
                           fo                                    quickly.
                         who want healthy dried food to
                      take on hikes.                             “There’s nothing hard to it,” she said. “After you learn
                                                                 your basics, there’s nothing hard to it at all.”
This course was the Extension office’s first on food de-
hydration. Hackett, who lives on a ranch about 10 miles
from Muddy Pass toward Walden, taught it with Candi
Loftsgard.

Hackett said she has been dehydrating food for 25 or 30
years. She started doing it out of necessity for her family,
and she dehydrates or cans just about everything. Hackett
tries to preserve enough food for a whole year. She also
makes her own seasonings through dehydration.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning-Keeping Your Family Safe
by Rhonda Follman, Tri River Area director and family & consumer science agent

A recent tragedy close to home         Many of these initial symptoms are      Preventing harmful fumes from
served as a stark reminder to me       similar to those of the flu or food      accumulating inside your home and
and my husband that we did not         poisoning. If high levels of carbon     other enclosed spaces is imperative.
have a carbon monoxide detector in     monoxide persist, victims can faint,    Fuel-burning appliances including
our house. Of all the precautions we   become unconscious, and death           wood stoves, fireplaces, furnaces,
take to make our home a safe place     may result. Infants, small children,    gas stoves, clothes dryers, and gas
for our family, this was not even on   elderly people, and people with         burning space heaters should be in-
our radar. It also never occurred to   anemia or a history of heart or re-     spected by a professional annually
us that carbon monoxide is the lead-   spiratory conditions are most at risk   to ensure they are in good work-
ing cause of poisoning deaths in the   for carbon monoxide poisoning.          ing condition and that vents, flues,
United States, with over 500 deaths    Symptoms should not be ignored          and chimneys are connected and in
annually.                              especially if more than one person      good condition. Whenever possible,
                                       in the home is experiencing them. If    appliances that vent their fumes
Carbon monoxide is an odorless,        someone suspects carbon monoxide        outside should be purchased.
colorless gas produced whenever        poisoning, call 911.
a fuel such as gas, oil, kerosene,                                             Fumes from gasoline-powered
wood or charcoal is burned. When       Carbon monoxide detectors can           engines can build up inside an en-
fuel-burning appliances such as        help protect your family from           closed area very quickly. Therefore,
stoves, furnaces, clothes dryers,      carbon monoxide poisoning. These        an automobile should never be left
fireplaces and spaces heaters are       devices alert your family of unsafe     idling in a garage even if the garage
maintained and used properly,          levels in your home. However,           door is open. A gas, propane, or
hazardous amounts of carbon mon-       carbon monoxide detectors are not       charcoal grill should never be used
oxide are usually not produced.        the “end all” to safe-guarding your     indoors. Small gasoline-powered
However, dangerous levels can          family against carbon monoxide          engines and tools such as lawn-
accumulate if appliances are in        poisoning. Prevention is equally        mowers, chain saws, weed trim-
disrepair or are used incorrectly.     important. Follow the manufac-          mers, or generators should not be
Carbon monoxide can also rise to       turer’s recommended instructions        used in enclosed spaces.
dangerous levels from an idling car    on installation and placement in the
or a gasoline-powered engine or        home since these devices do not
tool such as lawnmower or genera-      work the same as smoke detectors.
tor operating in an enclosed garage
or space.

Initial symptoms of carbon mon-         Carbon monoxide detectors can be
oxide poisoning include headache,       purchased at most home improvement
                                        stores and cost $20 or more.
fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea
and dizziness.
Overview of Fall Gardening Chores
by Yvette Henson, director, San Miguel County and natural resources agent



General                              Vegetables
• Winterize irrigation system        • Harvest warm-season crops
• Turn compost                         before frost
• Clean beds of debris that can      • Tomatoes, cucumbers, beans,
   harbor disease and insects           squash, etc.                               Native Plant
• Mulch                              • Harvest cool season crops                   Master® Program
• Harden plants/ deep watering          after frost                                by Susan Rose, Tri River Area
• Plant spring-blooming bulbs        • Cabbage, carrots, brussels                  horticulture education
                                        sprouts, etc.
Perennials                                                                         We are very excited in the Tri
• Cut back dead stems, except        Lawn                                          River Area to be participating
   for crown protection and food     • Fertilize                                   in the Native Plant Master®
   and shelter for small wildlife    • Aerate                                      Program, which has now gone
• Divide and transplant              • Mow to 2” (never cut more                   statewide. The courses for this
• Plant new                            than 1/3)                                   program take place in the field
                                     • Apply vole repellant and                    on three consecutive Saturdays.
Annuals                                fungicides
• Pot up any plants want to                                                        Participants learn to identify
  bring indoors and place near       Shrubs/ Trees                                 native plants using a key, and
  sunny window                       • Plant or transplant evergreens              become familiar with their
• Sow seed for self-seeding          • Apply anti-desiccant to ever                botanical names. Alien spe-
  types (California poppies,            greens                                     cies are also identified, and the
  love-in-a-mist, cosmos, etc.)      • Prune and discard diseased,                 importance of environmental
                                        damaged wood                               stewardship is woven through-
                                                                                   out the course. We are currently
                                                                                   teaching the courses at three
                                                For answers to your                wonderful and diverse sites: the
                                             gardening questions 24/7              Colorado National Monument,
                                              visit Planttalk Colorado:
                                                                                   the Black Canyon of the Gunni-
                                                 www.planttalk.org
                                                                                   son, and on Grand Mesa.
                                    You can also subscribe to an updated podcast
                                      from PlantTalk Colorado by visiting the      Check our Web site:
                                                    link above.                    westernslopegardening.org this fall
                                                                                   for dates and locations for 2009.
       COLORADO LIVING                                                    Extension County Office Phone Numbers
                       is a publication of                                Adams ........................................(303) 637-8100      Kiowa ........................................ (719) 438-5321
           Colorado State University                                      Alamosa .................................... (719) 852-7381       Kit Carson .................................. (719) 346-5571
                  Extension                                               Arapahoe .................................. (303) 730-1920        La Plata ..................................... (970) 247-4355
                                                                          Archuleta ................................... (970) 264-5931      Larimer ...................................... (970) 498-6000
                  4040 Campus Delivery                                    Baca .......................................... (719) 523-6971    Las Animas ................................ (719) 846-6881
           Fort Collins, Colorado 80523-4040                              Bent ........................................... (719) 456-0764   Lincoln ....................................... (719) 743-2542
                      (970) 491-3813                                      Boulder .................................... (303) 678-6238       Logan ........................................ (970) 522-3200
                       FAX 491-3722
                                                                          Broomfield ................................ (720) 887-2286         Mesa ......................................... (970) 244-1834
    Joanne Littlefield - Leigh Fortson - Meg Wilson
                                                                          Chaffee ...................................... (719) 539-6447     Mineral ...................................... (719) 852-7381
                        Editors                                           Cheyenne ................................... (719) 767-5716       Moffat ....................................... (970) 824-9180
                                                                          Conejos ..................................... (719) 852-7381      Montezuma ............................... (970) 565-3123
Colorado State University Extension’s programs are available to all
without discrimination. The information contained herein is provided as
                                                                          Costilla ...................................... (719) 852-7381    Montrose .................................. (970) 249-3935
a public service with the understanding that Colorado State University    Crowley ................................ (719) 267-4741 x7        Morgan ..................................... (970) 542-3540
makes no warranties or endorsements, either expressed or implied.
                                                                          Custer ........................................ (719) 783-2514    Otero ......................................... (719) 254-7608
Colorado State University Extension, U.S. Department of Agriculture
                                                                          Delta .......................................... (970) 874-2195   Park .......................................... (719) 836-4289
               and Colorado counties cooperating.                         Denver ....................................... (720) 913-5270     Phillips ...................................... (970) 854-3616
                                                                          Dolores ...................................... (970) 677-2283     Prowers ..................................... (719) 336-7734
                          October 2008                                    Douglas ..................................... (720) 733-6930      Pueblo ....................................... (719) 583-6566
                                                                          Eagle ......................................... (970) 328-8630    Rio Blanco ................................. (970) 878-4093
                                                                          El Paso ...................................... (719) 636-8920     Rio Blanco ................... (Branch) (970) 675-2417
                                                                          Elbert ......................................... (719) 541-2361   Rio Grande-Saguache ................ (719) 852-7381
                                                                          Elbert ................. (Branch office) (303) 621-3162            Routt ......................................... (970) 879-0825
                                                                          Fremont ..................................... (719) 276-7390      San Miguel ................................ (970) 327-4393
                                                                          Garfield ..................................... (970) 625-3969      Sedgwick ................................... (970) 474-3479
                                                                          Gilpin ........................................ (303) 582-9106    SLV Area Office .......................... (719) 852-7381
                                                                          Grand .........................................(970) 724-3436     Summit ..................................... (970) 668-3595
                                                                          Gunnison ................................... (970) 641-1260       Teller ......................................... (719) 689-2552
                                                                          Huerfano ................................... (719) 738-2170       Washington ............................... (970) 345-2287
            Visit us online:                                              Jackson ..................................... (970) 723-4298      Weld ......................................... (970) 304-6535
          www.ext.colostate.edu                                           Jefferson ................................... (303) 271-6620      Yuma ......................................... (970) 332-4151