One Cup Per Day

Coffee Mug
I got this easy conservation advice today in the mail from the Charleston Green Committee. Not only would it save power and water, it would save money. Obviously then Iike it very much and going to try it at our house. We go through way too many cups and glasses each day and this seems like an easy way to curtail some of that.

Try the One Cup Rule

How does your household blaze through all these plates, glasses, and silverware in one day? As soon as you have unloaded the dishwasher, the sink is piled high with more dishes.

Try making a new household rule: 1 drinking cup per person a day. You can designate this via color. You can put a fun sticker on a cup. You can write your name on it with a Sharpie.

The one-cup method will not only conserve water, but it will also make less work for the person who ends up doing the dishes every day.

Saving Money in the Office

Want to put some extra money in your pocket? As Benjamin Franklin said, “a penny saved is a penny earned.” In these tough economic times it behooves us all to look at what we are spending money on and cut back where appropriate. Not only will that help the bottom line, but it will free up some of the cash you may need for areas that need bolstering such as web marketing, employee benefits, or computer service.

To that end here are nine simple things that will cost you little or nothing that can net you some significant returns in the long run.

  1. Cleaning – What does cleaning have to do with saving money? Other than age and power surges, the biggest killer of computers and printers that I have seen is heat. That heat is caused by the ventilation being blocked by dust, pet hair, or other debris. Once every few months take the time to make sure the fans and vents on your computer, monitor, and printer are unobstructed. If you keep your equipment clean it will run cooler and therefor last longer. And the longer it lasts the less often you have to pay to replace it – or pay for someone like me to come fix it.
  2. Faxing – Not sure if you want to buy a fax machine or replace that old one? Well don’t! Most companies are using email not fax these days, and those that aren’t should be. Not only are emails easier to keep track of but they save time and paper. But what if you need to send a fax? Go down to your local office supply store and they will charge you a small sum to send it, or you could just do it from your computer. Online services like FaxZero.com will let you send small faxes for free and longer faxes for a minimal fee. So there is absolutely no reason to have that expensive fax machine sitting around gobbling up power.
  3. Electricity – And while we are talking about power, let’s talk about all those cell phone chargers, sleeping printers, and other dormant equipment you have around. Each of those devices is drawing current even when you are not using it. How can you tell? Is the little light on? Are they warm? Is that power brick humming? Then it is drawing power. If you aren’t going to be using the device for a while, then unplug it entirely. Or just plug them into a power strip and turn that single power strip switch off. Not only will you be saving electricity, but you will be adding extra insurance against power surges and voltage shocks.
  4. Upgrading Software – About to upgrade to the newest version of Microsoft Office? Ask yourself, “Why?” If the current version is serving you fine now, what feature is it that you are paying for? If it is just to get compatibility with the new file formats, consider downloading the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats. With it you can open, edit and save documents, workbooks and presentations in the file formats new to Microsoft Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint 2007. With other software, ask the same questions – “why am I upgrading this” and “is there a free update or patch that will let me do most of those same things?”
  5. Continue reading “Saving Money in the Office”

Flying Dock Dogs

Have you ever seen a flying dock dog? Take a look at the picture and you will. These are dogs of all types, all sizes, and all ages that are trained (and I use that term lightly) to run down a dock and then sail into the air. They land in the water anywhere from five feet to about twenty-one feet away in a huge splash.

South Eastern Wildlife Dock Dog

Now for some explanation. The South Eastern Wildlife Exposition is in town here in Charleston this weekend, and I played hooky on Friday to attend. We also took the kids down today, and I may go back down for a while tomorrow. The Expo is an annual event that has been going on 26 years. It is a huge get together of artists, hunters, conservation groups, fisherman, vendors, and just about every one else involved with wildlife. While there is a large emphasis on hunting and fishing, there is also a huge push in conservation and education. This year Jack Hannah did two different free presentations. In past years there have been other guest presenters such as Jeff Corwin and Mutual of Omaha’s Jim Fowler.

The part that my family and I enjoy the most is the dogs. Not only are there dogs doing various things such as retriever exhibitions and the above mentioned “dock dogs”, but everyone who can brings there dogs and puppies out to walk in the parks and visit the various venues. I saw spaniels, poodles, basset hounds, retrievers, mastiffs, dachshunds, German shepherds, hounds, and many more. From five pounds to a hundred and five pounds, they were all there.

But the most fun this year was had around the dock dog pool. These dogs, even the ones who more fell in the water than dove, just really seemed to be having a good time. This is a competition, but a very friendly and light hearted one. And the crowds loved it. I am really not sure who were grinning more, the dogs or the children watching them. And if the response from everyone gathered round was any indication, there will be at least a few more dogs in the water next year. I can’t wait.