Freecycle Everything You Can

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Have you ever been to freecycle.org? If so, good for you! If not, then you need to. I learned of Freecycle from my girlfriend. She is always on Freecycle finding stuff or getting rid of stuff.

Just what is Freecycle? Freecycle is a Network that is made up of 4,751 groups with 6,757,000 members across the globe. It’s a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer. Plus membership is free.

I always fall back to that old saying when telling people about Freecycle “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure”. We used it the other day when we were cleaning the garage and found these little, old Christmas tree penguin ornaments. We threw them on Freecycle and a day later a lady came by and picked them up off our front porch. What’s neat is you don’t even have to meet the person; you just make an email arrangement and leave the goods on your porch. The cool part is that the penguins didn’t go into the landfill, and somebody didn’t have to go buy new penguins, plus they got them for free! The lady wrote an email a couple of days later telling us she loved the ornaments. Cool huh?
So, now you probably want to go check it out. All you really need to get started is a Yahoo account. If you have a yahoo email account that will work too.  Freecycle listings are through Yahoo Groups. Once you get your Yahoo account situated, go to http://www.freecycle.org, click on browse groups and select your state and city. Next click “Visit Group Page”, then join the group. At this point the Freecycle group will be added to your Yahoo Groups list. This particular group requires a membership approval; it’s nothing bad, they do this to keep the spammers out. Upon approval, you are ready to give and get. Have fun with Freecycle, and remember before you toss your “junk”, Freecycle it.

The Bakersfield Freecycle group now has over 3300 members who are helping keep thousands of pounds of “stuff” out of landfills each year. Click the link below to get directly to the Bakersfield Freecycle group
http://www.freecycle.org/group/US/California/Bakersfield

-Kynan Chambers
www.savebakersfield.com



The 5 Minute Shower

It is tough to beat a hot shower first thing in the morning. Research indicates the average shower length is 8 minutes. The 5 minute shower will save about 7200 gallons of water a year over the 8 minute shower. It’s not just the water you are saving but the energy to heat the water and the sewer processing as well.

When dealing with heated water, one has to remember that there are three costs associated with this commodity. (1) You pay for the water. (2) You pay to heat the water. (3) You pay a sewer fee to discard the waste water.

So, the next time you are standing in the shower thinking, remember the water and gas meter are clicking away. Want another energy and water saving solution? Use your bathing towel more than once. Hang it up to dry and use it again. If you shower every day and use your towel twice, you will cut back your laundry chores by 182 towels per year vs. the old method of new towel every shower! Your mom, wife or person in charge of washing all those towels, will thank you. The 5 minute shower, give it a try.

Jeff Williams

Greening Bakersfield



Caroma Dual Flush WaterSense Toilets

watersense_logo2After many restless nights, I finally settled on the new toilets I would order for my office. What I thought to be a simple task turned out to be not so simple. I make a huge ordeal over everything I buy, and I end up researching the product to death. In the case of water saving toilets, including dual flush toilets, I spent 8 weeks surfing the internet and calling different manufactures and sales companies.

Task: Find modern water saving toilets, dual flush or not
Notes: Must be WaterSense approved and ADA approved

The contenders:
American Standard
Kohler
Cheviot
Duvarit
Toto
Caroma

One of the many hours of research was to determine whether I should get a single flush toilet with a flush of 1.28 gpf or dual flush toilet with a fush of 1.6/0.8 gpf. According to research you will save 25% more water by using a dual flush toilet then a WaterSense single flush, even though the water use is less on the single flushers. I’m guessing that this is based on people using #1 much more often than #2.

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