Or, buy my book. Shameless self-promotion here.
Monday, March 31, 2008
Or, buy my book. Shameless self-promotion here.
Friday, March 28, 2008
Solar power for sunny California. How appropriate.
Why aren't more businesses installing solar panels on their unused, unproductive, sun-splashed rooftops?
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Slow down. Driving 65 MPH, rather than at 75 MPH, can increase your fuel economy by 15 percent.
Behave. Aggressive driving, such as 'jackrabbit' starts and slam-dunk braking, can reduce your highway mileage by a whopping 33 percent.
Keep your tires properly inflated. Under-inflated tires waste gas, and wear out the treads, too. Tire pressure changes one pound for every ten degree Fahrenheit change in the outside temperature, so if you haven't checked your tires since you stopped wearing winter mittens, you are wasting gas. And money.
Get rid of the junk in the trunk. Manufacturers are squeezing out every spare ounce from body parts to reduce weight and increase fuel efficiency. So why are you carrying around everything but the kitchen sink? Junk in the trunk reduces fuel efficiency.
No idling. Get in the car and go. Sitting there with the motor running gets you zero MPG. That's why hybrid cars are so much more fuel efficient than their comparable-sized gas only siblings -- when a hybrid is not moving, it switches to the electric motor, which doesn't use gas.
Get regular tune-ups. Just replacing your air filter can improve mileage by 10 percent.
Check your gas cap. Be sure there’s a tight seal, to prevent that high-priced octane from vaporizing. Nearly 20 percent of vehicles on the roads have gas caps that are damaged, loose or are missing altogether, wasting some 147 million gallons of gas every year.
Fill-up in the morning or evening, not mid-day. Why? Because gasoline expands with warmer temperatures. You'll get more gas and less air when the temperature is cooler.
Pump your gas slowly. Use the slow setting on the pump trigger to minimize the amount of money-wasting vapors you are putting into your gas tank.
Of course, you could also drive less, carpool, take the train, walk.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Delta is now joining United in charging passengers $25 for a second checked bag. And USAirways has similar plans.
The baggage fees begin in May -- just in time for peak summer travel season -- no matter when you bought your ticket.
Airlines used to feed you. Now you have to buy your food on board -- except on l-o-n-g flights. Since so much of airline food isn't too good to begin with, and most airport food court food is of the greasy kidstuff variety, I'd rather bring my own from home or from a sandwich store near home than buy on board.
Curbside checking used to be free. Now, some airlines are charging $2 or $3 per bag to check them curbside. That's for the airline. You still have to tip the skycap.
Monday, March 24, 2008
White Swan Inn, Whitehall, Michigan -- Through June, guests staying two nights who bring a grocery bag of non-perishable food items or personal care products for the local food pantry will receive a $40 discount on their bill to help with gas. Mention "Fuel and Food" when making your reservation.
Friday, March 21, 2008
Certification means golf facilities must protect the environment. That includes enhancing precious natural areas and wildlife habitats, water and energy conservation, and more.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Maybe that's why these Beatles impersonators are smiling, or maybe it's just because this is a great time to visit Liverpool, which has been named the European Capital of Culture for 2008.
Take a magical history tour of Liverpool, where The Beatles lived and wrote about in their songs.
There are two ways to travel green in Liverpool -- three if you count walking --
Hop aboard a yellow minibus, not a yellow submarine, to visit the childhood homes of Sir Paul McCarthy and John Lennon, now both National Trust heritage properties.
There's also a hop-on-hop-off double decker bus, which makes multiple stops, including at The Cavern Club on Matthew Street, where the Beatles were just one of more than one thousand musicians and groups to have played here. There still is live music here five nights a week, and outside, a “Wall of Fame” lists some of these golden oldies, from Richie Havens to Acker Bilk, the Yardbirds and the Rolling Stones. The Cavern Club is just around the corner from the new Beatles-themed Hard Day's Night Hotel.
Take the ferry for a one-hour loop of both sides of the Mersey River, immortalized by the Beatles song Ferry Across the Mersey, which plays over the loudspeaker when the ferry leaves the dock, which is in front of the baroque Cunard Building. Liverpool may be most famous these days for its Beatles connection, but the city has a strong maritime history, too.
And if you want yet more of The Beatles Story, there's a museum of the same name in the Albert Dock area of museums and shops. It traces the influence of Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and other 1950s rock and blues stars on the young Liverpudlians who would create what became known as ‘the Mersey sound” in the 60s.
It’s pure nostalgia for those old enough to remember the raucous early days. And, it's bittersweet for anyone viewing the white piano decorated with a single red rose and a framed photo of John Lennon, while the loudspeaker plays Imagine, softly. The self-guided audio tour is in nearly one dozen languages; Lennon’s sister narrates the English version.
It's enough to turn you into a Beatles groupie, if you weren't one already.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008
Thursday, March 6, 2008
My own JFK-Calgary trip had a carbon offset cost of just $11.37.