Freezing temperatures, snow and ice, and road salts all take a toll on our vehicles. Winterizing your car is important to ensure safety, and to help prevent any serious problems before the storms come sweeping through. Give your car a little TLC:

  • Check your windshield wipers for tears and cracks in the squeegee portion and if needed, replace them with the Jamak wiper blades; they're made of silicone instead of petroleum which makes them 100 percent recyclable.

  • Don't forget to look under the hood! Car battery attention is also vital and can be easily done: howstuffworks.com recommends checking for tattered clamps and corroded cables, and any suspicious white powder which is caused by excess battery acid, which can be removed with a toothbrush, water and baking soda. If your battery has passed on, contact a local auto part shop to see if they will recycle them.

  • Intact snow tires can greatly reduce sliding, accidents, and stress. Check for bulges, cracks, and tread depth. If your tires have seen better days, they too can be recycled and reused to produce shoe soles, mats, and even asphalt.

  • Resist the temptation or habit of letting your car idol to warm up. Ease into your driving; that way, you'll actually warm up your engine faster without creating extra exhaust fumes and contributing to air pollution.

    For more information, contact Recycle Utah at 435-649-9698.

    Green Tips January 2014

    2nd Week

    Homey Snowy Solutions

    From keeping your home and car slush free, to choosing some natural solutions to winter's inevitable challenges, these tips will help ignite some good ideas for more eco-friendly winter changes.

    If you're without a mud room or garage, keep your wet and muddy winter boots stored off your carpets and floors by reusing cardboard box lids and line the inside with a plastic from a garbage bag or old shower curtain to keep your front entry area dry and clean.

    Another green and practical solution for any entry way or car floor is to try laying down a rubber cal mat from 100% recycled tire materials. It offers generous shock absorption, anti-slip protection, and will withstand plenty of wear and tear, winter debris, and water.

    De-icers are critical this time of year for home/apartment walkways, cars, and roofs. There are natural de-icer product options such as: Green Ice Fire Pellet Melter, Magic Salt, Ice Melt, and Storm Team Liquid Ice Melt. These products provide biodegradable, nontoxic and less corrosive solutions to intimidating ice issues—definitely worth checking out!

    Keep the winter cold from seeping into your home via windows and doors and from running up your gas bill! For a quick, yet effective fix, try 3M's window insulator kit and Low-E window films. They'll help keep the temperatures elevated throughout your home. Affordable weather stripping and caulking also help block out pesky, chilly drafts.

    Green Tips January 2014

    3rd Week

    Environmentally Friendly New Year's Resolutions

    The time to look ahead at a brand, new year and make resolutions on things we can and want to do better is here! I suggest we keep in mind some small goals and ways we can do our part to make our communities a little cleaner, and to make our homes and our habits a little greener. Many small actions have the potential to make a big difference!

    Reach out in your community and get involved with starting up a recycling program in your apartment or condo complex, neighborhood, school, or place of business if there isn't already a system in place.

    If possible, make a resolution to carpool with co-workers, or take public transit to cut down on excess driving a few days a week. When the weather warms up, if biking is feasible, enjoy the fresh air and exercise.

    Support and buy from local stores and markets! Not only are you putting money straight into your community, but you're encouraging quality and diversity.

    Volunteer to pick up trash along highways or simply walk around your neighborhood or apartment/condo complex frequently, and pick up stray trash when you see it. Speak up to management about signs and extra garbage receptacles being put into place if need be. Set an example for your community and neighbors!

    Green Tips January 2014

    4th Week

    Think Greener Foods

    When pondering New Year's resolutions, it's common to commit to goals that involve diet, food, and exercise, to improve one's overall health. I'll share some educational tips that may assist in some of the grocery shopping and choosing of it all, which may help making reasonable changes not so hard, and keep your goals sustainable.

    Try to buy from your local markets. The food is fresher and made from less processed ingredients. Sunflower natural and organic foods market, along with Wild Oats, and Sprouts are all good healthy choices to shop for foods and products that not only benefit your health, but your surrounding community.

    Other stores will sometimes have designated aisles for their natural foods; scope them out and with everything you buy and try, pay attention to the ingredients and nutritional guides!

    Shop on the outside perimeter of stores where the foods are perishable and fresh, and try to limit buying pre made or processed foods toward the center.

    Making small changes each time you purchase your groceries really makes all the difference. One visit buy and try some organic bread, next visit, switch your peanut butter to an organic brand; spend a few extra dollars on some staple items that are important to you. Don't become discouraged, just make some small changes and try to limit excess (yummy) but junky, filler foods.

    Check out what community agriculture and produce can be delivered to you!