October 29, 2009

Recycle batteries?

A few weeks ago we needed the big flashlight we keep handy for when the power goes out and, sure enough, the batteries were dead.
After a quick trip to Foley’s  we were now ready if another Nor’easter comes rolling through town, but what to do with the four D batteries cluttering our countertop?

As a graduate of the Master Composter & Recycler Program, I remembered that Westchester County accepts batteries at its Household Recycling Day events. (The next is Nov. 6 and 7 at Rye Playland). Do I need to hold on to them until then?

Then today’s email from thedailygreen gave me the answer. The alkaline batteries from the flashlight – as well as my digital camera and other household electronics – can actually be tossed with the garbage.

That’s great, but my research has raised yet more questions. Why buy disposable batteries when rechargeable batteries are available?

If you’re looking for guidance, here’s an interesting site.

October 28, 2009

Getting ready for the big game

There may well be a spike in energy consumption at 8 p.m. tonight as televisions all over Larchmont and the greater New York area are turned on to the Yankee-Philly game. How many extra kilowatt hours?

That’s hard to say, but it is definitely more than it was six years ago, the last time the Yankees were in the series. That’s because our new televisions –especially the extra large plasma TVs – are energy hogs, according to a report today in thedailygreen. Some of the bigger, less efficient models consume more electricity than a new refrigerator.

So when you’re tuning in tonight, do the world a favor. Gather around a single set in the house, or take a stool at the Larchmont Tavern, rather than watching the game in privacy. It’s good for the earth, and it’s a lot more fun to cheer with others.

October 20, 2009

The Three R's

In case you’ve not been paying attention, the Three R’s no longer refers to reading, writing and ‘rithmetic. Rather, they’re shorthand for the Three R’s of the environment: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

Recycling is now mainstream. Drive the streets of Larchmont before 7 a.m. on Wednesday and virtually every home has the familiar green container for glass, metal and plastic recyclables, and, in homes where newspapers are still a habit, stacks of them along with bags of waste paper.

Now it’s time to make other two – Reduce and Reuse part of everyone’s lexicon.

Tuesday’s New York Times has a front page article on the efforts to reduce the amount of material recycled not – heavens forbid – by adding it to the garbage, but by actually reducing the amount of garbage created. Sound complicated? It really isn’t.

Here’s some quick ways you can reduce the amount of total waste--recycled or put into the garbage—from your home.

October 19, 2009

Halloween in a small town

Walking through the Village this afternoon, my husband and I noticed several storefront windows bore large rectangles formed from green masking tape. Yes, it’s that time again – the time the Village’s young children have an opportunity to display their artistic talents by painting a Halloween-theme picture in their assigned spot.

We moved to Larchmont after my children were way past the age when they’d be included in this activity, but I’ve always loved seeing the pictures.

“I wonder how long they’ve been doing this,” I said to my husband. “Fifty years? Seventy-five?”

We don’t know the answer, but maybe we can find out.

I suspect the painters will be at work this weekend. Stay tuned for photos of some of the best art.

October 12, 2009

Cooking on vacation

For the past several years we've rented a house with friends on Cape Cod, where we have friends among the year-round residents, including some ex-Larchmonters. The week usually flies by in a whirlwind of dinners filled with wonderful food, good wine, and much laughter.

Most everyone in our group is a great cook - the rest love great cooking. So that means when it's "the renters" time to host the crowd, we spend a good deal of time figuring out what to make -- and what we'll need. Over the years we've come to realize that no matter how perfect the house -- and for two years in a row we've rented a great place within a short walk of the Falmouth beach - something's always missing.

The day we pack up I usually empty whatever is in the refrigerator into a small cooler, and also pack a small carton of things from my pantry. But sometimes I overlook some essentials. Then today I happened across Mark Bitten's blog post about what you need to take on vacation. What a great idea! So here's the start of my list: please add as you see fit.

October 9, 2009

Yiskor 5770

Ever since my father died I’ve felt that I can finally put away the old year and embrace the new not at the end of Yom Kippur, but at yiskor, the memorial service held on the last day of Sukkot. This year, more than ever, I need to turn the page to a new year, one filled with life and health, not death and disease. Over the past year, the deaths came relentlessly, month after month, almost too many for us to bear.

Carol, my husband’s first wife.

Jane, the brilliant newspaperwoman with whom we worked and laughed in Houston.

Tommy, who gave so much to the Village of Larchmont and was our regular companion at the LT.

Arnie, our dear friend, who was responsible for so much of my professional success.

Aunt Helen. Brother-in-law Donald. Seth. Chip. Too many funerals. Too many memorial services.

And so, as I turn to embrace the future, I pause, one more time, to think, not about the people we’ve lost, but what they left us.

October 8, 2009

It's been a long time

I know. Bloggers are supposed to blog regularly so that readers have a reason to return. But this summer turned out to be a bit of a bummer....hence, the long absence.

No gory details here, but my husband had triple bypass surgery in August. He is a private person, and would not have wanted daily updates on his condition - nor on my emotions and reactions.

He's still recovering -- it's slow -- but now that it's almost eight weeks since he was first hospitalized, I am beginning to regain my life, step by step. First step, returning to this site.

Hope to see you again, soon.