Monday, March 28, 2011

Drinking Diet Coke and Driving an SUV

Breakfast today was YUMMY- a whole wheat bagel with organic cream cheese and a glass of OJ.  I sure wish the organic food companies would make 'whipped' cream cheese that spread easily.  Until then, my cream cheese spreading will look like this.
After breakfast I headed to the DENTIST.  This was my first trip to the dentist since June 2009.  Crazy, right?  Especially since I am blessed enough to have full dental insurance through my job.  With how much I like a deal, I realized I couldn't keep letting my 'free' dental visits go by without using them.  The dental hygienist who cleaned my teeth was sooo talkative.  Don't you hate it when they ask you, "So have you been flossing everyday?"  The answer is always, "Of course not. Who flosses everyday?"  I didn't say this, but I did say, "Once a week." So then she went on a rant about about all the bacteria that multiplies on the food stuck between teeth.  YUCK! Then she compared not flossing to not washing your hands all day which of course, not one would ever do.  She also made the comment while flossing my teeth, "Whoa!  There's a picnic back here."  Embarrassing, but true.  I will now floss daily.

After the dentist, I ran a ton of errands and crossed a few items off of my spring break to-do list.  Then got home and played outside with Busta-move and the Sis.  He's such a little stretching boy!

One of the items I've already crossed of my list is changing the filter on the heater. Now, I never realized the value of changing filters.  While on walks, I would see them leaning against people's trash cans and think "how wasteful" and "why do people feel like they have to change those filters all the time?"  I wrote off changing the filter as an overindulgent American habit, like drinking Diet Coke or driving an SUV.  I strive to be a minimalist in my habits, so changing the filter would not be something I would be doing.  How serious was I about this?  We had only changed our filter once in 1.5 years.  

So what changed?  I attended a DIY: Residential Energy Conservation class at the Columbia Career Center earlier this month.  The class was informative, and it was there I learned the importance of changing air filters.  I learned that a dirty air filter will slow down the air flow which makes the system work harder and thus inefficiently.  This wastes energy!  We actually simulated this with a miniature room, air conditioner, and filter.  We measured the amount of energy used and what we found was astounding- the heating/cooling system had to work 33% harder when the filter is dirty.  Check out this filter we just took out:
Talk about a picnic! It was more than time for this filter to go into the trash and be replaced by a new one.  Hopefully our heating/cooling system will work much more efficiently with this clean beauty!
Now, you probably already knew the importance of changing your air filter, but this was a learning experience for me, so I thought I'd share.

I'm going to pretend  to be a dental hygienist here and ask how often do you floss your teeth?  Do you floss in the morning or at night?


  1. I try to every night, but some nights when I'm too tired (well, or lazy) I skip--don't tell! I finally convinced Ben to start flossing, but I only got him up to every other night. And don't feel too bad--Ben just went to the dentist last December, which was the first time in over 7 YEARS!

  2. I'm impressed you've got Ben flossing every other night. Kyle would look at me like I was crazy if I suggested that. Hopefully everything was okay with Ben after 7 dentist-free years!?