One Green Thing: Winter is coming (darn it) …

By Jan Herbert
Rockford Park District

Whether you were “green” before the color was fashionable or whether you’re just ready to find the “shade” that works best for you, here’s information about doing just “one green thing.”

You can figure out winter is not my favorite season … I’ve been thinking about creams for dry skin and sweaters to keep warm.

To feel warmer this winter, humidify the air in your home. Of course, greenies don’t want to plug in a humidifier, so here are some “no-plug” ways to do it.

When I was growing up, there was often a clothes rack sitting in the dining room because we didn’t have a clothes dryer. Today, that’s a great way to bring moisture into the air of your home. You don’t have to go back to a wringer washer, but you may have to look hard to find the rack! Don’t use your furniture for this purpose, however; damp clothing is not good for wood or upholstery.

Grow some plants! They do more than purify your air. Avoid purchasing plants that thrive in the tropics … your northern Illinois home is not the best environment for them.

Open your bathroom door after you shower, and if you take a bath, leave the water in the tub and open the door. How simple is that?

We accidentally discovered one way to humidify … the cascading water in the cat-watering device entices the kitty to drink more water and helps keep us more comfortable at a lower temperature!

The old-fashioned way many of us know best is small dishes of water placed around the home. Stop at a thrift store and grab a few mismatched pieces of pottery and keep them full of water.

Then, haul out a big pot and make some soup. Any cooking done on stovetop instead of oven or microwave makes more moisture in your home. Want a recipe? Ask me for Beefy Black Bean Stew, yumm.

For more information, e-mail Jan Herbert at

From the Nov. 23-29, 2011, issue

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