by Kirby Gibbs
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - As a retired couple on a fixed income, the Pattersons realized they had to make some life changes. And the first things to go were their gas guzzling cars.
"It's a hybrid. It's electric and gasoline so that one feeds the other. And you don't have to plug it in. People always ask us that" said Mr. and Mrs. Patterson.
Not only have they seen big savings in gas, but they've also cut houshold energy costs.
George Patterson told KTRE, "We changed all the light bulbs to fluorescence. And we put a ceiling fan in every room in the house. And on mild days like this we open doors and windows and have the heat cool off all the time".
And, they've installed a programmable thermostat, so when they're away, they know their a/c isn't eating up energy or... money. Speaking of eating...
..."We're trying to change from plastics to glass as far as the dishes are concerned and from paper napkins and towels to cloth".
Going back to the basics can make conserving, and saving, easy. "We hang clothes outside. We still use the dryer occasionally when it's raining or whatever, but generally we hang outside, we love the sunshine smell".
This couple also has a green thumb. Planting their own vegetables and using raked up leaves, saves them money on groceries and fertilizer. "I chew up the leaves with a vacuum machine, and put that in the compost bin" Said Mr. Patterson. "We also use table scraps from the kitchen, put that in there, and water it..." With nature's very own, rain water, another way they save while helping the environment.