In a perfect world, things would last forever. But as you know, this isn’t a perfect world. So, here’s how to ration some of the important things you’ll want to hang on to for a while. These tips come from Real Simple magazine.

  • Your ears. According to Dr. Catherine Palmer, a hearing specialist, the sooner you start paying attention to your ears, the longer you’ll be without a hearing aid. Exposure to loud noise can cause permanent damage that really adds up. So what’s too loud? If you can’t be heard easily by someone in the room, or if you’re listening to headphones and people around you can hear the music, it’s too loud. You should invest in good ear plugs, like the ones custom made for musicians. You can find them at music stores. They block out about 25 decibels. For unexpected blasts, use your index fingers. They shut out about 15 to 20 decibels.
  • The ozone layer. Actually, there’s good news in this department. Thanks to the worldwide ban on CFC’s, or chloro-fluoro-carbons, scientists predict that the hole in the ozone layer will repair itself by mid-century. But only if we’re careful. One thing you need to pay attention to is your refrigerator. If it was made before 1994, it might still contain CFC’s. The same goes for your home and car air conditioners. To avoid releasing these dangerous chemicals while one of these appliances is being fixed, use only EPA-certified technicians.
  • Gas – especially at today’s rates! And believe it or not, how you drive is as important as WHAT you drive. Slowing from 70 to 55 miles per hour can increase your gas mileage by 15%. Not pumping your gas pedal at red lights saves about 25% of gas waste. And using cruise control also saves fuel. Also, you lose one mile per gallon for each 300 pounds of weight you carry, so be sure to unload all that junk in your trunk.