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Karsh's five basic tenets

Mike Karsh makes eco-friendly choices with a few basic tenets in mind. * Think long-term. Karsh and his family chose to live near the Whole Foods Co-op so Karsh, the primary breadwinner, could walk to work instead of drive. * Simplicity is key. C...

Mike Karsh makes eco-friendly choices with a few basic tenets in mind.

* Think long-term. Karsh and his family chose to live near the Whole Foods Co-op so Karsh, the primary breadwinner, could walk to work instead of drive.

* Simplicity is key. Clutter and buildup generate waste and detract from one's quality of life. "Listen to your life and pull back some layers," Karsh said. "Don't add more. Take away some."

* Assess your own wants and needs. Consumerism will always say you need more, but do you? "If people took a couple weeks and didn't look at ads in the newspaper, they would see how that would change their perspective," Karsh said.

* Efficiency is great, but does it come with baggage? Karsh and his wife have avoided broadband Internet service because, even though it would help them get work done faster, it would probably lead to more time on the computer. Thus, less time together and more power used.

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* Make manageable changes. Giving up your car might be too extreme, but, say, cooking with a pressure cooker, as Karsh often does, uses less energy than a conventional oven.

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