Cathy Bradberry

Host, Producer

Cathy Bradberry has worked for South Carolina Public Radio for more than 10 years. Currently host and producer of Earth Sense She started by managing operations on weekends and producing local content. She currently produces a number of daily programs ranging in topics from classical music to recycling and education. She has received a Masters in Education from Columbia College. As Production Manager for Song Travels, Bradberry coordinates all stages of production and corresponds with artists, talent agencies, and studios.

Ways to Connect

We live in a disposable society and all too often, we throw away food items that have simply gone bad while sitting in the refrigerator.  But an organized food storage scheme can help save money and time.  Keep a permanent marker nearby so that you can date items as they go into the refrigerator.  This works well for take-out boxes and left-over’s. 


Plastic sandwich bags are a handy way to send lunch to school with the kids, or bring lunch items to work with you. But have you ever considered re-usable alternatives to those baggies?  Using a lunch box instead of a disposable brown bag is great, but the items inside your lunch box can be re-usable too! 


Landscaping and yard decorating, whether you hire someone to do the work or garden yourself, can be costly.  So, before you purchase lawn features, consider items that you may already have.  For example, an old bed frame can be set up in the yard as a “flower bed.” 


Scrap Paper Ideas

Jun 19, 2017

In an office or school, scrap paper can really pile up.  Rather than throwing it away and before your recycle it, try these ideas to give scrap paper a longer shelf life.  Instead of using fresh paper, print any first drafts of school essays on the reverse side of scrap paper.  This idea can also apply to work memos and emails. 


We’ve been talking all week about ways to improve your fuel economy when walking or biking isn’t feasible and there are a number of things that you can do to decrease emissions while increasing your miles per gallon.  For example, try not to carry more in your car than is necessary, especially when it comes to heavy items. 


So, you know that you should observe speed limits and use your cruise control when possible to increase your fuel efficiency, but what other things can you do to help save money at the fuel pump?  One easy way to reduce emissions is to stagger your work hours to avoid peak rush hours or ask your employer if you can telecommute, or work from home.  It’s simple, the fewer cars on the road, the lower the emissions in our atmosphere! 


There are many ways to improve your fuel efficiency while driving, like maintaining a steady speed and using your cruise control on the highway, but have you thought about car maintenance as a way to increase your miles per gallon?  You should take care of your car and keep your engine properly tuned.  According to the US Department of Energy, fixing a serious maintenance issue, like a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve your mileage by as much as 40%! 


We’ve talked about ways to reduce your carbon emissions, like walking or biking instead of driving and bringing a bag lunch to work instead of going out for take-out.  But there are ways to be more fuel efficient when you drive.  For instance, drive at steady pace- rapid accelerations can waste gas.  Aggressive driving can lower your gas mileage by as much as 33% at highway speeds and as much as 5% in town. 


We’re all looking for ways to help the environment and one simple way to do that is to walk or bike to work.  Start training for that half marathon by jogging to your workplace.  Human powered modes of transit conserve fossil fuels, and the extra activity will get you in shape quickly!  Do you live too far from work to walk or bike?  Surely there’s a trip you would normally take in your car that you could walk instead. 


DIY Tricks Part 2

Jun 9, 2017

We’re always looking for a quick and easy way to save energy and money and sometimes it’s as simple as turning off the light when you leave a room.  But there are other small things you can do every day to save energy.  For instance, set your computer or laptop to go to sleep after 10 minutes of nonuse.  Purchasing big ticket items like a patio grill on the off season can save a little money, too. 


DIY Tricks Part 1

Jun 8, 2017

We’re all looking for ways to save a little money here and there, and there are some easy tricks to help lower your monthly expenditures.  For example, we all know we should change the filter monthly and adjust the thermostat while no one is home to save energy, but did you know that if you have closets along exterior walls, keeping those closet doors closed can help insulate the house and lowers the square footage your HVAC has to keep cool?  


It’s time to start enjoying your outdoor living space again.  Whether you enjoy the front porch or the backyard patio, here are some quick and easy DIY upgrades for your outdoor space.  Get crafty with some recycled aluminum cans by drilling small holes and painting them to create candle lanterns. 

  

We all want the best foods for our families, but sometimes it’s hard to justify the cost when cheaper options are available.  So here are some tips for eating organic on a budget.  First, know which produce is counted among the dirty dozen- in other words the produce with the highest levels of pesticides, and which produce is ok not to buy organic.  


Signs of Stress

Jun 5, 2017

According to the American Psychological Association, Americans are more stressed than ever, and for many, stress can impact mental or physical health.  So if you have any of these symptoms, you may want to reassess your levels of stress.  Stress can cause people to overeat or undereat, so if your weight begins to fluctuate, take note.  


Pest Free Home

Jun 2, 2017

Insects in your kitchen can be a real pain, but you don’t have to spend a fortune to march the little suckers right back outside again.  Washing your countertops with a mixture of equal parts apple cider vinegar and water will deter ants.  A mixture of one half cup of rubbing alcohol and one quart of liquid soap can make an effective pest control for whiteflies, aphids, mealy bugs, and scale insects.  


Dust Free Home

Jun 1, 2017

For those who suffer from allergies, asthma, or any other breathing condition, dust can be a real problem.  But there are steps you can take to moderate dust in your home.  Of course, step one is to change that HVAC filter regularly.  Invest in doormats – both exterior and interior to reduce dirt being tracked in from outside. 


Dangerous DIY

May 31, 2017

I’m all for doing a job yourself to save a little money, but in some cases, it really is best to call in a professional.  For example, decaying trees can be a real hazard, but pruning or removing one without a pro could cost you big time.  If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could drop large branches on your home.  And there are about 400,000 power tool related emergency room visits annually in the US, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.  


Trash Day Hacks

May 30, 2017

You’re doing your part to reduce waste, but trash day is just a fact of life.  Here are some everyday hacks to make trash day a little less annoying.  Don’t you just hate the struggle of getting a full trash bag out of the trash can?  Put an end to the tug of war by drilling a couple of holes in the bottom of the trash bin – this will reduce suction at the bottom making it easier to get that trash bag out.  


Mitigate Mosquitoes

May 29, 2017

Seems like mosquito season lasts forever!  But if you’re having problems with the little blood-suckers, search your property for any standing water that could be their breeding ground.  Birdbaths are great for inviting feathered visitors to your yard, but you should empty and refill that birdbath every day to prevent it from becoming a stagnant home for mosquitoes


If you’ve noticed that all the products of your good intentions are creating clutter in your house, then it may be time to let it go and recycle those old magazines you just haven’t had time to read.  However, don’t be too quick to pitch these items that can be useful.  


We talk a lot about ways to re-purpose and reuse items on Earth Sense, but there are times when you should just let it go!  Magazines and newspapers are great for lining trash cans and bird cages, but if you have a huge pile of them because you can’t seem to get around to reading the articles, or using the recipes, then it’s time to just let it go!  


We all know the sweet relief of a swimming pool, especially in South Carolina’s hot summer months.  But if you happen to own or operate a pool, then you know how chemical intense keeping pool water clean can be.  These days, the eco-conscious and design savvy homeowners are moving toward natural swimming pools.  These incorporate aquatic plants and naturally occurring bacteria to filter and clean the water.  


Depending on how your house is situated, you probably have that one room that gets a lot of afternoon sun and is usually the hottest room in the house.  If the ceiling fan just isn’t cutting the heat, think about some of these options to cool the space.  Landscaping plays a bigger role in the comfort of your house than you may think. Planting shade trees and shrubbery around the hottest portions of your home will help keep things cool.  


Birdwatching

May 22, 2017

Bird-watching is a growing hobby in the US.  According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, more than forty-eight million people are taking up the hobby.  It’s a fairly inexpensive recreation and increases your understanding and appreciation of the environment and the wildlife in your area.  Start your bird-watching hobby by making your backyard bird friendly.  


There’s a lot of spring cleaning going on at this time of year and more than likely, you and your neighbors have a lot of stuff you may be thinking about getting rid of.  Instead of having a slew of single yard sales, why not have a street sale?  You’ll garner more interest from buyers because they’ll want to stop in one neighborhood rather than driving all over town to multiple locations.  


Have you got an older refrigerator that works just fine, but looks a little less than attractive?  There’s no need to replace an appliance that still has a few years of life left.  So try these ideas for upgrading that old refrigerator. 


We’re in prime yard sale season and this is a great time to get gently used items for a great deal.  The best way to live green and reduce your carbon footprint is to simply reuse things that others may not have a use for any longer.  Yard sales, second hand stores, and even  flea markets are great places to find furniture, kitchen tools, clothes, bags, and so much more at reduced prices.  


Summer Window Tips

May 16, 2017

Keeping your HVAC system in tip top shape and managing your thermostat settings are great ways to help keep you cool this summer while helping keep costs down.  But have you inspected your windows lately?  If not, there may be some things that you can do to stay cool in your home.  For example, using a white or light colored curtains or blinds will reflect sunlight away from your windows and a thermal curtain can help stave off energy losses.  


Summer Water Savers

May 15, 2017

Summer can be one of the most wasteful seasons when it comes to water usage.  Whether you’re watering the lawn or your patio plants, be mindful of how much water you’re using and follow these simple tips to decrease the water waste.  When you’re planting or landscaping, choose plants that are native and are bred for hot southern summers, or choose plants that are drought friendly and don’t require much watering.  


Need a little privacy in your backyard, but hate the thought or the expense of installing fencing?  Well, there are a plenty of shrubs, vines, and trees that can increase the privacy without breaking your budget.  Bamboo grows quickly, so it can create a lush and exotic privacy screen fast.  


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