07/20/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Reducing Your Carbon Footprint The Lazy Way

IT'S HIGH SUMMER, so my three teenage daughters and I have heaved the yard couch off the big porch of our 1910 Craftsman bungalow here in Riverside and onto the front lawn under the Raywood ash tree, where this couch -- now 10 years old -- will remain in state until the first rains in November.

The yard couch is dark blue with multicolored flowers that have no known match in nature.

I bought it when my girls were small, and dark colors seemed like a good idea in case of stains. They loved that soft couch with a passion, and countless children and teens have slept on it, sat on it, hung out on it. So when I bought a new white couch two Junes ago, my girls and their friends protested vehemently. When they said, "Can we just keep the old one outside for a week -- it's summer!" I gave in, and I'm still giving in.

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