Going green, baby

I'm trying to do more to help the environment. I think I'm going to sign up for this "Turn the Tide" challenge at Newdream.org. I wanted to see how I was doing first, though, to know if it's going to be possible. It's interesting reading, this list, because it turns out there are more reasons for making these changes than I'd thought. If you go read it you'll see what I mean. Plus it's just a cool website with lots of great ideas.

1. Skip a car trip each week

I need to get back into the mentality that walking actually is an acceptable way of getting around. I walked all over the place in England and yet the second I'm back in the US I forget that I have legs and that there are such things as sidewalks. (Not that there always are sidewalks, because there aren't. My route to work is one example.) Saturday I went out on foot and did some shopping. It was kind of fabulous--it was warm and sunny and beautiful outside. I met exactly one other person walking--everyone else was in cars. I even got honked at once. When I got home I found the door unlocked. My roommates must have seen my car parked outside, assumed I was still home, and so didn't lock the door when they left. Must speak to them about that. "Sometimes I might leave without my car."

2. Replace one beef meal each week

Hah. I don't even remember the last time I bought beef. Beef costs money. I only eat beef when I suddenly need a cheeseburger so badly that it causes me to black out. Like last night when I dreamed I was eating cheeseburgers. Or when I go to my parents' house. They are beefeaters there.

3. Shift your shrimp consumption

Turns out that shrimp-farming practices harm the rest of the marine wildlife. This is too bad, because I do love me some shrimp. But since the shrimp meals are always the more expensive ones on the menu I don't end up eating it very often.

4. Declare your independence from junk mail

Where do I sign up? I hate junk mail.

5. Replace four standard light bulbs with energy-efficient compact fluorescent lights

Hah! I just did 6! I rule. Last week I replaced our most-used lights with the new bulbs. This means that now my roommates are allowed to use the light fixtures instead of building coal fires and lighting candles. They are grateful for this. As well they should be.

I also took out a few extra light bulbs that we don't really need. I mean, seriously. Does anyone like being blinded by 4 light bulbs in the bathroom when they stagger in there in the middle of the night? No. It's bad enough that my bladder woke me up, I don't need to add pupil spasms to my list of problems.

6. Move the thermostat 3°F

As the piteous wails going up across the land from those who have lived with me will attest, this is not so much a problem.

7. Eliminate lawn and garden pesticides

Since I have absolutely no awareness of my lawn and have no garden, I think we're okay here.

8. Install an efficient showerhead and low flow faucet aerators

Went out and bought this stuff on Saturday. This will be an improvement, I think, as my current showerhead releases this odd circle of water just along the outer rim of it. It's possible to stand completely inside this circle and die of hypothermia while taking a steaming hot shower.

9. Inspire two friends

Is anyone here planning to be inspired? Spitfire says I can count her as one, so that's good.


Desmama said... [reply]

Count me inspired. But if I wasn't intimidated enough when you visited my less-than-energy efficient pad before, I will be even more so now.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Oh my gosh, Desmom. I love your apartment. It's so much prettier than mine. I took stock of my messy bedroom after you left and kind of wanted to sink through the floor. My favorite touch was the two empty popcorn bowls with kernels that had been sitting on the floor for weeks.

Jimmy said... [reply]

Count me among the inspired. I just turned down the thermostat. And I put the steak back in the freezer for today. And I set the lawn on fire.
Ok maybe not the last one.

Every little bit makes a difference, right?

CoolMom said... [reply]

Hmm..how are the gp's doing? Well, we only eat New York steaks, so our beef consumption is down to about once a week.

We have two of those cool showerheads in our shower so does that make us double-aware?

ALL of our lightbulbs are the good little spiral kind. Go cooldad!

I do hate driving, but up here you get frostbite going out to get the mail so must wait for serious global warming to do otherwise.

My postman assures me that "junkmail" is his job security. Personally, I wouldn't mind if they phased a few postpeople out to save some trees.

We are fish snobs, as you know, and only eat fresh fish/shellfish from Alaska, or whatever they are selling at Costco! Which is usually that.

And I just collected a giant bag of frozen natural fertilizer from my yard, compliments of my dog. Make fresh at home twice a day.

Edgy said... [reply]

Fine . . . Count me inspired. For what it's worth, I have been replacing out the light bulbs here at the gym.

But you should know that I'm not walking to work. Go pedestrian through Parley's Canyon? I think not.

Jenny said... [reply]

I pity the people you live with in the thermostat dept. That suggestion was for people who are not already incredibly cheap about heating/cooling costs. Your poor roomates. I feel their pain.

kristen said... [reply]

I'm all about destroying the environment. I'll drive my gas guzzling SUV while the rest of you saps walk.

J/K. But seriously, I do what's relatively convenient. I only keep the thermostat down to drive down costs. I do recycle at work, and if they had recycle bins w/ our garbage here in Utah, I'd recycle my newspapers. I only eat beef once or twice a week anyway; and I don't even like shrimp.

There's such debate about global warming even being caused by humans; if it is, it's minimal. Many science experts say it is a natural part of the earth's existence.

(sorry.....that was a tangent)

amyjane said... [reply]

Ohmygosh, if you turn the heat down even further than you usually do, people will die. I shiver jsut thinking about living with you in winter. The summer's were lovely, though.

JB said... [reply]

Did you know that the Post Office has to deliver your mail as you request them to?

So, when you put a little piece of paper (ours is laminated) on your mailbox that says "No Bulk Mail," they can't give you bulk mail.

We've only gotten junk mail (fast food coupons, grocery store sales, etc) one or two times in the last month and a half that our mail box has said that. We do occasionally get a "letter" for "resident," but we don't get a handful of commercials on a daily basis anymore!

Nemesis said... [reply]

No worries, Amyjane. I didn't turn the heat down any further. They want you to put yours three degrees below the average for your area. We were already below the average so I left it alone.

Lady Steed said... [reply]

I am glowing green with pride. Remember when we were roommates? I now know that my recycling efforts had some sort of affect on you--and you thought I was so crazy with my recycling ways.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Lady Steed, I'm sure you did affect my life. But I never really thought you were crazy for the recycling--I thought you were crazy that time you almost tore my throat out for using the garbage disposal needlessly. :-) Only now I see where you were coming from.

Edgy said... [reply]

And if you want to go hardcore, I just read this article in the NYTimes about a couple going a year without toilet paper (among other things).

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