04 July 2006

mama earth is gonna kick our collective ass

...if we don't start to be mindful of our impact on the planet. and we'll totally deserve it.

i'm taking a course right now about global warming. i'm just getting into it, so i'm no expert, but - as dylan and ani have said, "you don't have to be a weatherman to look around and see the weather." every day i read something new that i didn't know before and i look around and wonder what the world will be like for riley. and i'm terrified for him. and i'm disgusted with us, as well as the media for continuing to report global warming as if it's just some silly theory. thing is, this planet has historically ridded itself of civilizations that attempted to over-consume what was "available." we're seeing the climate change vis a vis more powerful and devestating storms. we're very possibly near peak oil. we are depleting all of our resources and there continue to be more and more of us born everyday to compete for those resources.

we're again nearing a crisis point. and the fact of the matter is this - if we don't begin to address all of what we have caused - we are literally going to destroy ourselves. the balance is off. and american consumption habits are leading the herd in driving climate change and global warming. it is up to us - not the government. we must begin to make easy, small changes in our daily lives and begin to put the pressure on those in positions of power to do the same on a larger scale. the mayans and sumarians didn't have the technology to reverse what they began. we do. so what's it gonna be? our economic path must change course, on many levels. we must demand sustainability...

i urge you to check this out - the entire book is online here - read the first chapter. it succinctly outlines what the issues are, how this will effect you, and what is being done and can be done. discuss.

and i haven't seen it yet, but i hear that 'an inconvenient truth' is really excellent as a primer.

some ideas for reducing C02 output on a day-to-day basis - parenthesis is me:

Use Compact Fluorescent Bulbs
Replace 3 frequently used light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. Save 300 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $60 per year.

Inflate Your Tires
Keep the tires on your car adequately inflated. Check them monthly. Save 250 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $840 per year. (ride a bike or walk instead)

Change Your Air Filter
Check your car's air filter monthly. Save 800 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $130 per year.

Fill the Dishwasher
Run your dishwasher only with a full load. Save 100 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $40 per year. (or better yet, hand wash them)

Use Recycled Paper
Make sure your printer paper is 100 percent post consumer recycled paper. Save 5 lbs. of carbon dioxide per ream of paper.

Adjust Your Thermostat
Move your heater thermostat down two degrees in winter and up two degrees in the summer. Save 2000 lbs of carbon dioxide and $98 per year. (or use it only when neccesary)

Check Your Waterheater
Keep your water heater thermostat no higher than 120 F. Save 550 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $30 per year. (tankless water heaters are great, too - they only heat what you use)

Change the AC Filter
Clean or replace dirty air conditioner filters as recommended. Save 350 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $150 per year.

Take Shorter Showers
Showers account for 2/3 of all water heating costs. Save 350 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $99 per year.

Install a Low-Flow Showerhead
Using less water in the shower means less energy to heat the water. Save 350 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $150.

Buy Products Locally
Buy locally and reduce the amount of energy required to drive your products to your store. (it is farmer's market mecca this time of year! find one near you!)

Buy Minimally Packaged Goods
Less packaging could reduce your garbage by about 10 percent. Save 1,200 pounds of carbon dioxide and $1,000 per year. (buying in bulk, using your own containers for refilling is a great idea)

Buy a Hybrid Car
The average driver could save 16,000 lbs. of CO2 and $3,750 per year driving a hybrid (again, walk or ride a bike when you can - help the push for sustainable mass transit - carpool)

Buy a Fuel Efficient Car
Getting a few extra miles per gallon makes a big difference. Save thousands of lbs. of CO2 and a lot of money per year.

Carpool When You Can
Own a big vehicle? Carpooling with friends and co-workers saves fuel. Save 790 lbs. of carbon dioxide and hundreds of dollars per year.

Reduce Garbage
Buy products with less packaging and recycle paper, plastic and glass. Save 1,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide per year.

Plant a Tree
Trees suck up carbon dioxide and make clean air for us to breath. Save 2,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide per year.

Insulate Your Water Heater
Keep your water heater insulated could save 1,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $40 per year.

Replace Old Appliances
Inefficient appliances waste energy. Save hundreds of lbs. of carbon dioxide and hundreds of dollars per year.

Weatherize Your Home
Caulk and weather strip your doorways and windows. Save 1,700 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $274 per year.

Use a Push Mower
Use your muscles instead of fossil fuels and get some exercise. Save 80 lbs of carbon dioxide and x $ per year.

Unplug Un-Used Electronics
Even when electronic devices are turned off, they use energy. Save over 1,000 lbs of carbon dioxide and $256 per year.

Put on a Sweater
Instead of turning up the heat in your home, wear more clothes Save 1,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $250 per year.

Insulate Your Home
Make sure your walls and ceilings are insulated. Save 2,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $245 per year.

Air Dry Your Clothes
Line-dry your clothes in the spring and summer instead of using the dryer. Save 700 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $75 per year.

Switch to a Tankless Water Heater
Your water will be heated as you use it rather than keeping a tank of hot water. Save x lbs. of carbon dioxide and $390 per year.

Switch to Double Pane Windows
Double pane windows keep more heat inside your home so you use less energy. Save 10,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $436 per year.

Buy Organic Food
The chemicals used in modern agriculture pollute the water supply, and require energy to produce.

Bring Cloth Bags to the Market
Using your own cloth bag instead of plastic or paper bags reduces waste and requires no additional energy.


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