Wednesday, August 6

d. All of the Above

It’s too big a problem. There is so much to be done that no one knows exactly what to do. Also, it’s expensive, and expensive at a time when no one really has any extra money. We’re already being squeezed so much – I don’t want to have to tighten my belt any more, I just want someone to fix it. Or not, I mean it can’t really be that big a deal, right? The Earth has been here for millions of years and she can survive…I might not if prices keep going like this. I can’t worry about the Earth right now – I’m worried about my family.

I’ve heard it all. And I can understand that it’s overwhelming, that making change is seen as expensive, unimportant or both. The thing is you’re right the Earth will survive. Whether or not people will be able to live here is another thing. How quickly the change will happen (and how much of it already has and how much of that is reversible) well, that’s a whole other question.

The thing is that I’m broke too. But I also want my little cousins and the Future Gs to be able to live in a world not consumed with war over food supplies and fossil fuels. I would like them to be able to visit Chucktown without a snorkel. I don’t want to look at my child and wonder if his or her asthma is my fault.

Now I realize that none of the solutions are perfect. I really don’t care. Instead of people fighting about whether we should be burning our garbage for fuel or composting it for fertilizer or recycling it or selling the paper waste to China to make their newspapers why can’t anyone say: d. All of the Above? We should do it all. Different things will work better in different neighborhoods and as we go along and use them more the different technologies will advance and change. We need solar, wind and geothermal, not one or the other. We need hydrogen and fuel cell and plug in vehicles because we won’t know what works best for us until we try them.

Is this only obvious to me? I hope not.

There are also tons of things that we can do as everyday individuals to change how we affect the climate and to save money at the same time:

Whenever you can, buy local produce. It will it help your local economy, it is usually fresher (better for you) and because it wasn’t trucked in across the country you have helped cut down on emissions.

Plug anything you can use a remote on in your house into a power strip. When you leave the house in the mornings and when you go to sleep at night turn off the power strip. It’s an easy habit to get into and it will save you money and electricity. Also, if the appliances aren’t plugged in there is no reason to worry about them during a storm (Mama G just had to replace both of her TV’s…she listens to me now…)

Change your oil frequently, keep your car tuned and you tires aligned and inflated properly. I mean, duh. McCain can bitch about this advice all he wants, but I, for one, am VERY happy to squeeze an extra ten gallons out of each tank!

Oh – checking your tires for proper inflation can save you between 3-5% in mpg so make sure you do it before every long trip.

Recycling is free almost everywhere. Call your local Sanitation department and find out when your recycling pick up is each week and how you need to separate your trash. Once you get into the habit it adds no extra time to your day. If you aren’t already doing this I really don’t know what to say…it’s the bare minimum, really.

Every time you are replacing anything in your house try to buy green. You may not want to shell out extra for the toilet paper or paper towels made from recycled paper, but you have to know by now that energy efficient light bulbs will pay for the cost difference in about a month. Most major appliances, windows and doors now come with some type of Energy Star certification. If the ones you have now don’t then when you replace them make sure the new ones do. You can cut your bills drastically by doing little things. It’s not so much about conserving energy…but there is no reason to WASTE it.

Last but not least: VOTE. Make your voice heard. This is important at the national level, but also at the state and local levels as well because that is where many initiatives are born.

You all know what I’m going to say now, don’t you minions? Do Something. Call your local nursery to see if they know of any composting programs in you area. Call your local head of Sanitation to see what, if anything, they’re doing to turn that garbage into energy. Make some simple changes around your house to cut your bills and your carbon footprint. Vote for candidates who embrace more than one energy alternative.

For more go to: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Resources

Or Google: "save energy and money (state name)" for more info on local rebate, tax break and energy saving programs!


NoRegrets said...

There's a local radio station here that gives ideas about how to save the planet during the music breaks. Many of them I roll my eyes at, but I have to keep reminding myself that not everyone knows these things, and it's good to get it out there.

A quote from another blog that's so nice: (Keats I believe)
'Beauty is truth, truth beauty, - that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.'

Deacon Blue said...

Buying food locally...big shout out on that one. In many cases, it's not even so important that you buy organic but that you buy close to home. Most smaller farms aren't exactly doing genetically altered seeds and heavy-duty pesticides in the way that huge agribusiness outfits do, so you're still coming out ahead healthwise and in helping the environment. And even though it can cost a bit more, it's worth it in terms of quality, taste and nutrition. And farmer's markets are great...there's something about buying your food from the people who grow it and connecting with them that just can't be beat.

WNG said...

You'd think everyone would know and would be doing these things, but a lot of people don't and aren't. John McCain laughs when Obama suggests that we each step up and start doing the little things that could save us and too many in the country laugh with him.

I know you just come here so I can tell you how smart you are. I know it :-)
Seriously though, I agree with you 1000%! Here in VA some of the grocery stores are starting to carry local produce because it cuts down on their fuel costs for their trucks. I'm loving it.
And actually, with food prices up the way they are it's costing me less to shop at the farmer's market.

The Mountain Cat said...

I just throw my hands.

Dianne said...

great common sense advice, wish there was more common sense going around

I loved when Obama said they're proud of being ignorant - cause they are!

WNG said...

It's sad that common sense can't be more common.

And yeah - I've been waiting for him to say something like that for a LOOOONG time.

slag said...

Good on ya! I like your style, G.