Friday, April 20, 2007

Going Green

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I watched Oprah today and the topic was going green. For those of you losers who don't care, Earth Day is this Sunday and she was giving out little ideas people can do. I like the effort, but was bothered by a lot the things on her show. Half of it was about using "eco-friendly" cleaning products. These are the products you see in the pretty bottles at Good Earth made from recycled plastic. But you're still buying the bottle and most people will still throw it away. Instead, most cleaning tasks simply require water and elbow grease. Need to extra boost? Vinegar works great. A small amount of bleach will disinfect, and baking soda is a wonderful abrasive. I'm really bothered by the idea that you have to buy products from hippies to be "green". Which is really better for the environment, buying 100% organic cotton clothes(that still take energy, land and water to produce) or second hand clothing that doesn't require anything to produce? It's like these people I see building "green" mcmansions. It doesn't matter how many energy star windows you put in, you're still using more resources and energy to live in this place (and probably contributing to sprawl) than someone who lives in a small home that's been around for a while. I still can't decide if it'd be worth it to build a (small) green home from renewable sources (strawbale, etc.) or stop sprawl and continue to buy second hand.
The show was still good. I love that Oprah is helping people think about the earth. If you haven't seen Planet Earth on the Discovery Channel yet (she's really promoting it), you really should. My own husband, who's more of a tree kicker than hugger, was moved to stop driving and create less garbage after seeing the rain forest episode. I think he almost cried (I was).
I've been thinking for a couple of weeks about what else I could do to help the environment. I do a lot already. I walk or ride my bike to local shops and use the bus for farther away trips. I'm making more of our food (like baking bread) so we have less waste. We live in a small home close to stores and recreation, and we shop second hand for a lot of our products.
I need to use canvas bags for grocery shopping more. And I want to see how we can recycle more of our waste. Since we're in a condo we can't have a regular can, but I want to call the local office to see if we can do anything. If we can get it so hubby can ride the bus to work and ride a bike home (that's downhill) I think we'd be set. I need to do more research on those hybrid electric bikes like Ed Begley Jr has.

What are you doing to be green?

4 comments:

  1. Home Depot is giving away a million CFL bulbs on Earth Day. I've thought about getting on it even though it's Sunday.

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  2. I use my toaster oven instead of my big oven. A lot. Which saves electricity. And Josh believes in leaving the lights off as much as possible. I'm also switching to using his laptop more than my desktop. His laptop runs on less than 40 watts. Mine uses 300. Big difference, there.

    I agree with you on the eco-friendly product line of thought. You're still using resources to produce the thing (even if it's made out of 100% recyclables it still uses energy to produce and ship, etc.) I believe in old school as far as cleaning products go. I've also noticed that the less you buy, the less waste there is. I don't buy products with excessive packaging.

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  3. "or those of you losers who don’t care" This is my favorite line in the whole post!

    Green is good. Kermit is green, and I love him. :-)

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  4. Speaking of saving power with a PC, I've read some really good articles lately on using the super low-power S3 standby state to drop desktop power consumption to under 2 watts. You can even utilize this power state AND keep your computer available on the network, waking it up when you need to grab a file. How sweet is that?

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