Ironwood Tree

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Live Earth

I've been watching Live Earth for a few minutes. Unfortunately so far I have no idea who's been playing. I really haven't paid a lot of attention to pop music for a while.

So I just checked my environmental score, 323 is about average for the US, but my family's carbon footprint is 13 tons, less than average. I have a Prius, which I really like, I take the train again after driving to my office on Michigan Ave for a year or so - it takes a little longer but it's time I can use to read or knit and I've incorporated about 1 mile or more of walking into the commute. I'm also going to start riding my bike to the train. This is mainly for the exercise.

We also recycle as much as we put in landfill, don't use air conditioning much, and I've replaced our most frequently used lightbulbs with compact fluorescents. I'm also investing in green mutual funds. The returns have been decent so far and I think that responsible companies will give better returns in the long run. None of these things take much effort and they save a lot of money along with the environment. I'm also collecting batteries at work for recycling and use rechargables at home. I've been refilling an Aquafina bottle with tap water at work all week too.

The only actual trouble I go to for environmental reasons is composting. I have a bin in the backyard I bought from the Boy Scouts and I probably compost 5-20lbs of kitchen and garden waste a week. In this hot weather it turns to soil in about a month. I also compost shredded junk mail since our grass clippings just stay on the lawn. It really helps the garden. We pile up the raked leaves in the fall and I put them on the garden in the summer when they're around half composted. You need a lot of space to compost leaves but if you have the space, it really builds up the soil and cuts down on watering. I put the compost from the bin on the bottom and leaves on top. The leaves will be totally incorporated in the soil after a year or two.

My real energy sin is all my computers. I usually have 3 plugged in. The family computer, my linux box, and my macbook are usually plugged in along with several tv's. I'll work on this situation next. We'll just hit the off button on the power strip after shutting down the computer in an orderly fashion.


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