Thursday, October 15, 2009

Trying to Live a Green Life

Today is Blog Action Day and the topic is climate change. My thanks to Alan over at Roberts Roost for inspiring me to participate. The way it works is that bloggers all around the world write on the same issue for a day.

I think of myself as environmentally aware; I recycle and try to minimize my carbon footprint. However, I'm not doing as well as I thought. According to the carbon calculator on The Nature Conservancy (TNC) site, I generate 26 tons of carbon dioxide annually; the national average for an individual in the U. S. is 27 tons; the world average per individual is 5.5 tons.

There are many carbon calculators online that provide you with a ballpark figure of your carbon footprint (all the greenhouse gasses you emit or that are are emitted on your behalf). The Mother Nature Network has identified the top 15 carbon calculators, just click here. I selected TNC because it also offers concrete actions that you can take to offset your carbon footprint.

My biggest use is energy consumption in my home. I've replaced some lights with energy efficient bulbs but not all. I plan to remedy that this weekend. I do set my thermostat low in the winter; I don't mind being a little cool, but I confess that during the summer, I blast the a/c. Next summer, I'm going to set the thermostat higher.

My city provides us with recycling bins and I need to use mine consistently. There are some things that I have already done that lessen my carbon footprint. I've gone paperless; I pay all my bills electronically and I do all of my banking online; my paycheck is on automatic deposit. I send e-cards for birthdays, anniversaries, congratulations, etc. I buy locally as much as possible; my favorite place to shop is the state farmer's market which happens to be located in my city. I try to plan my errands so that I can do them on my way home from work rather than make a lot of repeated little trips. When I go to the grocery store, I take my own canvas bags. They are much stronger than plastic and reusable.

Participating in Blog Action Day: Climate Change has made me seriously evaluate my individual efforts to combat global warming and to live green. I know that I can do more. I encourage each of you to do as much as you can; the more that we learn, the more effective we can be in combating climate change. There is a wealth of available information just a mouse click away.

My great nephew is 9 1/2 months old. He's the joy of my life. I want him to have a world where he can run and play outdoors the way that I did many years ago. I don't want him to have to buy his water in plastic bottles. I want his sky to be blue, his earth green, and his water drinkable. I see my efforts to do my part to protect the earth as a sacred trust owed to the generations that follow.

6 comments:

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

I have gone pretty much paperless for most bills, and have started switching charitable donations to monthly giving to avoid the incessant mailings. If they do not have a monthly option, at the $5-$10 range, they will most likely lose me as a contributor.

You already know how we feel about recycling.

Beth said...

All great suggestions, and something we can all work on! It really bothers me now if I happen to be out and about and don't see a recycling bin for plastic bottles or aluminum cans. Argh! Sometimes I'll take things home just so I can recycle them! Hugs, Beth

jack-of-all-thumbs said...

Oh this is embarrassing. despite the pretentious sounding name of my blog, I came in at 27 tons....Yikes!

In fairness, I don't think that the calculator allowed me to show my good side. No points for wood heat. No points for growing much of our own food, and buying locally grown meat.

But I was justifiably whacked for driving 50 miles a day by myself, and for not having the most energy efficient house (because we felt we couldn't afford to back when we built our house ourselves).

Oh well. Baby steps....

Alan said...

This post made my day! Blog Action Day seemed to be a great success, lots of people involved. Good conversations. But for me, two things stood out. First, my 11 year old daughter decided to post. It is her world, and she had some things to say. It was great to connect. This post was the second thing. I pushed this idea a lot of places trying to goad people into getting involved. You, Sheria, are the only one who got off their butts and joined the conversation. I'm still smiling. Thanks for posting, and MOSTLY, thanks for thinking and acting!

warrior scout said...

something inside me tells me that no matter what i do, the thought of water in plastic bottles, food in packaging, and bio-engineered nutrition is probably here to stay. there are just too damn many of us.

but i salute your efforts. it feels much better to do something than nothing.

Mark said...

I personally have concluded that we're probably screwed if breakthrough technology doesn't come to the rescue. The change required in the West is just too huge, our Titanic is already scraping against the iceberg.
Ironically, I need those plastic grocery bags to pick up trash...
Here's hoping the 2012 doomsday scenarios are real. I think we need to give the world back to the wildlife and forests...
Can't wait for your blog on the Lousiana judge who wouldn't marry a interracial couple...