Posts Tagged ‘environment’

Climate change. Does it exist? Yes. Can we do something about it? Maybe. What the world needs now (besides love, as they say) is concerted action. We need to educate people on the true consequences of their actions, and what they can do to reduce their impact on the planet. For a few things you can do individually, check these out:

1) Live close to work & play. I know that for many people, they are settled in to where they are living. But the average American only lives in a house for seven years. So you still may be able to do this at some point in the future. Look at where you live now, and how far you commute. Can you live closer to where you work? Can you get a new job closer to where you live? When my wife and I were buying our first home, we took this into consideration. We decreased her commute time from 30 minutes to 20 minutes, and I was close enough to ride my bike to work most days.

2) Ride a bike. If you are physically able to ride a bike to do short errands, do it. Many car trips in the U.S. are for distance of less than a mile. Have to run down to the drugstore for something small? Take a bike. This alone will reduce your carbon footprint a great deal. Plus it may be quicker. What? you ask incredulously. Yes. My commute was 12 minutes by car and 7 minutes by bike…because of all the traffic. I can always go to the front of the line at a ed light, and speed by cars that are bumper to bumper.

3) Get an energy audit for your home. Many companies that deal in windows, insulation, or heating will offer these for free. A technician will come in and go around your house check for leaks. Not leaks from water in pipes, places where heat is leaking out. They seal off your front door with a big plastic gasket with a fan inside. This creates negative pressure in the house, so any place where heat would have been going out is now coming in. They use a thermal IMG_0251imaging camera to spot areas of cold. (white is hot, black is cold. You can see in the picture that the bottom panel of our back door is very cold, and cold air is seeping in underneath the door.) It was very cool to follow him around and see cold seeping in through the baseboards and around the door to the attic. Then I knew exactly where to seal with caulk or expanding foam. We also got our furnace replaced with a 95% efficient model and insulated all the exterior walls with blown-in cellulose insulation. This cut our utility bills in half! I wrote in more detail about that here.

There are so many other things you can do, so I will say that the biggest one is:

4) Read. Educate yourself on how you can live a better life for yourself, and the environment. You’re doing it right now! There are tons of simple things you can do. There are also things that many people believe will affect the climate a great deal, but actually don’t.

I focused on only one small part of the climate change issue, but there are myriad facets to this. I expect to read posts from other people doing Blog Action Day today about how coastal regions may be affected, our food supply, desertification, water shortages, international policy changes, new advancements in science, and much more. So just try and do your part, and we can make some change for the good of us all.

For more info, go here:

http://www.blogactionday.org/

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This is a list from “The Consumer’s Guide to Effective Environmental Choices”

Priority Actions for American Consumers

Transportation:

1. Choose a place to live that reduces the need to drive.

2. Think twice before purchasing another car.

3. Choose a fuel-efficient, low polluting car.

4. Set concrete goals for reducing your travel.

5. Whenever practical, walk, bicycle, or take public transportation.

Food:

6. Eat less meat.

7. Buy certified organic produce.

Household Operations:

8. Choose your home carefully. (smaller, not in newly cleared development)

9. Reduce the environmental costs of heating and hot water.

10. Install efficient lighting and appliances.

11. Choose an electricity supplier offering renewable energy.

If we choose to do even a few of these things, we will have a big impact. I was encouraged when I read this list because I do all of them! (more…)

I saw this somewhere else and thought it was a cool  idea so here is my answer.

Right now, there is: my watch, some massage oil, and a few books. Galactic North by Alaistair Reynolds is a book of shorts stories and novellas set in his Revalation Space universe. Great sci-fi. I enjoy pretty much every book I’ve read by this Welsh author. The other cool thing about him is that he is a real astrophysicist so he knows what he’s talking about. I am also reading “The Consumer’s guide to effective environmental choices” by Michael brower & Warren Leon. They explain why some decisions are weightier than others. Pretty good so far. And, I know, three at a time. I’m also reading “The Four Hour Work Week.” by Timothy Ferriss. How to escape the 9-5, live anywhere, and join the New Rich. I don’t know about that but it does have some good tips on improving your efficiency at work and how to come up with, and bring a product to market.

What’s on your nightstand?