Sunday, January 6, 2008

Environmental meme

Came across a comment on Pyalgia's blog about being tagged for an environmental topic. I wasn't tagged but I thought I'd throw in my two cents for what it's worth. Basically it's about what we can do to save this piece of real estate in the universe for human habitation.
Strangely enough my interest in the environment came more by economic necessity than interest in eco matters. Back in the early eighties I noticed that our dumpster was getting fuller and the price of pick ups was going up. I sugested we see about a recycle bin so we could get a smaller dumpster at less cost. Oddly enough what started as one small recycle bin soon turned to three then four larger ones. This has worked well for some time, but I've noticed some changes in the last few years. Some recycle plastics are not recyclable. The clam shells that cookies come in even though being marked with a 1 in a triangle can not go into the bin. Same is true for many of the bubble wraps. Here's the real kicker. I read an article in the local paper (when I used to subscribe) that said that if the company that was picking up the recycle bins had too much material that the excess would get dumped with the garbage. This is sad because I know in Japan they will take all the garbage in a 20 yard container and recycle nearly all of it.
As for the other cost and environmental saving habits I've picked up came from the last recession. A list below:
Turned the thermostat on water heater down to 120
Bought a new energy efficient water heater
Bought a new energy efficient washer
Changed to low flow shower and water heads
Changed interior lights to mostly cfls
Changed exterior lights from 500 watt halagons to 150 watt high pressure sodium (nearly the same amount of light output)
Just had our windows and slider replaced to a higher energy efficient low e vinyl type.
Replaced my computer with one that is easily recyclable and I won't have to pay to get rid of this one. And this one uses less energy.

And no I didn't do this all at once. Most of the major purchases were in the last eight years.
I am looking into changing to LED lighting but right now they look a bit expensive ($15 to $45 each) but they only use 2 to 3 watts for the same output as a 60 watt bulb. I know as they start to catch on the price will come down just like the cfls.
Sadly I can't compost here there's just no place to do it. Another point, stop putting food waste down the disposal or the toilet. It's better put in with the yard waste or the garbage. Think about where the waste goes and remember it has to be taken out of waste water before that water can be treated and put back into the environment.
More on all of this later


pygalgia said...

I didn't know how to respond, because I always think of environmental impact in my life choices. I'm far from perfect, but I've been doing the best I can for over a decade. My only attempt to improve will be eating more locally produced food, but it's not easy in this local.

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