Thursday, April 03, 2008

Environmental Impact

Over the past few years, I've gotten more and more environmentally conscious. During the summer, I keep my air conditioning lower (temperature higher) than most people -- and during the winter, I barely use my heat, and instead wear layers/use extra blankets. I drive as infrequently as I can, opting instead for public transportation. I recycle aluminum cans, glass and plastic bottles. In the summer, I buy most of my produce -- and a lot of cheese -- from farmer's markets. I unplug my cell phone charger when I'm not using it. I turn off the water while brushing my teeth. As my light bulbs burn out, I replace them with compact flourescents. I only buy paper products made with recycled paper. I've even switched to biodegradable laundry detergent -- although, admittedly, part of that is because it's hypoallergenic.

And, after revisiting a Washington Post article about paper versus plastic shopping bags, this week, I bought my first reuseable bag. (I'll probably have to get a second one, though, for larger shopping trips.)

Still, I am not even close to leading a carbon-neutral existence. According to this quiz, while I'm pretty good for an American, I'm still pretty bad for the environment:

I guess, to be better, I'd have to live in a smaller apartment -- without electricity! -- stop flying on airplanes, give up meat, buy only local produce, and get a car with higher fuel efficiency.

Sorry environment. It's just not going to happen. I've done what I can do.


Justin S. said...

We're not going to save the environment by convincing people to stop doing things they already do. The key is conservation, but also making electricity more efficient, cars more efficient, packaging more efficient, etc.

CBK said...

I drive a gas-guzzling SUV everywhere, live in a 2200 sq. ft. house with three other people and eat a lot more packaged/processed food, and I got 20, too. But it said we'd need 4.6 planets if we all lived like me as opposed to 4.4.

And like Justin says, me cutting those things down isn't going to free up more "acres" for the less fortunate.

DSL said...

I think we need more conservation and environmental laws. Clearly most people won't go into that direction on their own, like Dara. People resist change, but once it happens, they adapt pretty well. And yes, I do believe SUVs should be outlawed. Go with a Subaru or station wagon instead. It'll save us more money in the long run too. Hence the reason I'm selling my Passat. I should ride the bus but know I won't go that way unless required to.