Some Basic Green Thoughts

posted Oct 19, 2009, 1:40 PM by John McCormick   [ updated Mar 22, 2016, 9:35 PM ]
To begin, it is important to realize that all energy, ALL the energy we use daily or can think of derive from the sun or stars.

Solar panels are run by light from the sun.

Windmills are driven by solar heating of the atmosphere.

Hydroelectric power comes from solar driven evaporation and rain.

Ocean waves would freeze with no heat from the sun.

Carbon based fuels wouldn't grow in the first place without sunlight.

Nuclear is based on elements produced in supernovas.


What can you do to reduce your impact on mother earth?

WATER

If your city has good water either use water filters or drink tap water - bottled water is no better than many city water sources. In fact some merely bottle city water,  but they use a vast amount of plastic and transportation fuel.

IF, and this is a big IF, you live where water is in short supply or if you use city or town water, then make certain you don't waste water. Use what you need, enjoy that occasional long shower, but fix any leaky faucets or toilet valves - they waste hundreds of gallons of water.

If, on the other hand, you live out in the country and especially if your water source is a spring which simply spills on the ground if you don't use it, then water conservation is silly.

LIGHTS

While some people went crazy when the President asked for the elimination of filament light bulbs but unless they worked for a bulb manufacturer they were just reacting without any common sense or thought for the future. CFL bulbs now produce excellent light of any hue you desire and use about 10 percent as much electricity as the old Edison bulbs. Newer LED bulbs use far less power than even CFLs and can be computer controlled to produce many colors and light levels. They are considerably more expensive but will probably last 10 times longer tha most old style bulbs

DRIVING

Drive for fun, for vacation where appropriate, and for work, but make each trip efficient. Shop in off hours to avoid crowded (slow) roads; combine chores on each trip; maintain your vehicle; buy some items in bulk to save trips. 

Above all, don't buy the largest, heaviest SUV just because oil prices happen to be low.  

Instead of driving to a gym to control your weight, walk more places to burn calories.

RECYCLE

If you have to drive 25 miles to a recycling center then it probably isn't a good idea, but if it is practical where you live, recycle paper and cans.

AVOID PLASTIC (like the plague it is)

Where possible avoid using plastic containers. For example it is both greener and actually safer to use the old fashioned Ball jar canning jars to store food rather than plastic containers which may emit hydrocarbon gasses and eventually wear out. Glass lasts as long as you don't drop it, some jars are still around from ancient times, and they don't pose any contamination threat so you don't have to be careful what kind of plastic you have or whether it is microwave safe.

COMPOSTING

If you live where practical instead of burning those leaves and trimmings, simply pile them in a corner of your yard and eventually they will become fertilizer. Composting can be as complex or as simple as you make it but essentially grass cuttings and leaves will eventually rot if kept wet.

RAISE FOOD

Tomatoes grown at home actually have flavor....

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