“Global Warming is a Choice”
That’s an exact quote from a radio ad by www.flexyourpower.com, which is Pacific Gas and Electric’s website. This great corporation has been purchasing wind power, is “plugging” for green energy nation-wide, and has published several books available free to PG+E customers (40 Energy Things You can Do to Save the Earth; 50 Energy Things Kids can Do to Save the Earth). The books are very informative: Knowing how many pounds of CO2 per year are generated by what utility in your house, school or business helps you to strategize your carbon footprint reduction. Excellent books and very insightful too!
I thought it would be “neat” to start a discussion thread on how we can each cut back our energy usage, what resources are available to us in reducing our carbon footprint, and generally working together to save the planet.
Here are a few ideas and resources, just to get us all started:
~Credo (formerly Working Assets) Long Distance, Mobile and Wireless phone company does rainforest planting projects and sends out action alerts with each phone bill. Among these are political action alerts and green action alerts. They also contribute to progressive causes such as the ACLU.
~www.Terrapass.com is an entity working to offset carbon footprints.
~World Changing: A User’s Guide to the 21st Century is an excellent book about green urban planning and home building. Superb!
~Instead of turning on your air conditioner on a hot day, wet down a towel, ring it out and place it in your freezer. Wrap the frozen towel around your head and ahhhh…talk about therapeutic. Your freezer will be running anyway, so why not use it to your advantage?
Some friends of mine and I did this when we were moving our friends to a new home on a 100 degree day, and even in that heat, with the physical exertion included, it worked beautifully.
~On a hot day, instead of turning on the air conditioner, hose down the roof. The evaporation cools the roof, which in turn cools the house.
~According to the book World Changing: A User’s Guide to the 21st Century, light-colored
Roof shingles can cut your air conditioning usage by as much as 45%. The reason is that dark colors absorb heat, whereas the light colors absorb less.
~Snow country tip: As an added boost to insulating your home, rake up bags of leaves in the late fall and pile them up around the foundation of your house. Let the snow pile on top of the leaves, to form an embankment around the foundation of your home. This acts as an insulator and cuts heating bills quite a lot. We used to do this while living in New England and the difference was noticeable.
~If you work in an appropriate profession, ask about telecommuting to work. The time saved by not sitting in rush hour traffic = more family time, more “down” time, more fun time, etc. and saves the environment plus gas bills. Win-win!
~Chinatown merchants sell thermoses which are thickly insulated, and will save your cooking utilities: Just boil water on your stove, pour it in to the thermos with whatever soup ingredients you want, and let it sit for two days: The thermoses are so insulated that the contents will be hot 48 hours later. Herbalist Christopher Hobbs says that this method of cooking greatly preserves the nutrient content in the foods.
~Pacific Gas and Electric writes that crockpots save a lot of energy.