"I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing." ~ Dame Agatha Christie

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Earth Week 2008--Can I Have A Greener Future?

There's a new "widget" at the bottom (I don't know how to make it fit in the sidebar) that shows ideas for making our lives greener. Readers who know me know I was a Girl Scout and as an adult spent several years working in sanitation/recycling, so my love of the environment has been a part of me from girlhood. (Kinda amazing for someone who has often been told her idea of "roughing it" was a motel room with a black & white TV LOL!)

Earth Day was Tuesday; Arbor Day is tomorrow. I currently reside in an apartment with no recycling facilities and no collection facilities nearby. Some may think greening my life isn't worth it--after all, it's just me, right? Nope--wrong answer. One person can make a difference.

I will be adding more "green" to this blog since I want to share the small successes this coming year. The washer/dryer I am purchasing is Energy Star rated as is my PC, and I am switching bulbs bit by bit in the apartment fixtures to CFLs (my lamps already are). When checking out at the store, the clerks at Braums and Wal-Mart are quite used to me having my own, reusable bags (http://www.ecobags.com has several great styles); I purchased mine at different times from Whole Foods, Central Market, Target, and Half-Price Books and paid very little for them. The other advantage is I know approximately the weight limit for each bag and my own limitations on how many full bags I can carry home (any trek less than a mile doesn't deserve bus fare).

Our daytime highs are in the eighties now, so I am running a small portable fan in my office during the day and my dining room ceiling fan in the evening. Luckily the wind has been active and my windows are situated to give a breeze; I am quite determined to not run the air conditioning until at least May 1st. (I love my electric bills being below $50/month!)

Of course, public transportation has provided my mobility since returning to the Dallas area in 2005. DART continues to expand and I am seeing a steady increase in ridership, especially on the trains (what is the price of a gallon of gas these days????) A day pass good anywhere in Dallas County for unlimited rides that day--bus and/or train--costs $3 and I can read to my heart's content rather than grumble at traffic conditions.

I'm looking for a very small supply of red wigglers for vermicomposting (it is only me after all) but haven't been successful to this point. I may ask on Freecycle. My patio only has room for one worm bin and I am too frugal to pay $29/lb plus shipping when I don't think I generate enough waste to support that many worms.

I have a water pitcher for the refrigerator that filters my drinking water and have totally discontinued using single serve bottled water. I have reusable bottles for when I go out, and from some of the studies I've read, I am happier with the tap water I get from the city than I could be with some of the bottled waters that may not be as regulated for quality.

So, I'm partially green. Hopefully by Earth Day 2009, I will have reported many more small changes that help add up to a measurable difference...

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