So what are you doing to lower your carbon footprint?

How active are you in environmental issues?

As for me:

I just (finally) switched to wind powered energy for my condo. I also replaced all but the light over the dining room table with a CFL. I wash all my dishes by hand now. I wash my clothes in cold water and air dry as often as possible. I also keep all my appliance unplugged when I am not using them, and I try to limit my AC/Heat until I really need it. Since my condo doesn't have many windows, I keep night lights plugged in so that I can go to the kitchen or bathroom when I need to, and I don't have to turn on the lights.

I sometimes walk to do an errand if the place is close enough. I use reusable grocery store bags, and I'll choose low-packaging options when possible (I never buy single-serving items, for example).

At home, I recycle all my paper, tin, glass, and plastic. I reuse all plastic bags to carry things in, or pick up dog waste when I walk my dogs. I no longer trash vegetable waste, but instead throw it behind the bushes so that it can biodegrade.

I also started a green group at work. We planted 8 trees last year, and plan to do more this spring. I also found an independent recycler to come pick up paper, plastic, and aluminum cans for the entire office building. We have about 8 companies that participate. We also watch environmental documentary DVDs, and schedule guest speakers.

I also moderate a green Yahoo! Group for Dallas, and I'm signed up for every email/distribution/newsletter list you can imagine. I do take the time to respond to action alerts and letter writing campaigns as time allows, and I always try to catch the environmental radio shows on PRI. I also watch every documentary I can get my hands on.

Last fall, I attended the Green Jobs Now rally here in Dallas, and I attend the local environmental/alternative energy groups (as often as I can) that I found on Meetup.com. I also print out flyers, posters, and brochures on environmental issues and take to the local library for display on their public bulletin board/display center.

I'm sure there are a few other things as well, but this is all I can think of at the moment.

Of course, there are many things I can't do because of the costs involved, such as buying a different car, make my condo more energy efficient, or install solar panels, etc.

So what are you doing in your own life? Do you have any ideas or experiences you would like to share with other AN members?

Tags: activism, carbon, carbon-footprint, climate-change, energy, environment, global-warming

Views: 166

Replies to This Discussion

Up to me, now ?
Well, first I can´t believe my eyes, and I sure hope I´m wrong when assuming that 8 mpg means 8 miles per gallon - hell, my 40-ton eighteen wheeler doesn´t consume so much fuel, what you´re driving, a battle tank ?
I don´t have a tv-screen
I tend to buy used things, especially books, or lend them from public libraries
I usually have my own bags with me, when going for shopping, otherwise I take some of the empty card-boxes lying around in the market (here in Austria)
I drive mostly moderate
I seldom use shampoo or soap, when showering, only if really necessary
I (it´s obligatory here in Austria) seperate my garbage for recycling
I´m a vegetarian
I don´t support McD, or any other fast-food and junk-producing "restaurant"
I have my coffee mostly served in mugs or cups, and avoid "coffee to go"
I have no cell-phone
I try to avoid buying one-use products, or single packed ones
I´m an Austrian, which means, in general, that to support my lifestyle much less energy is wasted as for the typical American style
Nothing important or impressive so far, but, as I´m some kind of couch-potatoe too, I don´t have to breathe so deep and often (I tried to stop it completely once, but the necessarity is hard to overcome) ;-)
As of a couple of days ago ... SOLAR POWER!!! Woo-hoo!!!

Not a lot of power to start, but a system that can be easily built upon as I get the cash for more panels and batteries. What I have now will power the true essentials of life: My laptop, speakers, and Sirius Satellite Radio.

Proud pics and the whole lowdown on this thread.

Plus, my wonder mechanic put a cool-air intake on my RV's engine which should improve my gas mileage. I've only driven across town (which here is like three miles), but I can already tell a huge difference in performance. Since the thing is already a major gas guzzler, every little mpg helps. ;-)

Finally, the trend must be catching on. Recycling in my little smallville here used to be a scavenger hunt of driving to this store that takes plastic bags, this one that takes plastic bottles, that junkyard that takes aluminum, etc. Now the city has put up a huge dump-all recycle bin in a key location. Cardboard, glass, plastic, paper, aluminum. I notice the National Park Headquarters now has one too, as does the NPS employee housing where I was living over the Summer (and will hopefully live there again this coming season). LOTS easier for folks to recycle now!
I have an all electric home and pay extra for "wind energy."
I recycle everything I can and I use energy saver light bulbs and I turn the AC up in temperature to 85 when I am not home. I conserve water as well .

I think it's good to keep this conversation going - it's an ongoing effort.  I was just transferred to an office 3 times as far from home.  I can't move my home, and I don't want to.  Not sure what to do about that.  With longer work hours again, things like hanging up the laundry are harder too.  I included recycled glass counter top in my kitchen remodel - that was expensive but it was a nice thought.  Plus, it's no-formaldehyde, as are the cabinets.  My newest computer is a hand-me-down.  Not patting myself on the back - I have a lot more to work on.  But I hope that people continue to think of ways to change habits in the direction of less pollution, less consumption, better conservation and better environment.

Setting a good example and asking the question "How can I do more" creates more change than you might expect.

A few years ago I was bad. I didn't really care about carbon foot print. My job required me to drive a lot and I was seldom home. Now I am fortunate enough to work from home. One day I came across an electric car video on the web. I always wanted build one never had the time and thought it was to expensive... This video changed my mind and I started to think. If this person could do it then I surly can. I understand electronics, I can weld, I have repaired a lot of cars and  HATE OIL, GAS, WATER. They just don't mix. The electric car removes most of the things I hate about working on cars.

That is the beginning to my addiction to watching my carbon foot print. The things I have done to reduce are:

  • Recycled an 1985 Feiro and gave it new life. Converted it to electric. 
    • Not only does this cut back on my carbon foot print it keeps my money local here in Oregon
    • Most of our power is hydro as well. Very little coal.
  • Reduced my electric consumption by 50% by powering things down when not needed.
  • I have been recycling since I moved from Texas 14 years ago.

I am researching some other things as well.

  • If it is worth while to attempt to use the heat in the attic for power generation. In the summer there is a lot of heat up there.
  • Another thought is what if we painted our roofing white.  Maybe have them change from white to black as it gets cooler. You would reflect the heat in the summer and absorb heat in the winter. If enough roofs were done could it replace the reflectivity of the polar caps? That are going away.
  • Adding an attic fan to move heat out of the house into the attic and out pulling cooler air from the lower floors. This works well in the south. Why isn't it used in the north more?
  • There is a way to melt down plastics into their base oil components as well. While on an individual basis this may not be very effective depending on how much energy it takes to do this. I am curious how much savings would occur in transportation costs of carrying mostly air and plastic vs a tanker of oil.
  • I was also thinking of trying to take advantage of the Solar tax credit in the US. I would like to find solar equipment manufactured in the US though. 

There are a lot of things we can do. These are my big ticket items. There are a lot of smaller things that I am trying as well.

We cant all do the crazy expensive things. The little things help just as much and we need to recognize that. The big thing is to get people to at least think about it. Eventually they do things to reduce their carbon foot print. I am one of those people.

Sadley, not much. I'm only 13, and I don't know exactley WHAT I could do. Any ideas, people?

Lots, but it takes a little time to see it, and it's often uncool.

Try to find hobbies without a plug on it (books, sports). Eat less meat. Buy things that are locally made or grown, not half a world away, so the fuel cost doesn't build up. Buy only the things you really need and use them as long as possible. Recycle. And read about the things you can do to lower your carbon footprint when you're older - you need that info. Have a nice day! 

Already doing the first two things, but I got a unrealated problem. Yesterday, as I got back from school, I connected to my home wifi and went on this website only to find a pop-up from Comcast saying I illegally downloaded a movie, video, or song(it wasn't specific)! I know this is wrong because I don't even know HOW to download songs, videos or movies, and I can't be anyone else because I use a tablet and I rarley let anyone else use it for internet browsing(only those i trust, and I make sure they don't download w/o my permission)! Anyways, I have to do research on a project for school (an informational book on stars) and the pop-up appears on every website or browser I use! I seriously need to get this project done, or might not be able to get a good enough grade to get into my dream highschool! And I can't tell my mom, because I know she'll get mad and I'll probably get in trouble! Please help!

I'm sorry, but I don't know how to help with this. Are you sure it's not some sort of ad?

Yes, I'm sure its not an ad. Im seeing it right now(it stays at the top of the page), and it has a link to the Comcast anti-piracy website.

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