Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Something for the environment...

Living in Europe, I think I might be exposed to a little more environmentalism in my every day life than I was at home. In Belgium you will be fined if you do not sort your recyclables form trash! In Dublin, McDonalds has drop boxes for battery recycling. In Portugal there weren't any simple trash bins. Every bin had 4 parts...plastics, glass, cartons and trash. In my house there are toggle switches for every outlet in the house so that even if something is plugged in (such as the stove) the power can be turned off when not in use. We have to turn the hot water heater on and off before and after showering. At the Patagonia store, you can even recycle your clothes. The grocery store prints on your receipt the percentage of your purchase that's Irish grown/raised/produced.

Have you ever calculated your carbon footprint? Your carbon footprint is a representation of the effect your human activites have on the climate based on the amount of greenhouse gas produced. This is measured in units of carbon dioxide. If you want to feel guilty about the way you live try this... http://www.earthday.net/Footprint/index.asp My carbon footprint is rediculously high because of all the air travel I do. (Sorry World)

So, I'm going to stop flying any time soon, I don't have a hybrid car, and I forgot to turn off the hot water heater this morning. I'm pretty sure we have to live our lives without feeling guilty, but we still have to be good stewards and take care of what we've been given. The world happens to be a pretty big thing to take care of! Here are just two things that are worth looking into.
Those curly-q lightbulbs really do save a lot of energy. They aren't that expensive anymore and you can get them in different strengths to match the light output form normal lightbulbs. Plus they last forever or something close!
Tide coldwater detergent is not a hoax! It's got enzymes in it (which are biodegradable) that break up stains in cold water. The enzyme will die (actually they denature) in hot water. In europe it's referred to as biological detergent and it's quite popular. Most brands have a biological version.

Those are the things I can think of for now. I'll keep a list of things I think are worth looking into and you can let me know if you have things you think are worth looking into.

Take care and keep in touch.

No comments: