Taking Care of Planet Earth

Where am I on the green scale?

I work with technology every single day. I am entertained by it, I am educated by it, I am comforted by it’s ability to keep me in touch with friends and family, and I am certain that if I was cut off from it I would have no idea what to do with myself for a long time.

The best way I can think of to inspire you to consider your ecological footprint is to share the layout of mine.

Our Greatest Impact

How we use up fossil fuels and other natural resources is a most personal decision that we make every single day. These decisions make up your ecological footprint which is often the biggest legacy you leave behind in the end.

The ecological footprint is a measure of human demand on the Earth’s ecosystems. An ecological footprint is a standard measurement of a unit’s influence on its habitat based on consumption and pollution.

What am I doing right?

On the green living scale (from 1 to 10) I am probably a 4 or a 5.

✓ I recycle paper, plastic, aluminum, and glass.
✓ I teach my kids not to just let the water run while we are brushing our teeth.
✓ I’m the sole owner of a 2008 Toyota Prius Hybrid that gets more than decent gas mileage.
✓ And we pay for a program called “the Green Power Option” our electric company that provides our house with a percentage of renewable energy sources. We pay for 100% of our energy to come from this source.

But considering how much energy I use on a daily basis, I know that this really isn’t enough.

Are the Changes We Are Making Effective?

An article about how filthy reusable shopping bags are becoming written in November of 2010, Wegmans said that the growing use of reusable shopping bags means the chain uses 25 percent fewer of the plastic bags.

Is this percentage still rising?

What I am going to research is how things like driving hybrids and recycling is helping. (If it is helping.)

Where Do I Think I Could Do Better?

1. Fresh Water Conservation
Water usage is where I fail my environment.

I take showers that are about 20 minutes long (not 5), I have been guilty of forgetting about washed clothes in the washing machine (and then realizing a day or two later that I have to rewash the strange, almost mildewy smell), and I am definitely not one of those people who go by that rule: “If it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down.” – In fact I think that is really disgusting… ESPECIALLY in public restrooms (which should be avoided at almost any cost.)

Other than being conscious of letting water run while I am not using it, where can I help with the fresh water conservation front? In addition to shortening showers and being more efficient with laundry, I am going to do some serious research this week about how we should immediately start saving our water.

2. Draining Batteries
With a head count of four in our household we go through batteries like crazy. I looked up solar battery chargers out of curiosity to see if it’s possible to use something like that for all of the toys, remote controls, flashlights, etc. It looks like the technology of recharging batteries with renewable energy is still somewhat primitive. (Notice the lack of stars on products at the top of the list from my Google search results.)

I drop off batteries to be recycled at my local post office, but I would love to find an even better solution.

To be continued…

2 thoughts on “Taking Care of Planet Earth

  1. Jen Gallaher

    Hey Amber-
    If/when you come across a good solar energy source to recharge batteries, please let me know. We go through so many here, it’s incredible!

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