Saturday, October 17, 2009

Blogger Action Day - Follow-up Thoughts

I ranted a bit about the lack of participation among bloggers I know. Stepped on some toes. Sorry. There were lots of people who participated. It was great. I guess what set me off was the lack of participation by some groups I've been active with, and from whom I expected more. Bioneers is one group that springs to mind. I know I actively encouraged people to get involved, and no one did. (rant, rant, rant...)

Anyway, time to move on.

Sheria, over at The Examined Life, posted about her efforts to reduce carbon and posted the results from the Nature Conservancy Carbon Footprint Calculator. Then Jack-of-all-thumbs from the Self-Sufficient Steward posted his score from the same calculator. Sheria beat him by a point. So, I had to give it a try. Mine came in at 15 tons yearly for me and 54 tons for my whole family (the second car and it's miles driven killed us.) Mostly because we don't do much in the way of cooling the house, and we heat as efficiently as possible (only heating part of the house, and using locally grown fire wood for that.) The calculator doesn't get into much detail on heating options. It also doesn't look at water processing, for drinking or waste, growing your own food, thermostat settings, alternative transportation, or a whole host of other things people might be doing. Still a long way to go to get to ZERO, but we are on our way.

What's your carbon footprint? What are you doing to reduce it? Calculate it at TNC.


jack-of-all-thumbs said...

I understand your frustration, even though I was one of the non-responders. As for what my plans are for lowering my/our impact. I would include the following:

- focus on increasing our percentage of locally grown foods (incl meat) as much as possible; including that we grow ourselves.

- attempt to make our next car purchase a more environmentally sound one. Unfortunately, this is tough for three reasons: (1) it has to tow a sailboat perhaps for long distances (1500 miles) (2) it has to be comfortable for someone with cervical and lumbar disc issues (3) it has to be able to carry large dogs....see my problem?

- invest in a more environmentally sound manner

- when time comes to replace major appliances; go green

- same for roof replacement

- same for transitioning to solar water heat when our current unit ages out (likely in the near future)

Happy to listen to suggestions.

Alan said...

Jack, most of my frustration was aimed at Bioneers, and groups like that. Orginizations that suck people in with big talk about making a difference, but can't be bothered to get involved in a simple, well publisized, grass-roots event. Pathetic. (END RANT!)

I did get a BIG laugh out of the fact that Sheria scored better on the carbon-footprint than you. (the calculator was very skewed to favor urban, pubilc transport using, Whole Foods shopping, recyclers. You didn't have a chance.)

I think the Locally/Self grown food is a great place to do more. That's one of our goals. We are shooting for at least 95%.

The car thing is a huge debate at our house. We need to either put major money (transmition problems) into our current van, or get something else. 200,000 miles is a lot for a minivan and we passed that some time ago. The problem is that the fuel savings and "improved environmental impact" of a comprarable vehicle don't justify the debt load. A ZERO emissions car might, but improving the milage by 10 mpg just doesn't. We'll probably spring for an overhaul and pay the couple of thousand dollars rather than throwing away this one and buying a New gas burner. My ancient truck is not even on the table. Can't do without it, and there are no other options out there. There are a lot of things we are not doing yet that we need to do first.

For us hot water, better heating systems, drinking water, and electricity are very high on the "to be explored and implimented" list.


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