I certainly consider myself environmentally conscious and would even go as far as saying that I am an environmentalist (as defined by Webster: : “an advocate of the preservation, restoration, or improvement of the natural environment”). I believe that we are experiencing global warming as the fate of our own choices and actions. However, I’m not sure about the concept that this planet, which humans have inhabited for over two million years, is so rapidly approaching a level of destruction that will make it uninhabitable for relatively near-future generations. Some things about this theory don’t sit completely right with me. Regardless, I still try and do my part. So below is a partial listing of things I am doing in favor of a greener planet and some things where I happen to draw the line at (though I remain open to rational discussion about change). I encourage you to think about your own green efforts…where is your line?
For a greener planet, I …
- Drink tap water over bottled water whenever its an option
- Reduce my trips in the car (combining shopping with work trips, etc)
- Replace my light bulbs with CFLs and LEDs
- Don’t use paper plates or paper towels in my home
- Reduce the use of phantom power by unplugging unused appliances and not leaving things like TVs and chargers in standby mode
- Recycle as much as possible in the home and at work, including electronics, clothing, glass, paper, cardboard, etc.
- Am in current negotiations with myself about building a patio composting system
- Don’t ever run heat in my house (lucky I live in a temperate climate for this one)
- Plant CO2 absorbing plants on my patio
- Eat lower on the food chain as much as possible
I don’t, won’t, etc …
- Take shorter showers. 5 minutes? Really? No thanks!
- Stop eating meat. Uh, no! While I agree that food production animals need to be raised under higher ethical standards, I don’t really buy into the whole “highest producers of methane and nitrous oxide” theories. Perhaps its from being raised in rural Nebraska where our livelihood was dependent on the meat eating of others. And quite frankly I enjoy a good steak, hamburger, bacon, roast, etc. Also, I don’t drive an SUV…so I’ll keep my 1lb of meat for each of your 40 SUV miles.
- Use naturally biodegrading cat litter. I mean really. Do you understand what happens to corn fibers when they get wet? And even knowing this (again from my rural Nebraska upbringing) I actually still tried this solution. So, until there are other solutions to healthfully co-existing with my two cats in this area, I’ll be sticking to the clay–sodium bentonite. Yes, I understand that its strip-mined. However, I also understand that the biodegrading version doesn’t actually biodegrade in our landfills when its inside of plastic bags or buried by tons of other garbage. So what’s to be done about it?