Thursday, July 13, 2006

random poll #3

do you conserve resources?

there are many ways to conserve, many areas where conservation, practiced individually, can make a difference. I'm curious how widespread such practices are and what they might include. for the purpose of this very unscientific poll, please respond with a Yes or No to each of the several questions below. I'll post a tally after I get a good handful of responses.

I encourage comments per item--- how do you conserve the resource? what actions do you take?

Do you make any efforts to conserve----

1. water
2. electricity
3. natural gas
4. gasoline (auto or other uses)
5. packaging/containers/plastics
6. other material resources (please identify)?



At 7/13/2006 5:40 PM, Blogger Ernest said...

1. water

We water plants with leftover water from boiling corn or canning.

2. electricity

Most of the bulbs in the house are compact flourescent. We have lots of windows, and are strongly considering solar tubes to add light.

3. natural gas

House is well insulated on top, but not so well insulated in the walls. Spendy to fix, but eventually we shall.

4. gasoline (auto or other uses)

Luckily, I work at home. D works nearby. Next car will be a hybrid or betterr. But trying to make the old one last a bit longer first.

5. packaging/containers/plastics

We re-use bubble wrap and styro-popcorn. I love the little boxes Amazon ships books in and reuse them. The rest of the paper, plastic, glass, metal gets recycled.

6. other material resources (please identify)?

The theory is that we will start composting soon. Right now that stuff gets tossed in the "green" recycle container.


At 7/21/2006 6:37 AM, Blogger tess said...

Thanks for the reminder that what we do every day has an impact.

1. water

I take baths instead of showering. It's debatable which one is more wasteful, but I spend the same amount of time either way, and I figure the water's either running the whole time, or it's not -- and if it's not running, I must be using less water.

2. electricity

Well, I use a computer much of the time, which means I'm using more electricity than if I weren't. But it sleeps when I'm not using it. (Hmm, is that good or bad? Guess it's using more energy than if I turned it off ... isn't that what the UK gov't is saying?) TV is hardly ever on. For air conditioning we have window fans, but they run a lot to blow cigarette smoke away from our windows which would otherwise drift in. (I'm allergic.)

3. natural gas

Our building's water heaters are natural gas; other than that we don't have much opportunity to conserve.

4. gasoline (auto or other uses)

I live close to where I work and walk and take the bus some of the time, but still drive more than I need to, often because I need to transport my son across town for grandparental visits. My dream is a biodiesel car, because I commute to school two-three days a week and it's a (gulp) 60 mile drive. My local transport agency has recently introduced free bus passes for people who live/work downtown (yay them).

5. packaging/containers/plastics

Obsessively. I can't stand throwing away things that can't be recycled, like those padded envelopes that have plastic bubble lining. Boxes, bottles, glass, etc. all get recycled. If it wouldn't drive my husband nuts I'd probably be exercising my late grandmother's Depression-era habit of saving rubber bands on doorknobs all over the house as well.

6. other material resources (please identify)?

I think joining a CSA would be nifty but (a) I can't afford the annual cost and (b) being a small family, I'm pretty sure we'd end up sending too much of it to the composter (we have curbside pickup of compost-worthy food, nice eh?) ... which means I should work out a sharing plan with my neighbors. Adding to to-do list ...

Ugly confession: The biggest material waste in my life for the past three years (and maybe ever) has been disposable diapers. Never thought I'd use them. When the baby was born there was no diaper service, and I didn't have enough money to invest in cloth. (Isn't it sad that the "convenience" of disposable is the cheaper route these days? Seems so wrong.) I have a few cloth diapers, but not enough to entirely replace paper.

And now that I've inventoried all of this, I'm realizing that I don't do nearly enough, especially since my long commute has now multiplied my karmic eco debt tremendously. Fall project: the biodiesel car.


At 7/30/2006 12:26 PM, Blogger Algernon said...

1. water

I installed a water-saving shower head with an on/off valve in the bathroom. I use the on-off valve every time I shower now that the weather's plenty warm. I turn it off to lather up, or adjust it to a trickle. It's not as pleasant to use the on-off during the cold of winter, of course!

2. electricity

I use fluorescent lighting in some (not all) light fixtures in the apartment. I just rearranged mine, and now have my circline fluorescent (originally purchased to replace a halogen bulb in a torchiere lamp I once had) in the kitchen overhead fixture, replacing the three 60-watt bulbs there for an 80% power savings. There is no ceiling/room light in my bedroom so I built a "tabletop" fixture from scrap wood and fixtures (the latter acquired at the Habitat for Humanity building materials thrift shop) and installed a new compact fluorescent bulb in it. Now it's summer, we don't much use that light anyway, instead relying on the string of 100 mini-lights (in green!) that I put up when I moved in. A check using my electricity meter shows a power usage of 44 watts on that string; the light is dim but adequate for getting around the room). I also use my 20-LED reading lamp above the bed--- 2 watts! (I just moved the bedroom compact fluorescent into the bathroom fixture, replacing two 60-watters there.)

I turn off lights when not using them.

3. natural gas

I turned off the pilot light to my gas fireplace. I'm not certain how much of a contribution that act alone made to my natural gas savings, but my therms usage has dropped about 75-80% since my first couple bills (Feb/March, when I was also using the furnace and hadn't put in the low-flow shower head).

4. gasoline

I usually carpool to work. There are five of us now going to Chino from Prescott. We typically arrange for some combination of us to go together, but not always. I've taken to walking, on occasion, to the very nearby grocery where we shop. Shameful how easy it is to decide to drive this bare quarter mile!

5. packaging/containters/plastics

I never purchase plastic bags, baggies, or garbage bags, because I use the enormous amount of plastic packaging that I get in buying food. Bread bags, for instance, make great leftovers containers! I often take home groceries in the plastic bags they offer--- and use those as garbage pail liners (and I don't think I have to take out the trash more often because of it, since generally I avoid excessive packaging when buying stuff).

I take my Trader Joe's canvas bag when I go shopping (and what won't fit in that goes in the plastic bags).

6. other materials

I picked up a composting bucket at the local farmer's market. We can fill it up each week and return it there for an empty one (since we don't have curbside composting in Prescott). So far I've forgotten it for two weeks and that sucker is full! We've been enjoying a lot of produce this summer.

At 8/04/2006 9:42 PM, Blogger solarservant said...

Well, first off, I'd like to say nice work y'all. Second, please don't use my comments against me. Thirdly, my comments may be easily misinterpretted as childish, innappropriate, and misdirected, when in fact they are adolescent, uncalled for, and clearly aimed at a less intelligent audience.

That being said:


I drink as much as my peanut-sized bladder can handle... My cat's bladder is bigger, he drinks more than me. I shower every freakin' day because my upstairs neighbors would be bothered by the ever-so-sickening rotting flesh odor that emanates from my feet after a hot day in my boots. otherwise, yeah, I try and conserve.


Oh boy, "The Juice." I put up solar panels for a living. Doesn't that make me a saint or something? I figure with the rest of the world trying to outdo each other in the race to own a bigger fridge, I oughtta be able to crank up my ridiculously large guitar amp and piss off the populace every once in a while.

Natural Gas-

You mean like wearing tight pants to hold it in? Naw, I don't conserve that stuff... I just let the rest of the world enjoy what I have to offer.


I say, to hell with it. We are going to use it all up and screw the planet and everything on it as fast as we can. Better to just avoid the inevitable and party like it's 1927. The sooner we get through this phase of human frailty the sooner we can start using alternatives-like our legs. Pedaling is the shit.


I request paper bags at the store, mainly because I never know when I'm going to need them for t.p. Like I said, I work in solar, and believe me, there's no money to be made on the bottom rung of this industry. I'm in it for the chicks.


I do my level best to get off my skinny AmErrIcan ass, and go respect some wilderness, first hand, instead of watching it on the Discovery Channel. I also make every effort to appreciate the barley, the yeast, and the hops. God's bounty, if you ask me.

Thanks for listening.


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