Tuesday, April 22, 2008

we are all earthlings

We are all earthlings
We are all earthlings
Spinning around together
On a planet of the sun
from “we are all earthlings” by sara compton

earth day began 38 years ago as a response to the recognition of humans increasing degradation of the planet. can we claim that the planet is in better shape today than it was forty years ago? hardly. yes, in some arenas there has been progress; but, overall we are still teetering on the edge of widespread ecological catastrophe.

yesterday on npr’s marketplace program host kai ryssdal interviewed jeffery sachs, a columbia university economist and author. professor sachs recently wrote a book entitled common wealth: economics for a crowded planet. in this book he makes the case that as a world community it is imperative that all the countries of the world recognize that we face a common problem and the only way to solve the catastrophe that is at our collective door is to cooperate like never before in order to save ourselves and the planet. read/listen to the interview

ironically right after this interview was a segment reporting on the beijing autoshow; where the world’s car manufacturers are attempting to get a piece of the action in a growing market. unfortunately, china appears to be embracing the notion that ‘bigger is better’ as evidenced by an expected forty percent increase in SVU sales this year.

today’s buzz words for living in harmony with the planet include reducing our ecological footprint and increasing our sustainability. to reduce our collective footprints and create a sustainable world the private sector, the government, academia, and each one of us as indivduals have to get on the bus!

in yesterday’s pd was an article which listed simple things each of us can do to subtract 43,000 pounds of CO2 annually. I thought it was a very helpful and handy list and mighty good mouse medicine. so assuming permission would be granted by the esteemed pd, I provide the list to all mouse readers:

Cook 25 percent of your food in the microwave instead of the conventional oven. (Minus 55 pounds.)

Recycle half your household waste. (Minus 2,400 pounds.)

Install a water-saving shower head. (Minus 400 pounds.)

Drink tap water instead of bottled. (Minus 52 pounds.)

Stop using an extra refrigerator. (Minus 1,100 pounds.)

Wash your clothes in cold water instead of warm or hot (modern detergents are designed to work well in cold). (Minus 500 pounds.)

Cook double portions of meals at least once a week and freeze them for easy reheating in the microwave. (Minus 55 pounds.)

Use a clothesline instead of a dryer when the weather allows. (Minus 700 pounds.)

Switch to LED Christmas tree lights. (Minus 7 pounds.)

Get rid of your car. (Minus 10,400 pounds.)

Stop driving aggressively. (Minus 2,750 pounds.)

Use cruise control when you drive. (Minus 600 pounds.)

Recycle your printer's ink cartridges. (Minus 38 pounds.)

Telecommute. (Minus 6,000 pounds.)

Buy a reusable water bottle or simply reuse disposable plastic water bottles. (Minus 16 pounds.)

Put your computer to sleep instead of using a screen saver. (Minus 1,090 pounds.)

Grow your own veggies and herbs. (Minus 40 pounds.)

Buy only locally grown or produced food. (Minus 5,000 pounds.)

Buy your clothes at a secondhand shop. (Minus 800 pounds.)

Become a vegetarian. (Minus 3,924 pounds.)

Invite a third fewer people to your wedding. (Minus 8,818 pounds.)

Read library or used books. (Minus 30 pounds.)

Use ceiling fans instead of air conditioning. (Minus 2,700 pounds.)

Unplug all your electronics and appliances when they're not in use. (Minus 500 pounds.)

Run your dishwasher only when it's completely full. (Minus 100 pounds.)

Replace three frequently used incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent bulbs. (Minus 300 pounds.)

Cut your cheeseburger consumption by one a week. (Minus 500 pounds.)

Clean or replace your furnace/AC filter. (Minus 350 pounds.)

Drink a locally produced bottle of wine each week instead of one from California. (Minus 100 pounds.)

Raise your thermostat 2 degrees in summer and lower it 2 degrees in winter. (Minus 2,000 pounds.)

click to see sources

happy earth day 2008 - make every day earth day!!

photos: top~kermit & lil b say it's easy being green!; inset~community circulator; bottom~worm nursery @ community garden


Steve said...

Not to toot my own horn, but when I calculated my carbon footprint not long ago, I did pretty well -- no car and a studio apartment!

I think the bottom line re. sustainability is the need to lower the earth's population. How we'll achieve this, particularly given our current economic, cultural and religious ideals, is a mystery to me.

WAT said...

Oh I love the picture of the adorable boy and Kermit! GREAT GREAT GREAT!

Thanks for this post on Earth Day. Our one and only home, in such a sad dangerous state.

Lee's River/Zlatovyek said...

I hereby pledge to cut down my cheeseburger consumption and to drink only locally produced wine from the Coopérative in Labastide-de-Lévis instead of imported Californian wines ;-)
But seriously: Beijing Autoshow? oh.lord.
good, useful info, mouse. thank you.

d. chedwick bryant said...

Great post--I can't believe people would have an extra refrigerator ! why? ten kids???

We replaced our ancient one with a much smaller one. we eat meat maybe once every month or two, + eat fish once a week, so are not vegetarians. we plant acres of trees! we drink tap water 75% of the time-- our vehicles are over 10 yrs old-- we need them since there is no public transport of any kind in the mtns. but we use them as little as possible.

we have never owned a dishwasher. They are so wasteful compared to our method.

and reuse about 1/2 of the sink/dish water --watering plants indoors and out. we compost. grow herbs/ plant fruit trees. we recycle we never have Xmas lights ever! we have switched to Library books have a clothesline, hand wash many items, work from home 50%,

but can always do more-- we are on a "no buy spell" now, a few months of cutting off all luxury items and cutting back a bit on necessaries as well.
we enjoyed the last no buy spell and saved a lot of moolah-- so it is very beneficial.

I will study these tips and see what else we can do.

thanks and happy earth day!

dennis said...

Dennis ate the arm off of a kermit the frog doll once.

Dennis would drive a hummer if cats were able /allowed. and he would buy a side of beef just for fun.

good thing Dennis has no power to pollute/waste

Barbara said...

I obviously need to get started shedding many pounds. Oh that it was as easy as going on a diet...

Colette Amelia said...

Awesome post. Awesome tips. I think it is time that governments start taking back some of their duties and start governing because leaving it to the market has not worked.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

steve - I say go ahead and toot your horn!! it's great and if your example provides a role model for someone else all the better!

wat - lil' b absolutely loves kermit!

lee - no cheeseburgers for you in paradise! oh yeah, as if you would consume imported californian wine. good one!

ched - talk about role models - you guys are great! I agree w/ you on the fridge bit - why in the world, unless of course someone is contributing to the overpopulation problem! I would never buy a dishwasher, but the house came with one...I do use it but only when it's full (and I mean FULL).

this month I celebrate my second anniversary of being car-free! shed lots of pounds with that one! but I'm lucky as I have good (well decent, not as good as nyc) mass transit.

dennis - yes good thing! no biting no fighting!

barbara - inch by inch, pound by pound!

ca - merci! agree completely.

TheElementary said...

A wise and wonderful list, this. I'm pleased to say I've done some of it already. Had 28 people at our wedding; I don't buy new books no matter how anxious I am for a favourite author to release; I don't EAT cheeseburgers- although that's because I am thousands of miles from the nearest In-n-Out restaurant :( which just breaks my heart. Good post.

Dan Wayne Sims said...

Heloo--wandered over from Chedwack's blog-- this post is amazing so much we can do!