Shanathalas
"When the world is running down, you make the best of what's still around"

By Shanathalas

So I joined the David Suzuki Foundation's Nature Challenge. Its only a small thing, and certainly nothing "off the grid", but it's small steps. Most of which of I'm already doing. But they say" Word of mouth is our most powerful tool", so here I am promoting a it. Looking at the Challenge, I can assess how I am doing a reducing climate change:

1. Reduce home energy use by 10%.
  • I am working on only having lights on when I need them. I'm also reducing the amount of time I spend on my computer (I quit WOW).
2. Choose an energy efficient home and appliances.
  • As an apartment in a concrete building, our insulation is pretty good. But our appliances are appalling. The fridge is a giant old beast that runs noisily all the time, and the drier does not vent very well and is incredibly inefficient. Unfortunately, as tenants, these are not our appliances, and as these appliances are technically still working, we cannot get them replaced. I have countered this by hanging as many things to dry as possible, and by running the fridge on low, keeping the fidgee-part relatively empty and the freezee-part very full (this is the way fridge work efficiently).
3. Replace dangerous pesticides with alternatives.
  • I don't have a garden *sigh*. My house plants are basically bug free.
4. Eat meat-free meals one day a week.
  • We've been trying to go farther with this anyway. While I doubt I will ever be able to go completely meat free, I am trying to make it the exception rather than the rule. I already go meat-free several days a week, so I'm doing well with this one.
5. Buy locally grown and produced food.
  • I've become a lot more conscious of this issue, and I am going to try to pay more attention to this when shopping. Luckily we've got a lot of good markets near us with lots of healthy, local produce. This will be harder in the winter though, as a lot of Canada's produce is imported.
6. Choose a fuel-efficient vehicle.
  • I don't have a car. My feet aren't very efficient, but at least they don't pollute.
7. Walk, bike, carpool or take transit.
  • I've been public-transiting for decades. At the moment I have to catch three buses to work, which isn't much fun. But in my new job it will be one express-bus ride. I miss walking to work though, like I did at Sydney Uni.
8. Choose a home close to work or school.
  • Well I just chose a work that's closer to my home so "hooray". For a lot of people this isn't a viable option. But the long commutes some people make these days are nuts.
9. Support car-free alternatives.
  • Well, I already do. but I'm thinking of buying a bicycle. It will be uphill to work, but then downhill home :)
10. Learn more and share with family and friends.
  • I think that's what I'm doing at the moment.
 

2 comments so far.

  1. wulf 2:27 PM
    6. Choose a fuel-efficient vehicle.

    * I don't have a car. My feet aren't very efficient, but at least they don't pollute.

    You know, I had a comment for this particular point, but I think self-preservation is going to kick in.

    ;)
  2. evelyn 6:51 AM
    Have you switched to energy-saving lightbulbs? They are a bit annoying being flourescent they take a couple of secs to heat up and light up brightly but otherwise they are good. In fact the energy saving is significant enough you should replace all your existing ones now rather than wait for them to blow (do what we did, stick them in a cupboard so when you move out you can put them back in)

    As for using the dryer - we live in the wettest place on earth (probably not true but it has been raining pretty constantly for the last month) and we have used the dryer once and that was just to dry a couple of shirts we wanted to pack for a flight that day. Otherwise everything is drying ok left around the house. And no we haven't turned the heating on - that's been switched off since March.

    Food-miles: its an interesting debate. There is a strong argument that supporting independant producers using organic methods that is flown in is better for the environment than supporting agri-business that's been trucked into the supermarket. Its a bit hard to judge completely objectively in terms of pure 'carbon-footprint'. I think you need to work out what you want to support - for me, I'd rather support small farmers who don't use pesticides and herbicides even if they are in Africa or South America (or maybe - especially if) rather than agri-business farmers who pour on as many chemicals as possible here in the UK. And studies have shown that food grown organically does actually have more nutrients than non-organic food.

Something to say?