Monday, October 15, 2007

Above Average And Not Proud Of It

We're thinking of the environment today, folks. What do you do on a daily basis to be good to our earth?

This has been on my mind lately. I should be doing more, me thinks. However, a small start is better than no start at all. Perhaps we should use Blog Action Day as a starting block. I think we should keep doing that which we are currently doing for our health, our environment, our pocketbook. Then, those of us who are slacking a bit in the conservation, I-have-a-larger-than-average ecological footprint department can add in a few other bits in order to have a better influence on our environment.

I was over at ZeroFootprint calculating my own ecological footprint. The news is not pretty. Me and mine create roughly 10.7 tons of CO2 per year. Yikes. The average Canadian or Torontonian is listed as 9.1. I'm above average and I'm not proud of it.

Even worse, I was over at Global Ecological Footprint. A sustainable footprint is said to be 15 global hectares. The average is 21 global hectares. Mine? 32.22 global hectares. Again, above average and not very proud.

We recycle. But only most paper products in our home.
We don't compost.
We use compact fluorescent lights, but have halogen in the kitchen spot lights.
We use electric heat.
I use vinegar or environmentally friendly cleaning products including biodegradable laundry detergent and dish soap.
I buy cotton clothes for the kids when possible.
We use reusable shopping bags for 3 out of 4 grocery shops.
I buy organic, local produce some of the time.
I can't seem to phase out my use of saran wrap.
We don't walk enough, even though we live right in town.
I use the internet to cut down on consumables in our schoolwork.
I am making an effort to cut our weekly screen time for a number of reasons.

Just this weekend we used foam insulation to seal some drafty spots in our townhouse. We sealed up the windows with plastic ( one evil for another?) in the kids' rooms as they are typically very cold rooms. Having to heat with electric heat, we are hoping that any small improvement will help keep the heat in and the cold out.

I wanted to share even our meagre efforts because I'm sure I'm not the only one that can improve. We all have to start somewhere, right? This is my dismal starting point. Care to share yours? Some of my favourite bloggers are doing much better than I am. Make sure you've poked through the blog list in my sidebar and see if you can figure out who the inspirational ones are.

By the time Blog Action Day 2008 rolls around, I hope to be doing better. Do you think I can pare it down to the national or global average? Better than average? I'm going to aim for better than average and see how I do.


oom said...

Thanks for giving me thinking fodder for a Monday. Jeez, Bonni...I got the guilts now LOL!

Let's see...the G.E.F. is helping me make a case for working at home. When I drive to work I have a ecological footprint of 37.34. When I work at home (everything else remaining equal), I have an ecological footprint of 14.61. Hmmm......not to mention what I save on daycare!

My dh is a bit of a recycling nazi. He is known to pick plastics out of the garbage (where they mistakenly end up, of course) and wander thru the house, waving whatever he rescued and making loud statements about how we are 'borrowing' the Earth and it will all come back on us one day! (it's not a bad thing until you see him do it at our relatives homes!) Every single light in our home is an energy efficient one and our heat rarely gets above 18 (except when he isn't looking!). And, if I remember correctly, he has instant-foamed every single crack that could possibly let in an breath of air. Yet to look at hime, you'd never guess, would ya?

I figure I make the kids reuse their sandwich bags and I don't litter. That has to count.

Anyhow, good blog!

jugglingpaynes said...

I think small steps is the key. And giving the children exposure to nature also helps, which I know you do. Give yourself points for hiking. Too many people separate themselves from nature. I have neighbors who think there is/should be an ordinance about how tall trees can be!

And on that note, I will happily use paper plates this weekend because darn it, I spend a lot of time taking care of the environment and I gotta take care of me too!
Peace and Laughter,