Sunday, July 1, 2012

Reducing Our Carbon Footprint

The environment is quickly becoming my wife and I's favorite cause.  I address fundamentalist Christianity's lack of concern for the environment in my book and as a result I have had a few people question me about my views.  Because of these questionings I have spent some more time researching.  I was challenged to really look at the scientific data and not simply listen to the media.  So, I did.  Not only did my research not lessen my concern about the environment it has increased my concern and convinced me that we all need to begin doing more for the Earth immediately (some of the information I have been studying I shared in a recent post so I won't go into the scientific stuff again).

Motivated by our recent studies, my sexy lady and I  have started looking again at our carbon footprint and ways we can reduce our negative impact on the environment.  Some of the ways we would love to begin making a difference is by adding solar panels, getting an electric car (or 2, or 3), and set up a grey water reclamation system for our home.  Unfortunately, there is no way we can afford any of those items currently.  Maybe if my book sells like crazy, or if we win the lottery we can look into some of these options, but for right now these changes are simply not realistic for us. So we have started researching other, cheaper ways we can begin making a difference (So, I guess technically buying my book would be a way to help the environment as

I realized as we were researching ways to make some positive changes in our lives for the environment, that others might be in the same position we are; wanting to make changes but not having the money to make some of of the better publicized changes.  So, I thought maybe I would share some of the changes we have started making and some of the changes we are looking at making.

1) Planting fruit trees.  Not only do trees remove some of the CO2 we humans put into the environment, but providing some of our own fruit keeps us from driving to the store and keeps us from buying fruit which has been shipped in on trucks.

2) Building raised garden boxes.  This functions in much the same way as the trees.  The plants remove CO2, keep us from having to go to the store, keep us from buying foods which have been trucked in.  Raised boxes are also more water-wise.

3) We are starting to raise our own chickens.  The chickens provide us eggs and meat, so we once again do not have to go to the grocery store as often, and don't buy things which have been shipped to our town.

4)  When we can't eat food which we have grown ourselves, we try to buy from local farmers and local farmer's markets.  (no shipping)

5) We have switched completely to energy saving light bulbs.

6) We compost as much of our waste as we can.  This reduces the amount of  of garbage we make,  (Garbage dumps release methane) and provides fertilizer for our plants.

7) We have switched from a gas-powered mower to a man-powered push mower.  No gas emissions, gets us in better shape, actually keeps our lawn nicer, cheaper, and more reliable.

8) We water our lawn using grey water.  Our clothes washer sits right on a back wall of our house.  It was easy to disconnect the drain from the sewer and set it up to drain directly into our yard.

9) We use reusable cups when we get coffee (saves trees).

10) We use only cold water to wash our clothes. 

We have many changes in the works , but these are the ones we have implemented so far.

Here are a few more we are planning on making over the next few months:

1) We are going to put in a clothesline.  Saves tons of electricity

2) We are going to switch to Kindles instead of books.  We love books, love the smell, love the touch, love having shelves of books to look at, but paper requires trees to be cut down.

3)  We are going to switch out our shower heads to water efficient shower heads.

There are many different ways to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases we humans produce. My wife and I will continue to work on it in our household.  What will you do in yours? Remember that most of these changes are inexpensive, easy to implement, actually save you money, and are good for our planet. No matter what your political or religious beliefs, these changes are great ideas which save you money and help our planet.  Why not go ahead and see what changes you can begin making today?

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