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Old 12-20-2008, 01:02 PM   #1
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Environmentalist thread [POSITIVE ACTION]

There are many people who feel the environment is in a catastrophic state and we need drastic action to save the world and ourselves. I believe our leaders are not living the lifestyles that they would have forced upon us.

Now the only green actions I've done were to travel less and I drive a Toyota Echo. I did this to save money more than to save the environment but I challenge the environmentalists on this thread to come up with as many economic options as possible for people to try and reduce their emissions without detrimentally ruining their personal finances.

Here are a series of examples of what people can do to reduce their environmental impact cheaply:

Go Green, Save Money

I also welcome any arguments against some of these methods? What would be unpleasant about doing some of these strategies? Do they work?

It's one thing to talk about the environment, but it's another to take action and to lead by example instead of telling others what they should do or forcing energy companies to raise our prices.

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Old 12-20-2008, 06:06 PM   #2
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Jess and I do most of these things.

Things we have done to our home:
- Replaced the heat pump/AC system with the highest efficiency model offered by our contractor.
- Replaced 90% of our light bulbs with CFLs.
- Used bamboo flooring on the first floor.
- Turned down the hot water heater.

On a regular basis:
- Turn lights and computers off when not in use.
- Bring re-usable bags to the grocery store.
- Bring our own tupperware to restaurants with us for take-home food.
- Recycle all recyclable paper and containers.
- Set our dishwasher on time delay to operate at off-peak hours.
- Buy local produce (we have an orchard that's < 5 min drive.
- Use public transportation when commuting.
- Combine trips when running errands.
- Telecommute 2 days per week.
- Bring excess napkins home (from places like Subway) and re-use them at dinner.
- Stopped most of our paper bills.

I'm sure there are a few I'm forgetting, but those are the main ones.

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Old 12-21-2008, 05:35 AM   #3
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I do the following:

- in the winter I keep the thermostat set at between 60F (mostly) and 64 (when I'm freezing!); in the summer I keep it between 72F and 75F
- close off the heating/cooling vents in the extra bedroom and partially block the vent into my bedroom in the winter (I prefer to sleep in a cool room and I'm rarely in my bedroom when I'm not sleeping so I don't mind it cold)
- all light bulbs, inside and out, (except one) are CFL
- unplug most small appliances (toaster oven, microwave, etc.) when not in use and don't use standby on others (stereo)
- turn off lights when not in the room
- turn off pc when not in use
- wash clothing in cold water and generally only when I have full loads
- don't use a clothes dryer -- hang laundry to dry instead
- bring my own re-usable bags to the grocery store
- don't buy bottled water (I do use a Brita filter pitcher for all the water I use to drink and for cooking because the tap water here tastes awful)
- combine several errands into one trip
- drive a fuel efficient car (over the past 20+ years my cars have generally gotten 30-40 mpg)
- recycle paper, cardboard, cans, bottles
- pay bills online and get e-statements (instead of paper) for many of those bills
- watch my water consumption:
- turn off tap when brushing my teeth or lathering my hands (ie, turn on the tap only when actually using the water)
- showers instead of baths; have water conserving shower head; and limit shower times
- wash dishes only when I need to (part of that is because I don't really like washing dishes and I don't have a dishwasher ) and only use a couple of sink fulls of water to do so (don't run a constant stream of water to rinse)

Many of these save money too, so that is an extra incentive.
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Old 12-21-2008, 06:32 AM   #4
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I take the time to turn my lights on before going to work, leaving my engine running so my air conditioning and/or heating can be just right, taking 3 hot showers a day, cooking small meals with a big oven, drying my cloths with multiple hairdryers.

I feel that I do enough for global warming.
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Old 12-21-2008, 09:21 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by indra View Post
- all light bulbs, inside and out, (except one) are CFL
Just remember that CFL bulbs don't like to be turned on and off a lot, so in rooms where the lights only go on for a few minutes before being turned off, we've stuck to traditional bulbs. CFLs should primarily be used in rooms where the lights remain on for 15min or more at a time.
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