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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Global Warming, Going Green, and Responsible Citizenry in Tough Economic Times

First, I do not buy into the global warming scare. The history of the earth and our climate reveals that nature has a mind of its own and produces extreme climate changes. That being said, I do buy into being responsible citizens of the world.

My own nature is that of abhorring waste, so there are many things about the ‘green’ movement that are appealing to me. The ease and accessibility of many ‘green’ changes are appealing, as well. In this busy world, it is hard to ‘go green’ when it requires consuming more fuel and time to do so. In line with that, it is more appealing to ‘go green’ when the economy is in bad shape. Recycling, upcycling, and living a lifestyle of * “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” are practical and necessary parts of survival in difficult financial times.

My own town has been taking recycling into the nineties (it is behind a decade or so around here . . .lol) and not only has a recycling center for green waste that is resold, but it also now has a center of town drop off point for plastics, paper, and cardboard.

An entrepreneur in town has had the market for years on the aluminum can recycling business, but now a new can recycling entrepreneur has begun advertising his services.

Some of our pharmacies will take care of your drug disposal needs, and some auto service centers in town will take your used oil. There is a rumor that a local tire company will take used tires, too.

Large appliances, glass, and metal cans (soup, vegetables, etc) still need a place to go other than the dump.

Our only second-hand store has tightened their used goods acceptance policies which is saving them money which they are passing on to their customers – but its landing more stuff in the dump, and costing those who need to dispose of it more money and fuel – so that one is probably a wash.

Two things I find interesting about the green movement is the near hysteria about faulty science that many buy into without checking into it past the fact that 'someone said so', and the hypocrites in Hollywood who speak it but do not live it.

Hollywood Hypocrites Video:

If the video does not work, please use this link instead.

A few of the things I have been doing are:

Using organic and natural means for controlling weeds and pests in my yard. This means I have chemical-free yard waste, which then can go into my compost bin and later be reapplied to my yard and garden. I also can add some household/kitchen waste into the compost bin, which results in less garbage going into the can for city pickup.

Though my new place came with many perennial flowers, the only things I am adding are those that have use such as vegetables, edible flowers, and flowers and plants that aid in pest control. The perennials are clipped and brought indoors for the appearance and beautiful fragrance – then they go out to the compost bin.

I have reusable shopping bags – though I am still working on building a habit of putting them immediately back in the car when the groceries are put away, and of taking them into the store with me.

I have been checking out sites such as Etsy and Threadbanger in order to find new ways to use and makeover what we have. Both sites have YouTube memberships that offer free how-to videos.

About half of my light bulbs are now the compact energy-saving bulbs. Little by little, I add to my collection and by year’s end, I will have all of my bulbs switched over. They are not as pricey as they used to be, and if you shop around you can find multi-packs that are a great deal. Be sure to compare the life expectancy listed on the box. Not all will claim the same life expectancy or savings.

I am working on my own garden that will lessen trips to the store and save money. I know basics of canning, dehydrating, and freezing foods, so I can preserve my crops. I am using containers/raised beds and will be implementing portable trellises in order to maximize space. Anything that has vines or is bushy can be used with the trellises.

I have been finding and trying homemade organic cleaners that mostly use water, vinegar, and baking soda. Some require a little more elbow grease than others do, but so far, so good. There are some commercial products I am not ready to give up yet – and that includes my Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. For me, the move to go as chemical free as possible began due to health issues, but is now being fueled by the desire to be a more responsible citizen of the planet.

I am looking into ways to convert my vehicle so it will use less or no petroleum. The water conversion plans are looking very appealing to me. Those with a diesel engine may find the vegetable oil conversion of interest – though it will make your vehicle smell like French fries.

What things are YOU doing and how do YOU feel about ‘going green’?

*This quote has been attributed to several sources including Spencer W. Kimball, pioneer women, and people in the depression era of the 1930’s.

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