June 10, 2006

Take Action

Al Gore May Be My New Hero

This week, anyway.

So click the link, go to "Take Action" and click on "Become Carbon Neutral." There, you can figure out approximately how many pounds of carbon dioxide you personally are putting out into the atomosphere every year. (We're contributing 13600 -- in the average range at least, but we have work to do.)

After you figure that out, you can choose to contribute to Native Energy*, hence making yourself "carbon neutral," or if you're on a budget click on "What You Can Do" to find out ways to reduce your emissions.

Simple!

I feel like I've had blinders on the last 10 years and they are just coming back off again. It's not that I haven't understood things need to change, it's not that I haven't done the reading and paid attention to the news reports -- I have. It's like this: When I was in college I got into a little bit of credit trouble. As it snowballed, it became easier just not to open the bills until I had to, like if I just shoved them to the bottom of the pile it would go away. As an adult, I've learned my lesson with credit, and I've also learned that when money is scarce it's the best time to take care and plan well.

Up until now, I think that the warnings and the headlines just made me feel so powerless that I didn't know where to begin. I made a few ambivalent efforts, but mostly my concern about the environment got shoved to the bottom of the pile.

But like those pesky creditors, I can't ignore my part in this problem forever and it seems especially important now that I have children. I can't stop big oil, I can't stop the coal burning power plant just down the river from me, and darned if I didn't try to stop the president but got outvoted. But I can begin here -- in my own home, in my own practices. I've done a few things -- reusable bags, a new water filter, stopped wasteful junk mail coming to my home, joined an organic co-op and put more thought into what goes into my and my children's mouths. I'm turning off lights, fans, air conditioners as much as possible and keeping trips in the van to a minimum. And reading and reading and reading (a girl's got to have some fun). And the more I read the more I feel like there's so much left to do.

Baby steps.

Anyway, click the link, it's worth your time.

(*The cool thing about Native Energy is this. Power companies are compelled by federal law to buy energy from renewable sources instead of traditional sources. Because they want to use the energy they bought, they'll use the energy from renewable sources first. And by using the "green" energy, it displaces the energy that would have come from fossil fuel plants. Nifty, eh?)

1 Comments:

Blogger Margaret said...

I can in at 13,200. The short commute helps.

I calculated what I would have been at when I lived in the "city" (ha!) and I came in at 20,400. Wow.

I have to admit, though. The fact that Al Gore is a major contributor to this campaign lessens my respect for it. And that's too bad because I think it's a good thing. I just can't stand Al Gore -- he's just too perfect for SNL skits.

June 05, 2006 7:12 AM  

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