Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Saving the planet?

Treehugger recently ran a fun series of echo self-help tips: 25 Ways to Save the Planet (25-16), (11-15), (6-10), (1-5). I'm surprised at how many of these ideas we do. So I decided to fill out a scorecard:

  1. a programmable thermostat
    Maybe. We have one upstairs and a dumb one downstarts. We don't use the upstairs one. Instead we just live without heat. And since we have two heaters we save even more energy than we would by programming.
  2. Draft excluders at the base of your doors
    No. And we need it on one of our doors.
  3. Use "Tupperware"-style reusable food containers
  4. get a rainwater storage tank
    No. Not sure it makes sense in SF, unless the fog drizzle would yield enough water in the downspout to help the garden. I'll have to look into this.
  5. use a water filter
  6. A low-flow showerhead
  7. go for a potted flower (not cut)
    No. And we've been buying cheap Trader Joe cut flowers that I bet come from Mexico, which probably has a worse eco footprint than most cut flowers.
  8. you can't beat filtered tap water in a reusable bottle
  9. replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents
  10. place a brick or similarly voluminous object in the tank of your toilet
    Maybe. We have a low-flow toilet. Displacing any more water from the tank would make it even more feeble. Bad idea.
  11. we can still make a difference with the rugs and carpets we put down
    No. We have a few area rugs, but this item is really for homes in colder climates.
  12. Use recycled paper
  13. a spinning clothes dryer that uses centrifugal force
  14. Get an efficient space heater to cut down on the cubic area you need to heat
    No. But again, who needs heat in SF?
  15. Fill your kitchen with bamboo
  16. [Buy and eat] local food movement.
  17. If given the choice, go for organic fruits, veggies, meat and dairy over conventional food
  18. Use rechargable batteries instead of single-use batteries
    Sort of... in some cases.
  19. Skip the energy-hogging clothes dryer for a drying rack or clothes line instead
    Sort of... Most clothes go in the dryer, but we do have a rack we use sometimes.
  20. Eschew air conditioners
  21. Use eco-friendly household cleaners
  22. Ride a bicycle
    Mostly no... I need to get a new one...
  23. Buy clothes and other linens made from organic cotton
  24. Compost your garbage instead of throwing it all away
  25. Get a reel (human-powered) lawn mower
    Not relevant.
Final score: 11 Yes, 8 No, and 6 in the middle. Not too bad, frankly...

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