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Author Topic: What are the simplest ways to "go green" ?  (Read 13421 times)

Offline aiyana

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What are the simplest ways to "go green" ?
« on: 24/11/2009 12:07:52 »
The following tips will help you understand just how easy it is to apply the '3R' principle. All you have to do is think ahead.
Reduce
• Take no more new bank notes and lai-see packets than necessary.
• Bring your own bags to reduce consumption of plastic shopping bags.
• Adopt simple packaging and minimize gift wrapping to avoid wastage of resources.
• Choose more durable products. Think twice before shopping to avoid purchasing unnecessary items and cause wastage.
• Send electronic greeting messages instead of paper greeting cards as the former can deliver the same message with less resource.
• Use reusable tableware during gatherings and parties and avoid excessive food.
Reuse
• Reuse lai-see packets and bank notes for lai-see.
• Store holiday decorations, such as plastic Christmas trees and ornaments for reuse in the following year. Good quality decorations could be reused many times.
• Donate unwanted gifts to needies through charitable organizations.
Recycle
• Separate all recyclable materials, such as metals, plastics, waste paper and other recyclables from waste stream and put them in recycling bins to facilitate recycling.

[MOD EDIT - PLEASE BE KIND ENOUGH TO PHRASE YOUR THREAD TITLES AS QUESTIONS, IN LINE WITH OUR FORUM POLICY. THANKS. CHRIS]
« Last Edit: 24/11/2009 20:34:26 by chris »


 

Offline litespeed

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Re: What are the simplest ways to "go green" ?
« Reply #1 on: 24/11/2009 20:03:10 »
aiyana

All of your suggestions are just fine. In fact, I support all of the ones I understand. However, none of them will make a dimes worth of difference to 'The Environment'. The things that DO make a difference are few in number, and make a HUGE change.  For instance, clean water.  All domestic sewage should be collected by a sewer sytem and cleaned as appropriate. All bad industrial discharges need to be found and corrected. All of a sudden, well, you can go FISHING AGAIN!

Clean air.  All coal powered plants need SO2 scrubbers, and should use low sulfur coal. Domestic use of coal for home heating or small industrial processes should be replaced by something, ANYTHING but coal. In the US we switched to fuel oil and natural gas.  Further, ALL internal combustion engines need Clean Air Technology. Such technology is well developed and inexpensive compared to the 1970's, for instance.

These are simple, big things that make a big difference.  Separating aluminum cans from plastic bottles is good, but makes no difference if the other BIG things still have not been done.

 

Offline glovesforfoxes

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What are the simplest ways to "go green" ?
« Reply #2 on: 24/11/2009 20:55:03 »
Just to add a few more..

Become vegetarian or vegan
Make your own solar powered heating system
Eat locally produced food
 

Offline litespeed

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What are the simplest ways to "go green" ?
« Reply #3 on: 24/11/2009 21:07:27 »
gloves - Your point on vegitarianism is well taken. Specifically, a thousand calories of cow requires more then a thousand calories of grain to produce said cow. In addition, cows fart methane which is WAY worse then CO2.

However, this is all very very small potatos compared to a single coal fired power plant. Since nothing in the next two or three generations of humans will replace fossil fuel power plants, I see no particular moral imperitive to abstain from a good Porter House Steak on such grounds.
 

Offline litespeed

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What are the simplest ways to "go green" ?
« Reply #4 on: 24/11/2009 21:12:35 »
gloves & aiyana,

Do either of you have children?  I have [to my own knowledge] never reproduced, and accordingly claim for myself all the resources my absent progeny would otherwise have consumed.

So. THERE....
 

Offline Don_1

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What are the simplest ways to "go green" ?
« Reply #5 on: 25/11/2009 09:40:04 »
I am afraid that 'going green' is not quite as simplistic as you make it sound. Far too many 'green' policies can, and may well be, counter-productive.

Recycling paper may well help to protect trees, but what is the true cost of the recycling process? How much fuel is used to transport the waste paper to the recycling transfer station and then to the recycling plant? How much fuel/mineral is used to produce the vehicles which transport all that waste paper?

I am all for protecting the environment, but I do think we need to establish the true cost to the environment of the measures we are taking.

Use a low temperature washing powder to save energy. Good idea, but how much more phosphate is in that powder compared to regular powders? Are we simply robbing Peter to pay Paul?
 

Offline glovesforfoxes

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What are the simplest ways to "go green" ?
« Reply #6 on: 25/11/2009 20:42:33 »
Quote
However, this is all very very small potatos compared to a single coal fired power plant.

Not really very very small, but I believe livestock for food are responsible for about 18% of greenhouse gas emissions? Significant enough. Whether it's significant enough to overcome inertia, well.. that is to be seen :)

No, I don't have children. Quite fortunately at the age of 18 ;D

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/cow-emissions-more-damaging-to-planet-than-cosub2sub-from-cars-427843.html
http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=20772&Cr=global&Cr1=environment
« Last Edit: 25/11/2009 20:44:14 by glovesforfoxes »
 

Offline Jonathan Madriaga

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What are the simplest ways to "go green" ?
« Reply #7 on: 26/11/2009 01:31:42 »
As a neighbourhood, you can work to connect individual gardens and prevent mimcry (same types of trees and plants) to increase biodiversity for wildlife. Cities should build more green areas like parks, planter boxes, and urban designers may even promote aesthetics by phytoremediation of industrial land. But for many individuals, I'd say to prevent the usage of car if needed and take the public transport, walk, or bike. Overall, have a lower ecological footprint. You can determine this in many online websites, which tells you how much you energy, food, carbon, etc you consume.
 

Offline Karsten

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What are the simplest ways to "go green" ?
« Reply #8 on: 26/11/2009 02:51:49 »
The following tips will help you understand just how easy it is to apply the '3R' principle. All you have to do is think ahead.
Reduce
• Take no more new bank notes and lai-see packets than necessary.
• Bring your own bags to reduce consumption of plastic shopping bags.
• Adopt simple packaging and minimize gift wrapping to avoid wastage of resources.
• Choose more durable products. Think twice before shopping to avoid purchasing unnecessary items and cause wastage.
• Send electronic greeting messages instead of paper greeting cards as the former can deliver the same message with less resource.
• Use reusable tableware during gatherings and parties and avoid excessive food.
Reuse
• Reuse lai-see packets and bank notes for lai-see.
• Store holiday decorations, such as plastic Christmas trees and ornaments for reuse in the following year. Good quality decorations could be reused many times.
• Donate unwanted gifts to needies through charitable organizations.
Recycle
• Separate all recyclable materials, such as metals, plastics, waste paper and other recyclables from waste stream and put them in recycling bins to facilitate recycling.

I am sorry, but (with the exception of bullet #4, this is a list of insignificant actions that may make you feel better but do very little else. All this stuff you should worry about once you have done the things that make a noticeable difference (at least in your life). If it is easy to do it usually makes no difference.

How about:
* Not using your clothes dryer any more and hanging your clothes in the sun to dry?
* Moving closer to your place of work?
* Eating no more meat and having a small family (as already suggested)?
* 5 gallon showers?
* 15 degree Celsius (60F) home temperatures in the winter?
* Local food and vacations?
* Never using air conditioning again?
* Using a warm water bottle rather than heating your house all night?
* Voting for legislation that increases the cost of polluting?

If the above is too much/too inconvenient for you don't bother with sending "electronic greeting messages instead of paper greeting cards". To clean a cow stall you use a shovel, not a toothbrush.

Many more ideas (categorized by unscientifically estimated impact) here:
http://polluteless.com/Tips_Tricks_Advice_Main.html
 

Offline Karsten

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What are the simplest ways to "go green" ?
« Reply #9 on: 26/11/2009 03:06:04 »
However, this is all very very small potatos compared to a single coal fired power plant. Since nothing in the next two or three generations of humans will replace fossil fuel power plants, I see no particular moral imperitive to abstain from a good Porter House Steak on such grounds.

Gosh, if every person thought like this! Who will replace fossil fuel power plants in the next two or three generations? Certainly not the people who feel no moral imperative to act even though they see that their actions do damage. Nope, it probably will be the people (or their children) who began worrying, educated themselves, and smartly acted beginning today.

“The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crises maintain their neutrality” Dante Alighieri
 

Offline litespeed

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What are the simplest ways to "go green" ?
« Reply #10 on: 01/12/2009 19:34:18 »
Karsten - You wrote: "The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crises maintain their neutrality”

I see only one great moral crisis these days, and it has nothing to do with fossil fuel plants. It has to do with whether or not the leadership in Iran actually intends to do what it repeatedly tells us it intends to do to its various religous adversaries.  You know, a tramp steamer into Amsterdam with a nuclear weapon to avenge the 'Blasthemy Cartoons'. Perhaps London?

Certainly NYC. Maybe they are just kidding....
 

Offline glovesforfoxes

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What are the simplest ways to "go green" ?
« Reply #11 on: 02/12/2009 15:33:36 »
So what you're saying litespeed is that there is one great moral crisis happening in the world at this very moment? Just to clarify.
 

Offline itisus

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What are the simplest ways to "go green" ?
« Reply #12 on: 04/12/2009 05:44:21 »

No, I don't have children. Quite fortunately at the age of 18 ;D

Keep up the good work.  That is the #1 best way to reduce your environmental impact.  Imperfect half-copies of your genes are not likely to prevent the coming population implosion and meanwhile you can enjoy a life of your own (though preferably not alone).  You can have the ultimate environmental impact of a starving African without the hunger and flies and disease and violence and all.

Being vegetarian (or nearly so) is also a great help and a good way to stay healthy longer.

Biking for local errands is both green and healthy and cheap.

Not wasting electrons on computer forums would probably help, but there are limits.

On other matters:
Fossil fuels are expected to run out within 300 years in any case, absent a rapid conversion to alternatives.  After that, the human carbon footprint will be zero.  But there also may be no humans.
 

Offline litespeed

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What are the simplest ways to "go green" ?
« Reply #13 on: 09/12/2009 21:51:42 »
glovesforfoxes - You wrote: "So what you're saying litespeed is that there is one great moral crisis happening in the world at this very moment?"

Yeah, that's what I am saying.  Theo got an Islamic Note pinned to his chest with a very effective blade.  Perhaps the US has better alpha-ray detectors then Amsterdam or The Hague. Am I correct that Islamic Immigrants to The Netherlands must submit to video's of men kissing each other?

GEE. After all, There Are No Homosexuals in Iran.  The term of record is Soft Targets. OF COURSE they want to exterminate the Zionists.  And perhaps they are maniac enough to try that. [After all, the little rat his very own self tells us a nuclear war with Israel would exterminate the Zionists, but would only damage the Islamic Umah.] But perhaps they really really don't like free hookers for the climatistas this month in Copenhaggen.

Who the heck knows. The next mushroom cloud could appear in any of the various Infidel Strong Holds.  But be comforted.  Although their U235 devices are quaranteed to work [Hiroshima Little Boy was not even tested before use - THAT was the Plutonium Fat Boy use at Nagasaki]. It is unlikely to be much more powerful then the Hiroshima device.  Accordingly, anyone more then a two miles away will likely survive the event.

 

Offline glovesforfoxes

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What are the simplest ways to "go green" ?
« Reply #14 on: 10/12/2009 03:49:09 »
Can you rephrase/explain your post? I don't understand a lot of parts of it.

To say that there is one moral crises happening in the world is a gross underestimation. Look at Tibet.. The illegal war in Iraq.. Darfur.. Rwanda.. to name a few.

Anyway, this is severely off topic - feel free to start a new one in reply to this (and mods/admins can move these posts if they wish)
 

Offline litespeed

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What are the simplest ways to "go green" ?
« Reply #15 on: 12/12/2009 00:23:30 »
gloves

You are correct I have strayed from the topic, and am more then willing to have my posts redirected by the moderators as they see fit. However, I can not help myself sometimes. For instance: "The illegal war in Iraq". 

The Saydamn Kleptocracy posed three threats. The lesser threat, from a foreign point of view was to it own population. It was a gangster government where Saydamns sons could abduct, rape or murder any number of women they set eyes on. Meat hooks for the Swamp Arabs etc. The second threat included various chemical and other nasty weapons. 

Indeed, Saydamns own generals believed the regime had such weapons. After all, what gangster doesn't want to be thought of as the worst and the baddest bad ass of all. However, the third threat was actually really really bad.

Specifically, Iraq was an effective totalitarian state.  Saydamns totalitarian threat by itself was medeocre at best. However, such well orchestrated gangster/totalitarian states can swap one maniac top-guy for another without much difficulty. The obvious example is the swap-out of the Shaw of Iran for, well, just name them.

The true and enduring success in Iraq was to dissasemble the totalitarian structure root and branch.  All the kings horses and all the kings men will not but humpty dumpty together again. I find it odd the need to explain how total advance in civilization is nearly entirely to reduce the power of individual Alpha Males. To me this is so entirely obvious as to be self evident. Yet persons such as yourself find military action against a gangster rapist alpha male thug regime to be illegal.

 

Offline AllenG

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What are the simplest ways to "go green" ?
« Reply #16 on: 12/12/2009 01:07:58 »
Hang your clothes to dry.
Ride a bicycle when practicable.
Raise a backyard or container garden.
.....Yard foul are not difficult to raise as well.
Swap your lights to LEDs or at least compact florescents.
Jumpers produce less CO2 than coal plants.
 

Offline litespeed

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What are the simplest ways to "go green" ?
« Reply #17 on: 12/12/2009 01:35:21 »
Allen - Very good post!  I especially like the air dried laundry, and remember it well my very own self! I would add set your winter indoor thermostat at no more then 65F.

PS: What is a jumper?
« Last Edit: 12/12/2009 01:41:40 by litespeed »
 

Offline peppercorn

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What are the simplest ways to "go green" ?
« Reply #18 on: 12/12/2009 17:21:11 »
What is a jumper?
I like the woolly kind! Mmmm, warming!
 

Offline AllenG

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What are the simplest ways to "go green" ?
« Reply #19 on: 12/12/2009 19:39:22 »
Jumper= Sweater.
 

Offline litespeed

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What are the simplest ways to "go green" ?
« Reply #20 on: 16/12/2009 01:31:24 »
pepercorn & allen

I get it now. Warm clothing IS way more efficient then coal fired power plants. It also helps if you simply acclimatize yourself to cooler ambient temperatures. This is not as hard as it might seem. Just turn down your thermostat over a week or two, and you will be surprised how soon you will forget the 'Jumper'.  I just checked my home thermometer and it reads 64%F.

Sitting here at the computer in a simple long sleaved shirt seems actually warm. I could do it in short sleaves.  This is nothing I have done to 'save the planet' but is simply the result of a natural inclination to efficiencies.  Also, for several years I lived in a house boat that, in Winter, could not be heated much above 55F.

It reminds me of a Mark Twain Story about moving West.  He very significantly noted how Native Americans riding on the train seemed immune to cold weather, and might even be seen without extra clothing at all.  Bare skin while the White Passengers were all huddled up in blankets.  I believe it.



 

Offline AllenG

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What are the simplest ways to "go green" ?
« Reply #21 on: 17/12/2009 06:23:41 »
I live in Georgia, about an hour due east of Atlanta.
A couple of summers ago I visited Inishmore, one of the Aran islands off the coast of Ireland.
I was freezing.  The beach was filled with Norwegians splashing around in the North Atlantic. 

They were covering themselves in sunblock, I was covering myself in heavy wool.

The body can acclimate to an amazing range of temperatures. I'm sure if the Norwegians had been visiting Georgia they would have been sweltering in our 95Ί days. To me anything under body temp is not too bad and I'm not driven indoors until it hits about 105Ί or so.
 

Offline litespeed

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What are the simplest ways to "go green" ?
« Reply #22 on: 19/12/2009 21:07:53 »
Allen

I live in the North Georgia Mountains not all that far from you. However, we do not suffer either the high temperatures or humidity that plague just about the entire East Coast of the US, including Atlanta [we are about 1,000 ft higher]. Many Floridians come here for the summer, and return to Florida for 'The Winter'. HA!

I spent thirteen years in the purgatory known elsewhere as Chicago Land. The North Georgia Mountains have no Winter that I can identify as such over the last decade. In fact, Chicago type Winters are actually life threatening. I commuted by train one half mile walk on each side. My closet was hung with specific coats for specific temperatures.

My best one was home made. I took a Burbery Trench coat and added an extra liner from another trench coat. Then I filled the space between the two liners with quilted ticking, sort of like the old Mao coats. It was good from about ten degrees F. above zero to about thirty below. And it looked GOOD. Not like a Michelan man. From that I worked up with outer clothing designed for about ten degree intervals.

Man, I can not tell you how wonderful life is when you only need one or two separate coats for the entire year.

PS: Here is a funny story about Chicago Land that reveals more then you really need to know about the local character. Having moved to Naperville from DC I would catch the train at the local station bound for 'Da Loop'.  Its cold as hell but I am comfy in my custom burberry and Bavarian style hat.

The train holds about 1,000 passengers, about half of whom enter from the Naperville Platform. So I am looking around me and see hundreds of passengers accumulated at the specific places where the doors will open. Almost all of them are in the regulation Chicago Winter uniform that consists of nothing more then a long wool or mohair jacket, and no hats. IMHO only good for 32 degrees or above.

I'm thinking these guys are REALLY tough, and what a wimp I must be, dressed up in a custom made rain coat just for such weather. Then the train pulls up and stops. The doors open, and the fifty or so passengers in my gaggle begin filing on.  Not ten seconds later they ALL come RUNNING out and DASH to the next car just in time. There was actual fear in some of their faces.

So. What was all this panic about? The car had lost its heating and these guys were already at their very limit just waiting to get on. I simply sat down and read the newspaper in my nearly empty car. Chicago Land. It only got worse over the years....

« Last Edit: 19/12/2009 21:31:03 by litespeed »
 

Offline AllenG

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What are the simplest ways to "go green" ?
« Reply #23 on: 20/12/2009 01:41:25 »
As a child we used to have a place in Hiawassee to escape the heat.
There was a swimming hole there called, The Blue Hole.  It is called such because your lips would turn blue when you swam in it.  When we first would arrive the best you could do is wade in knee or waist deep for a few minutes.  By the end of the week we would just dive in and start splashing around. 
When I would return home the community pool would feel like bath water. I could feel myself sweating in the water.
 

Offline litespeed

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What are the simplest ways to "go green" ?
« Reply #24 on: 20/12/2009 19:22:48 »
Allen - I live just a few miles from Hiawasee!  It was a deliberate choice based on lots of climate research plugged into a Lotus Spread Sheet. Basically, the local area has the best four seasons climate in the US. Perhaps the entire planet. Furthermore, the local area is awash in golf courses, spectacular lakes [I had a houseboat and ran the entire 175 mile shoreline several times], good enough restaurants and both major and minor cultural activities.

For instance, we have the world famous Campbell School of Craft arts. You can buy a $500 hand woven basket, or learn blacksmithing as well as very high level woodworking crafts and a multitude of musical workshops. Very high level stuff.

We also have a school of lapidary arts that includes gem cutting and identification. Cabachon and precious metals workshops as well as many sorts of mineral field trips. I actually found a small perfect ruby that was so good it got stolen from the field buckets!

I also belong to the local gun club that has a very good 100 yard range with a covered firing line. It has a multitude of competitive activities including Cow Boy Action Shooting, and some very good trap shooters. I got my 50 in a row badge a couple of years ago.

The local college is going from two year courses to full four years, with all the activities that brings, plus The Georgia Mountain Fair has a full roster of talent and shows. Willy Nelson performed recently. There is even a decent local independent playhouse that seats more then 500 people. 

Property taxes are about one tenth paid in Chicago, and the house itself about half price but with three or for times as much lot space. A similar view in California would add one million to the price, but you might not have good parking.

Despite all this, it is still a backwater and I miss DC. The actual biggest news in years here was that Wallmart recently opened an new store. I recently sold the boat since I had used up the lake and it got boring after about 900 miles of slow cruising. A covered slip cost a small fortune of about $200 per month. The boat wasn't worth much more then a single years slip fee anyway.

But I babble on.  I sing the merits of the place because I am a bit of a booster. Brand new never occupied houses are available for about $180K and are in plentiful supply. Most of them have two bedrooms two baths plus garage on about one acre. Come one come all! The market will eventually rebound and you will miss all the bargains! Only two hours from from the Atlanta Airport on a multi lane road!

Am I off subject.....

 

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What are the simplest ways to "go green" ?
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