Author Topic: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?  (Read 43563 times)

HappierAtHome

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #100 on: September 28, 2016, 06:46:22 PM »
How does being vegetarian reduce environmental impact?
Vegetables require oxygen and nutrients to grow, same as animals fish & fowl.

If you're interested in this, definitely start googling as I'm sure you'll find heaps of interesting information and viewpoints.

But in short: meat 'costs' more (in environmental terms) to produce per calorie than plant based foods do.

I'm not vegetarian / vegan, but there's good logic behind reducing meat and dairy consumption to reduce your footprint.

Fishindude

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #101 on: September 29, 2016, 07:24:20 AM »
One of the most serious environmental problems we have in the US currently is the draining of Lake Mead due to vegetable production water needs in southern Cal.

GuitarStv

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #102 on: September 29, 2016, 05:34:35 PM »
One of the most serious environmental problems we have in the US currently is the draining of Lake Mead due to vegetable production water needs in southern Cal.

If you're concerned about water usage, it takes nearly two thousand gallons of water to make a pound of beef, and more than five hundred gallons to produce a pound of pork, wildly more than is used in producing corn or soy beans.  (http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/freshwater/embedded-water/).  There are a few plant food items that have higher water requirements than animals grown for meat, but on the whole eating vegetables is less wasteful from a water perspective.

jengod

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #103 on: September 29, 2016, 07:35:04 PM »
I guerilla-gardened a little this week: planted a pomegranate seedling in an oddball strip near our house that gets some accidental water but that no one really maintains. If it survives (hard to say), in about five years it should be producing fruit that anyone in the neighborhood can harvest and enjoy.
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HappierAtHome

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #104 on: September 29, 2016, 08:10:43 PM »
Will walk (rather than drive) to a sibling's house this weekend to drop off some plant seeds.

Another sibling is giving me a second-hand washing machine, which means I won't be buying a new one*.

*Yep, lots of people buy second-hand appliances, but I've been looking and looking and had no luck, and at some point you just really need to be able to wash your clothes properly right?

I guerilla-gardened a little this week: planted a pomegranate seedling in an oddball strip near our house that gets some accidental water but that no one really maintains. If it survives (hard to say), in about five years it should be producing fruit that anyone in the neighborhood can harvest and enjoy.

This is very cool. One of my siblings used to scatter flower seeds in vacant lots as a teenager :-)

Fishindude

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #105 on: September 30, 2016, 05:25:17 AM »
If you're concerned about water usage, it takes nearly two thousand gallons of water to make a pound of beef, and more than five hundred gallons to produce a pound of pork, wildly more than is used in producing corn or soy beans.

Water consumption varies as they grow, but on average hogs consume about 2 gal of water per day.   It takes 24 weeks to get them to 250# butcher weight, or (168) days, meaning they have consumed 336 gallons of water birth to butcher.   A 250# hog will yield approx. 145# of meat, so that works out to 2.3 gallon of water per pound of meat.   Even if I'm wrong by 50 or 100%, Your math is still way off.

You also have to look at food in terms of fuel for your body.   It takes a heck of a lot more pounds of vegetable to generate the same calories and fuel that meat gives your body.   Another comment.  Not all meat eaters eat store bought, factory farmed meat.   The majority of our red meat comes from venison, and we also eat quite a bit of fish that I catch.   This is a very low cost, renewable resource that doesn't damage the planet in any way that I'm aware of.

I'm not convinced that a vegan diet has any true positive environmental impact other than between your ears.   

Fresh Bread

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #106 on: September 30, 2016, 06:05:19 AM »
If you're concerned about water usage, it takes nearly two thousand gallons of water to make a pound of beef, and more than five hundred gallons to produce a pound of pork, wildly more than is used in producing corn or soy beans.

Water consumption varies as they grow, but on average hogs consume about 2 gal of water per day.   It takes 24 weeks to get them to 250# butcher weight, or (168) days, meaning they have consumed 336 gallons of water birth to butcher.   A 250# hog will yield approx. 145# of meat, so that works out to 2.3 gallon of water per pound of meat.   Even if I'm wrong by 50 or 100%, Your math is still way off.

What about the water that is used to grow the pigs' food? Add that in. Even if they eat scraps and forage it's still relevant.

They way I look at the point people above are trying to make about meat consumption and the environment is that if everyone consumed at levels in the western world it wouldn't be sustainable. If everyone wanted to eat venison and catch fish it wouldn't be sustainable either. Hence the need for the western world to just slow down a bit on consumption or more and more forests will be cleared for grazing for example. I've heard some people eat meat at every meal.

GuitarStv

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #107 on: September 30, 2016, 06:05:55 AM »
If you're concerned about water usage, it takes nearly two thousand gallons of water to make a pound of beef, and more than five hundred gallons to produce a pound of pork, wildly more than is used in producing corn or soy beans.

Water consumption varies as they grow, but on average hogs consume about 2 gal of water per day.   It takes 24 weeks to get them to 250# butcher weight, or (168) days, meaning they have consumed 336 gallons of water birth to butcher.   A 250# hog will yield approx. 145# of meat, so that works out to 2.3 gallon of water per pound of meat.   Even if I'm wrong by 50 or 100%, Your math is still way off.

You've forgotten to account for the water used by the feed given to the animals.  Pig eat a lot of food, and the food that they eat requires water to be produced.  You've also forgotten the large amounts of water used during processing of the animals, water used for cooling, and washing.  Try adding in that amount to your calculations to fix them.  (It's not my math.  It's from the National Geographic link that I posted, and they use numbers provided from the Water Foundation Network.  If you want an alternate view point, you can look at this study commissioned by the pork farmers of the US: http://www.pork.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/11-133-matlock-uofark.pdf which breaks down the specifics of water usage in farming.  There appears to be a lot of room for improvement in the future based on that report.)


You also have to look at food in terms of fuel for your body.   It takes a heck of a lot more pounds of vegetable to generate the same calories and fuel that meat gives your body.   Another comment.  Not all meat eaters eat store bought, factory farmed meat.   The majority of our red meat comes from venison, and we also eat quite a bit of fish that I catch.   This is a very low cost, renewable resource that doesn't damage the planet in any way that I'm aware of.

Absolutely, if you're eating low calorie vegetables and completely avoiding higher calorie grains and fruit you'll require many more pounds of vegetable product to fuel your body.  That's not a very common scenario but something to be aware of.  If you're eating a large amount of soybeans, barley, potato, wheat, and similar you'll be getting a very large amount of calories in an environmentally efficient manner.

There doesn't exist enough wild game to feed all the people in the US.  Very few people can live only off of meat that they hunt/fish.  When referring to meat consumption, usually it's assumed that we're talking about average meat consumption - which is factory farmed.


I'm not convinced that a vegan diet has any true positive environmental impact other than between your ears.

It's certainly possible to choose an environmentally damaging vegan diet.  As a general rule of thumb they're usually less environmentally damaging than a high in animal product diet, but it's always important to look at total costs of the food you eat and make informed choices.

Fishindude

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #108 on: September 30, 2016, 06:45:25 AM »
Good discussion.   In truth, you can be low impact or high impact regardless of your diet choice.

Same as livestock's food requires water, soil does not just magically produce food every year.  Growing plants requires fertilizer input, lime, tillage, fuel, equipment, weed control, etc., etc. to maintain production, all of which require resources and cost $$.

No fact here, just a personal observation ..... The all veggie diet will require a lot more toilet paper too, meaning you are killing more trees :)

GuitarStv

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #109 on: September 30, 2016, 08:05:02 AM »
Good discussion.   In truth, you can be low impact or high impact regardless of your diet choice.

Sure.

On the whole though, a diet heavy in animal products tends to be worse for the environment (and a significant amount of evidence shows that it's less healthy for you).  The lowest impact plant based diet will be less impact to the Earth than the lowest impact omnivorous diet.  If you ignore this in your argument you're not being balanced or fair in your argument.

Proper soil management and crop rotation can radically reduce the need to add manufactured chemicals to the soil.

Quote
No fact here, just a personal observation ..... The all veggie diet will require a lot more toilet paper too, meaning you are killing more trees :)

There's nothing forcing you to wipe paper on your ass to clean it.  Many better alternatives exist, from reusable cloth wipes to getting a bidet.

rupanama

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #110 on: September 30, 2016, 08:37:08 AM »
1. Biked to work
2. Eat vegetarian
3. Use a toilet with quart jars of water in it to reduce flush volume
4. Use only LED or CFL lights at home.
5. Keep the thermostat lower (62-65 deg. F. in the winter).
6. Use a smaller refrigerator -- going from a 22 cu.ft. fridge to a 15 cu.ft. fridge cuts the electricity usage by quite a bit, although I forget the numbers exactly.

Fishindude

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #111 on: September 30, 2016, 08:40:39 AM »
On the whole though, a diet heavy in animal products tends to be worse for the environment (and a significant amount of evidence shows that it's less healthy for you).  The lowest impact plant based diet will be less impact to the Earth than the lowest impact omnivorous diet. 

That's your story and you're sticking with it, I get it.

Unfortunately, your average "proclaimed vegan" is hopping into their SUV and making trips to Whole Foods, Fresh Tyme and other such overpriced, trendy stores to buy stuff professed to be "organic", "non GMO", "natural", "earth friendly", etc.,    In reality they have no idea how it was grown or where it comes from, and in many cases they would be as well off saving money and buying at their home town Kroeger store.

I won't take the TP discussion any further, that was just for fun.

GuitarStv

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #112 on: September 30, 2016, 09:44:45 AM »
Unfortunately, your average "proclaimed vegan" is hopping into their SUV and making trips to Whole Foods, Fresh Tyme and other such overpriced, trendy stores to buy stuff professed to be "organic", "non GMO", "natural", "earth friendly", etc.,    In reality they have no idea how it was grown or where it comes from, and in many cases they would be as well off saving money and buying at their home town Kroeger store.

That may well be true.  Your average consumer of animal products is going to be doing even worse than that.

Look, I'm not really militant about this sort of thing.  I do believe that you follow a healthy diet with a reduced environmental impact while eating animal products - it's how I try to live.  You appear to be arguing that animal products are no more environmentally damaging than plant products, which contradicts nearly everything I've ever read.  If you have any studies or evidence that supports your belief that the average vegan diet has the same environmental impact as the average omnivorous diet, I'd be interested to see them.

Jack

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #113 on: September 30, 2016, 03:00:34 PM »
Unfortunately, your average "proclaimed vegan" is hopping into their SUV and making trips to Whole Foods, Fresh Tyme and other such overpriced, trendy stores to buy stuff professed to be "organic", "non GMO", "natural", "earth friendly", etc.,    In reality they have no idea how it was grown or where it comes from, and in many cases they would be as well off saving money and buying at their home town Kroeger store.

That may well be true.  Your average consumer of animal products is going to be doing even worse than that.

Look, I'm not really militant about this sort of thing.  I do believe that you follow a healthy diet with a reduced environmental impact while eating animal products - it's how I try to live.  You appear to be arguing that animal products are no more environmentally damaging than plant products, which contradicts nearly everything I've ever read.  If you have any studies or evidence that supports your belief that the average vegan diet has the same environmental impact as the average omnivorous diet, I'd be interested to see them.

Are there hypocritical vegetarians? Of course. Does that excuse false equivalences by non-vegetarians? Absolutely not. On average, meat tends to be less eco-friendly than vegetables.

But it's not that simple. For example, north Georgia is the chicken capital of the world. That means, for me, chicken is likely to be a lot more eco-friendly than, say, lamb (most of which is shipped from Australia or New Zealand) -- and by that I mean the margin is even wider for me than it is for people elsewhere. Similarly, peanuts from south Georgia are a lot more eco-friendly, for me, than almonds from California. Are almonds from California more eco-friendly (on a per-calorie basis) for me than relatively-local chicken? Probably, but it's uncertain enough that I'd have to do research to answer it.

HappierAtHome

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #114 on: October 06, 2016, 06:56:33 PM »
Visiting someone for dinner tonight and we'll be walking there and back. No need to burn fossil fuels when someone's only walking distance from our house!

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #115 on: October 07, 2016, 05:56:29 AM »
I got 170 MPGe on a 10-mile trip yesterday. I'm pretty sure that's a personal best, and way better than the EPA rating for my car.

mm1970

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #116 on: October 07, 2016, 01:18:50 PM »
Unfortunately, your average "proclaimed vegan" is hopping into their SUV and making trips to Whole Foods, Fresh Tyme and other such overpriced, trendy stores to buy stuff professed to be "organic", "non GMO", "natural", "earth friendly", etc.,    In reality they have no idea how it was grown or where it comes from, and in many cases they would be as well off saving money and buying at their home town Kroeger store.

That may well be true.  Your average consumer of animal products is going to be doing even worse than that.

Look, I'm not really militant about this sort of thing.  I do believe that you follow a healthy diet with a reduced environmental impact while eating animal products - it's how I try to live.  You appear to be arguing that animal products are no more environmentally damaging than plant products, which contradicts nearly everything I've ever read.  If you have any studies or evidence that supports your belief that the average vegan diet has the same environmental impact as the average omnivorous diet, I'd be interested to see them.

Are there hypocritical vegetarians? Of course. Does that excuse false equivalences by non-vegetarians? Absolutely not. On average, meat tends to be less eco-friendly than vegetables.

But it's not that simple. For example, north Georgia is the chicken capital of the world. That means, for me, chicken is likely to be a lot more eco-friendly than, say, lamb (most of which is shipped from Australia or New Zealand) -- and by that I mean the margin is even wider for me than it is for people elsewhere. Similarly, peanuts from south Georgia are a lot more eco-friendly, for me, than almonds from California. Are almonds from California more eco-friendly (on a per-calorie basis) for me than relatively-local chicken? Probably, but it's uncertain enough that I'd have to do research to answer it.
This is a very interesting discussion.  I think about this a lot.

I've got friends who are environmentalists... posting things about not letting helium balloons go, worrying about the Pacific Garbage patch, always using reusable bottles.  They buy local and free-range meat.  But they eat a lot of it (mostly paleo).  They drive large vehicles, and take a lot of vacations in their large vehicles.  They also like to shop and go through a lot of clothing...they donate it, but my own opinion is that most of that stuff just gets thrown in the trash.  "Refuse" before "recycle".

Anyway, this week I rode my bike 2x.  I brought my lunch from home.  I didn't cook much on the weekend, so lots of my food was vegetarian this week.  For my son's baseball game, I took a bottle of water and lunch from home, so no snack bag trash.

Every time I empty a bag of *something* (beans, rice, bread, whatever), I think about "is there a better way" (like Zero Waste Home).  But: I don't have a ton of free time.  At one point, our local city told us that they wanted us to put plastic bags in our recycle bins.  That was great, because it was easier than taking them to grocery stores.  Now the grocery stores don't even collect plastic bags, because we've outlawed them.   But within the last year, the city doesn't WANT the bags because they clog up the recycling process/ machines.

So...what to do?

deborah

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #117 on: October 07, 2016, 10:29:46 PM »
Use cloth bags. Our area has banned stores using plastic bags. You have to bring your own reusable bags to the supermarket.

Fresh Bread

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #118 on: October 07, 2016, 10:47:41 PM »
Use cloth bags. Our area has banned stores using plastic bags. You have to bring your own reusable bags to the supermarket.

But what about the food wrapping plastic bags? We return these to the supermarket and the company that collects makes play equipment or something. Maybe the poster above could contact the company that was doing the collections and find another pick up  point?

Other options are making your own bread and buying from bulk stores where you can use paper or your own containers. Bring your own small bags for produce maybe. We've been collecting all our plastic as a sort of audit and all the bags and wrappers seem avoidable  if we were to make everything from scratch. Milk bottles are a problem for us, I wish we could get it delivered in glass bottles.

stripey

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #119 on: October 08, 2016, 10:02:55 AM »
Looks like I'm spoiled for choice without knowing it as there are two brands of milk in glass at my local IGA (I'm in Perth). As well as cream in glass jars too. However nobody I know locally will re-use the bottles. Olive oil is another story though- there are a couple of local vendors where I can take the cleaned bottle back for a re-fill.

I can also get bread from some local supermarkets in paper, or can ask to use my own bag at a bakery. I did have a go at sourdough bread for a while but decided I didn't eat enough bread to be bothered to Feed the Damn Starter. I used to make bread in my undergraduate years quite a lot, because it was cheap and money was super-tight the first couple of years.

The local butcher looked at me very strangely when I asked him to fill up my own re-useable glass container with mince instead of using a plastic bag, but they've been quite good about that and other things. It took a little bit of courage to ask though.

As for bags for produce (e.g. loose potatoes or spinach), I use small net bags with a drawstring- a mixture of commercially available ones (Onya Bags have a range in Australia) and some DIY ones from leftover scraps of netting from a camping project (they came up really well).

obstinate

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #120 on: October 08, 2016, 03:44:32 PM »
I have started to flip off all the power trees except the Wifi. At this point my monthly usage should be at or below 200 kWh. I will also be moving closer to family soon to reduce the length of flights I need to make. Currently in Silicon Valley, will move to NYC -- this will also allow getting rid of cars.

obstinate

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #121 on: October 08, 2016, 03:47:54 PM »
I also intend to begin buying high quality offsets this year. The company I work for offsets its carbon emissions and allows employees to participate in their offsetting scheme. This is not shitty tree-growing offsets. This is real stuff, like animal manure methane capture, landfill methane capture, and abandoned mine gas capture. I am in the market for a good carbon calculator to calculate my total footprint. If anyone knows of a good one, please post it here.

jengod

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #122 on: October 14, 2016, 06:53:38 PM »
My gardener didn't come this week (which is weird and not like him and if he doesn't reappear when he is next due back I will definitely call and make sure he's OK), so I went to the garage, got out the push-reel lawn mower I bought at an estate sale earlier this year and mowed my own damn lawn! No gas, no electricity, extra exertion for me, grasscycling in place builds soil and above all, it was kind of fun!
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MoonLiteNite

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #123 on: October 15, 2016, 01:47:56 AM »
I held in a fart, less methane in the air!

GuitarStv

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #124 on: October 16, 2016, 03:28:42 PM »
My gardener didn't come this week (which is weird and not like him and if he doesn't reappear when he is next due back I will definitely call and make sure he's OK), so I went to the garage, got out the push-reel lawn mower I bought at an estate sale earlier this year and mowed my own damn lawn! No gas, no electricity, extra exertion for me, grasscycling in place builds soil and above all, it was kind of fun!

You have a gardener?  :P

kpd905

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #125 on: October 16, 2016, 03:51:22 PM »
I just switched our electricity to the renewable energy option (WE Energies in WI), which will add about 2 cents per kw.  I turned the water heater down a bit and adjusted our thermostat to try to cut gas costs and maybe break even.

This means about 70% of my electricity will come from wind instead of 53% coal in the normal plan. 

I decided to make the switch when I was reading a pretty cool article about Elon Musk and Tesla: http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/06/how-tesla-will-change-your-life.html
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Fresh Bread

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #126 on: October 16, 2016, 04:50:05 PM »
Our latest gas bill says our usage is 20% less than this time last year (aussie winter). We only use gas for hot water and a single space heater, and our loft insulation was already in by this time last year so I think the big decrease is a result of underfloor insulation and blocking gaps & drafts. I don't think we used the gas heater any less (probably more) but it must not have been working as hard.  Or maybe we skipped a whole lot of showers :P

jengod

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #127 on: October 16, 2016, 10:17:55 PM »
My gardener didn't come this week (which is weird and not like him and if he doesn't reappear when he is next due back I will definitely call and make sure he's OK), so I went to the garage, got out the push-reel lawn mower I bought at an estate sale earlier this year and mowed my own damn lawn! No gas, no electricity, extra exertion for me, grasscycling in place builds soil and above all, it was kind of fun!

You have a gardener?  :P

Yup. $60 a month and for the time being, worth every penny.
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syednaeemul

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #128 on: October 16, 2016, 11:02:12 PM »
I remember seeing a campaign called Meatless Mondays, was it on Oprah?

Though this week I've failed at MM, I'm starting something else if anyone wants to join (maybe a gauntlet perhaps?) - Water-only Wednesdays! Intermittent fasting is supposed to bring great health benefits, and add to that having water only to flush away toxins, and this may just become a winner.

HappierAtHome

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #129 on: October 16, 2016, 11:31:31 PM »
I've heard of Meatfree Mondays being a Paul McCartney thing, but it could be Oprah as well!

Count me out on fasting, but I'm sure if you started a gauntlet there'd be plenty of people interested :-)

cincystache

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #130 on: October 17, 2016, 09:50:09 AM »
Recently moved closer to my job and started biking to work every day. I also drop off my recycling on my way to the office on my bike. (we don't have curbside pickup in my town). Next step is to get rid of one of our two cars.

HappierAtHome

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #131 on: October 28, 2016, 03:36:31 AM »
This week I've done a bit of work in the garden to keep switching over from ornamental plants to edibles.putting the water and fertiliser to good use!

Sister has shared some great research on in-ground worm farms and bokashi bins, so I think I know what my next obsession will be ;-)

Half-Borg

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #132 on: November 02, 2016, 01:56:43 PM »
I'm on a business trip. Found two guys from the same company who are going on a business trip to my home town tomorrow.
So we carpool. One car instead of two going 300 km.

It's not saving any of us money because we're all getting reimbursed from corporate anyway.

aoptic

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #133 on: November 02, 2016, 02:38:51 PM »
One of the most serious environmental problems we have in the US currently is the draining of Lake Mead due to vegetable production water needs in southern Cal.
Honestly, Farming of any kind in a desert is a problem... The issue in S.Cali and S. Nevada (*cough* Vegas) is they made desert into a  Psuedo-arable land by shipping water from all over the place to 2 places that are by all definitions deserts talk about causing environmental issues. The irony is all those tree huggers that live in S.Cali are the reason we have so many  issues in the West... Laws don't seem to be helping them...

aoptic

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #134 on: November 02, 2016, 02:57:49 PM »
1. Biked to work
2. Eat vegetarian
3. Use a toilet with quart jars of water in it to reduce flush volume
4. Use only LED or CFL lights at home.
5. Keep the thermostat lower (62-65 deg. F. in the winter).
6. Use a smaller refrigerator -- going from a 22 cu.ft. fridge to a 15 cu.ft. fridge cuts the electricity usage by quite a bit, although I forget the numbers exactly.

Add a few as well
4 + Do it smart use sensors to turn off and/or turn on lights in the house
5 + Use smart vents and thermostats to automatically find points of the house to heat or call (look at ecobee)
6 + Smart fridge or unplugg frig at night (if you dont want to pay for it) or get a green extension cord that puts your refrigerator on a timer by turning off in the middle of the night or when you set it look at this article from the UK (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1283447/Smart-fridges-turn-save-power.html)

aoptic

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #135 on: November 02, 2016, 03:17:55 PM »
I just switched our electricity to the renewable energy option (WE Energies in WI), which will add about 2 cents per kw.  I turned the water heater down a bit and adjusted our thermostat to try to cut gas costs and maybe break even.

This means about 70% of my electricity will come from wind instead of 53% coal in the normal plan. 

I decided to make the switch when I was reading a pretty cool article about Elon Musk and Tesla: http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/06/how-tesla-will-change-your-life.html

Thanks for the link this was awesome!

HappierAtHome

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #136 on: November 02, 2016, 07:25:16 PM »
Yesterday, not today: double-glazed windows were finally installed to replace the beautiful but useless original windows at the front of the house. And ooooh my are they making a difference already! The noise reduction was also lovely overnight, if less environmentally crucial. Months of research and quotes have paid off.

socalteacher

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #137 on: November 02, 2016, 09:18:09 PM »
1. Dual pane windows
2. Solar panels
3. Catch shower water in a bucket for watering plants or flushing toilets
4. I am vegan and wife is 80% vegan
5. Live 2 miles from work (still drive as kids come with me to work)
6. LED bulbs
7. Low water yard
8.

HappierAtHome

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #138 on: November 04, 2016, 06:28:10 AM »
The thermal efficiency measures we've made to the house are working! Can confirm that we now do not need air con on when the temp gets into the early 30s (celsius). Waiting to see how it goes tomorrow at 37 degrees. Note: I have an autoimmune disease that affects my temperature regulation, so just toughing it out when the weather gets hot isn't one of my options. Luckily, modifying my house to minimise my need for heating and cooling IS an option :-)

It's now hot and dry enough that I have to actually water my plants. I'm collecting water from a dripping tap and from the shower to use on the garden. It's a small thing for sure, but every bit counts!

Half-Borg

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #139 on: November 04, 2016, 01:31:10 PM »
I don't know about Australia, but here in Germany it's not really worth it to save water. And this is said by a eco-vegan magazine.
Delivering water to your house takes almost no energy.

What you have to watch is what you do with the water. Running clean water from the tap to the drain is no problem. Putting lots of detergents in IS a problem. Heating water is also a huge energy drain, which you should watch.

Not that I'm saying you should waste water for no reason.

deborah

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #140 on: November 04, 2016, 01:59:18 PM »
Australia is the driest inhabited continent (I think Antarctica is drier). Most of it is desert (which stretches to most of the coast in West Australia). We have multi-year  droughts - the east had an eight year drought that ended a few years ago, and most of Queensland was in drought for several years until this winter. Most places have permanent water restrictions. Water is a valuable, limited resource. Especially potable water.

jengod

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #141 on: November 04, 2016, 09:14:04 PM »
Australia is the driest inhabited continent (I think Antarctica is drier). Most of it is desert (which stretches to most of the coast in West Australia). We have multi-year  droughts - the east had an eight year drought that ended a few years ago, and most of Queensland was in drought for several years until this winter. Most places have permanent water restrictions. Water is a valuable, limited resource. Especially potable water.

Ditto Southern California. We are a very dry "Mediterranean climate" and water is imported from far away at great environmental and economic expense.
Waste is lost profit made visible. #zerowastehome #permaculture

deborah

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #142 on: November 04, 2016, 09:38:57 PM »
Australia is the driest inhabited continent (I think Antarctica is drier). Most of it is desert (which stretches to most of the coast in West Australia). We have multi-year  droughts - the east had an eight year drought that ended a few years ago, and most of Queensland was in drought for several years until this winter. Most places have permanent water restrictions. Water is a valuable, limited resource. Especially potable water.

Ditto Southern California. We are a very dry "Mediterranean climate" and water is imported from far away at great environmental and economic expense.
When I visited LA I was appalled at the profligacy of water usage there. It really stunned me, as we keep on being told we have similar climates. Sprinklers in gardens! Huge patches of public lawn being sprinklered! Toilets that use obscene amounts of water each flush (every toilet in Australia for the last 20 years or so has had to be dual flush, and now use 3 litres for a normal flush and 4.5 litres for a heavy flush, as against the US standard of 13 litres)! Of course, these are just things that we get drummed into us. You guys probably come over here and are amazed about different forms of profligate water usage.

Anatidae V

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #143 on: November 04, 2016, 10:34:04 PM »
I ditched a bunch of old paper, this reducing our potential need to upgrade size of house in the future.

I also kept the house closer and pulled blinds shit this morning to keep the heat out, fingers crossed we won't need to much air con this arvo.

HappierAtHome

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #144 on: November 04, 2016, 10:57:36 PM »
I also kept the house closer and pulled blinds shit this morning to keep the heat out, fingers crossed we won't need to much air con this arvo.

It's 34 outside now and we haven't put on the air con yet. Keeping an eye on how far we can push it :-)

Astatine

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #145 on: November 04, 2016, 11:45:05 PM »
- Clothes hung out to dry on the washing line.
- Clothes washed in cold water (we do use detergent though - we find that collars of shirts and tops get revolting after a few months if we don't use detergent)
- Walked to the shops
- Today's breakfast, lunch and dinner will be vegetarian (we're not vegetarian but often eat vegetarian or vegan food)
- Bought a never-been-used spice rack from a fundraiser fete. I've been looking for ages for a solution to our somewhat chaotic spice and herbs situation in the pantry and was super happy to have found this spice rack :D

HappierAtHome

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #146 on: November 05, 2016, 04:59:50 AM »
I also kept the house closer and pulled blinds shit this morning to keep the heat out, fingers crossed we won't need to much air con this arvo.

It's 34 outside now and we haven't put on the air con yet. Keeping an eye on how far we can push it :-)

Ended up needing the air con for an hour (5-6pm). Not bad!

Back down to 25 degrees tomorrow, so won't need any heating or cooling again until the next hot day.

Anatidae V

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #147 on: November 05, 2016, 05:12:45 AM »
I also kept the house closer and pulled blinds shit this morning to keep the heat out, fingers crossed we won't need to much air con this arvo.

It's 34 outside now and we haven't put on the air con yet. Keeping an eye on how far we can push it :-)

Ended up needing the air con for an hour (5-6pm). Not bad!

Back down to 25 degrees tomorrow, so won't need any heating or cooling again until the next hot day.
We used it for 3 hours. Pretty good, and mostly because I insisted on a walk at 4pm. Looking forward to the milder weather tomorrow!

jengod

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #148 on: November 05, 2016, 12:23:34 PM »
Australia is the driest inhabited continent (I think Antarctica is drier). Most of it is desert (which stretches to most of the coast in West Australia). We have multi-year  droughts - the east had an eight year drought that ended a few years ago, and most of Queensland was in drought for several years until this winter. Most places have permanent water restrictions. Water is a valuable, limited resource. Especially potable water.

Ditto Southern California. We are a very dry "Mediterranean climate" and water is imported from far away at great environmental and economic expense.
When I visited LA I was appalled at the profligacy of water usage there. It really stunned me, as we keep on being told we have similar climates. Sprinklers in gardens! Huge patches of public lawn being sprinklered! Toilets that use obscene amounts of water each flush (every toilet in Australia for the last 20 years or so has had to be dual flush, and now use 3 litres for a normal flush and 4.5 litres for a heavy flush, as against the US standard of 13 litres)! Of course, these are just things that we get drummed into us. You guys probably come over here and are amazed about different forms of profligate water usage.

Yes, we have a long way to go. I think it's because the country overall has sufficient water, the desert areas have been settled largely by people who assumed they could transplant their East Coast planting and watering practices. But it's completely unsustainable. People are trying to change things but it's slow going.

Our major local, the Los Angeles Times actually has a designated reporter for the "drought" beat. Local environmentalists are working on expanding the use of "rain gardens," rain barrels and other water sequestration practices. We are only allowed to water outside on two designated days of the week, etc. It's not enforced in any meaningful way and people are ambivalent about the changes, so...we'll get there.

FWIW, I love your Australian garden/food/ecology writer Jackie French and steal lots of ideas from similar Australian ecological thinkers, especially the permaculturalists.
Waste is lost profit made visible. #zerowastehome #permaculture

Anatidae V

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Re: What small things did you do today to reduce your environmental impact?
« Reply #149 on: November 05, 2016, 04:37:02 PM »
Australia is the driest inhabited continent (I think Antarctica is drier). Most of it is desert (which stretches to most of the coast in West Australia). We have multi-year  droughts - the east had an eight year drought that ended a few years ago, and most of Queensland was in drought for several years until this winter. Most places have permanent water restrictions. Water is a valuable, limited resource. Especially potable water.

Ditto Southern California. We are a very dry "Mediterranean climate" and water is imported from far away at great environmental and economic expense.
When I visited LA I was appalled at the profligacy of water usage there. It really stunned me, as we keep on being told we have similar climates. Sprinklers in gardens! Huge patches of public lawn being sprinklered! Toilets that use obscene amounts of water each flush (every toilet in Australia for the last 20 years or so has had to be dual flush, and now use 3 litres for a normal flush and 4.5 litres for a heavy flush, as against the US standard of 13 litres)! Of course, these are just things that we get drummed into us. You guys probably come over here and are amazed about different forms of profligate water usage.

Yes, we have a long way to go. I think it's because the country overall has sufficient water, the desert areas have been settled largely by people who assumed they could transplant their East Coast planting and watering practices. But it's completely unsustainable. People are trying to change things but it's slow going.

Our major local, the Los Angeles Times actually has a designated reporter for the "drought" beat. Local environmentalists are working on expanding the use of "rain gardens," rain barrels and other water sequestration practices. We are only allowed to water outside on two designated days of the week, etc. It's not enforced in any meaningful way and people are ambivalent about the changes, so...we'll get there.

FWIW, I love your Australian garden/food/ecology writer Jackie French and steal lots of ideas from similar Australian ecological thinkers, especially the permaculturalists.
How interesting! I guess in Australia the whole country doesn't have enough water, so we don't have to worry about re-education. I know Jackie French, but not as an ecology writer! She's written some fantastic children's and young adult books.