Monday, August 25, 2008

We are So Green!

I make fun of environmentalists, mostly because zealots of any stripe bug me. But in many small ways we do try to act responsibly toward the air and water and soil.

For example:

Washed the car on the lawn and not the driveway. I don't wash the car very often, but this summer the water is going into the grass and not the gutter.

Got a rain barrel. For watering our comically small garden and the lovely flowers my wife planted by the front door, the rain barrel works great.

Burned E-85. Yes there is tremendous controversy about whether ethanol production is good or bad for the environment, but one thing is clear: burning it in your car instead of gasoline produces fewer emissions. Here's hoping that some other fiber will replace corn as the main source of ethanol.

Hung laundry outside to dry. Some suburbs have outlawed this practice. Do it anyway.

Recycled trash. We've always been faithful recyclers. This summer, the county where we live finally switched to a 'single-sort' system so we no longer have to have separate containers for cardboard, paper, metal, glass, and plastic. Single-sort makes it a lot easier for us, a little cheaper for the hauler, and a little cheaper for the county recycling facility. I'm told recycling participation may double with the new system. That's a good thing, isn't it?

Recycled printer cartridges. Some businesses hereabouts have put in ink-jet cartridge recycling boxes, making it more convenient to get rid of these.

Recycled furniture. I was all for hauling a bunch of used furniture from our basement to the dump. How we accumulated all this is a closely-guarded family secret. Suffice it to say that the basement is chock full of tables and chairs and couches and dressers that we will never use. My wife (who is more tolerant, caring, and frugal than I) found somebody to give it to. Hooray!

Used hand tools. My neighbor loves power tools. He attacks his driveway with a huge snow blower in the winter and a whiny, smoke-spewing leaf blower in the fall. He's on a military mission and has the ordnance to support it. We could have borrowed one of his chain saws, but I just handed my son a bow saw and sent him into the trees to trim the deadwood.

Took the Megabus. Mass transportation! For the masses!

Re-used packaging. We sold a bunch of textbooks via Marketplace. Reselling textbooks is an ancient recycling ritual in college towns, but we also re-used packing material that I had saved.

These ten little things make me feel better even though they probably don't mean a damned thing in the grand sweep of history.

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