Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Carbon Footprint

Yesterday was interesting. While in the house to cool down and get a drink, I read an article on Facebook. It had been written by a republican who was wondering why global warming wasn't being recognized by his political party. Does this mean that FINALLY we as a nation can get more proactive about cutting down on fossil fuels and start healing and nurturing our planet? I suppose we will see.

The other point of interest was that Mac had downloaded an app for his iPod that would figure a person's carbon footprint. He entered our data. I don't know how accurate this app is, but it said that we have a carbon footprint of 8.8. The average american household has a carbon footprint of 23. The average european household has a carbon footprint of 11...... or so this app professes. I don't think we do without much. Mac would like satellite TV but that isn't going to happen. It is simply too expensive. If the garden comes in better we will have a better diet. Food, like satellite TV, has gotten pretty expensive. Once the house is actually finished, we can make use of our entire space and we will not be lacking in much.

I'm torn between being proud of our carbon score and being ashamed. If we have a score of 8.8 without putting forth much effort towards that goal, what could we do if we tried? Last year I had a clothesline that I just strung over the tops of some fenceposts. It did the job but really didn't hold a great deal. This year I need to get up a serious clothesline. That is an EASY addition to reducing that footprint. Our house was designed on a passive solar idea. A good sunny day in the winter and the house takes almost no heat. It also cools quite easily just with cross flow ventilation. The only thing lacking is adequate shelter from the sun on the west side. I planted a maple there last year but that is going to take some time. We hope that we can build a roofed deck out there this summer. It will shade in the summer and give a good wind buffer in the winter. Hopefully we will cut down our utility usage all the way around.

It is a one-two punch though. It isn't just that I have to stop taking away from the environment, but what can I give back? I will try harder to get more trees planted this year. I need to control the water/run off in the woods better. I think I can induce more percolation and less washing away of soil. I don't know.... there is more I can do. I will need to give it more thought. I suppose finding a way to go electric with our vehicle will be the biggest thing. We need to be as energy independent as we can manage. I am as serious as the grave about converting a car to electric. Mac thinks I am ridiculous. But I have a strategy. First I will have to come up with a way for the car to look cool. Something like the sports car from the mini series, "The Prisoner". Mac has always LOVED that car. Then I will have to get his older brother to tell him that the idea could work. I could research the idea for two years and he would give me no credence but if Jim makes an off hand comment that it could work THEN it will be a wonderful idea! It will be my project..... Operation "Convince Jim". I don't do it for myself..... I do it for the planet.


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