Sunday, November 30, 2008

Save money, energy and pollute less. . . welcome to the New World

Welcome to the New World. I've been saying that a lot lately. Since the election of O-Man, I feel like we really are living in a New World. Imagine what it would be like right now if we'd been relegated to the hell of looking forward to a McCain-Palin administration? What would be different except there would be so many more of us who felt desperate and hopeless. So yes, we really have entered into a New World, but that new world has broader ramifications than just having a liberal, intellectual, person of color in the White House. The two biggest things I see in our future, on a personal basis, is that each and every one of us is going to have to learn to behave in two new and different ways.

1. We've got to start working in a personal way to protect our environment. Each of us can do things in our daily life to make a difference. We can cut nack on the amount of electricity we use. We can cut back on our gas consumption. We can cut back on the amount of trash we send to landfills. We can eat more wisely which will benefit the Earth and our bodies. There are so many things we can do and if everyone does, it will change the world. Welcome to the New World.

2. We've got to quit spending money like mad idiots and riding the merry-go-round of consumerism. Yea, it will fuck up the economy for a while. A lot of rich people will lose their asses and a lot of not so rich people will lose even more than their asses, but we've got to stop this insanity. We don't need all the bullshit we're buying.
We also don't need our government to fund all the bullshit they're funding. These motherfuckers are spending 100s of billions of dollars like my granddaddy used to spend nickles on his grandkids.

Here are some of the things I'm doing:
I'm driving less. I'm consolidating trips. I'm just not making a lot of trips I used to. It's difficult to do when you live 2 miles off the hard road and over ten miles from the nearest convenience store and 20 miles from the nearest town, but then again, if I can cut out one or two trips a week, it really mkes a difference.
i've got a light fixture in my dining room and another in my bedroom that have six bulbs in each of them. When I'm home just doing regular stuff, I don't need six, sixty watt bulbs burning over my ass, so I've unscrewed all but one of them in each fixture and replaced that one with one of those newfangled flourescent screw in bulbs. So instead of burning six sixty watt bulbs, I'm burning one 40 watt flourescent. When folks come over for dinner I screw them all in. . . the lightbulbs. I've done the same thing with the light over my bathroom vanity. I don't need all six of them burning so I've unscrewed four of them. That will not only use a lot less electricity, it will cost me a lot less on my electric bill. See, all this works both ways.

The less bullshit I buy, the less industrial pollution is occurring. The less electricity I pay for, the less pollution occurs.

There are lots of things I really need to do. I need to quit using so many plastic bag and use more of those cheap reusable plastic containers. I need to put some more insulation around my front door. I need to change the air filter in my truck. I need to quit buying gallon jugs of drinking water and start using reusable containers (my well sucks).

Other things I've done. . . turned down the temperature of my hot water heater. Nobody needs scalding hot water coming out of their faucet. Close off rooms that aren't in use. I've got two rooms that don't need to be heated since nobody uses them regularly and no water lines run through or under them. Turn down the heat at night.

Bottom line: There are lots of things we can all do to save energy, cut pollution and spend less money.

If you've got any good ideas, please let me know.

[Hat tip to Hawa at Frackintruth.typepad.com for the seed of this post. Go see her.]

9 comments:

crystal dawn said...

You can buy one of those thermostats with timers on them. They allow you to set different temperatures at different times of the day...so when you aren't at home, you could set the temp a little less and it actually saves you a lot. I don't have one, but I turn mine down 2 or so degrees every morning before leaving for work. I prolly save 5-10 bucks a month that way. The thermostats are found at Lowes for something like 40 bucks.

Changing light bulb types is also very effective. We actually switched all our bulbs to those flourescent ones and saved another 10 bucks a month easily.

I've also heard to unplug any unused appliances because they draw energy even when they are not in use.

Another trick is to insulate your hot water tank with special insulation found at Lowes also. Costs something like 20 bucks.

I too drive less. Luckily for my husband, I'm not much of a shopper either so I don't have much of a need to go many places. Plus, I'm usually too inebriated to drive. ;)

rainywalker said...

Great ideas I am using many of them. I selected you for the Superior Scribbler Award, So please check my post for details. Congratulations!

SagaciousHillbilly said...

CD, So you're usually inebriated and your husband Arroz is always huffed up. . . what a team! You could be one of my neighbors!

Rainey, I'll check it out.

crystal dawn said...

oh no... arroz is NOT my husband. No please, why have you assumed such nonsense?!?

SagaciousHillbilly said...

I understand why you'd want to deny it CD. If confronted, he'd probably do the same.
However, I would never deny you. I'd give you an open ended charge card to Sally's.

arrozconpollo said...

Strange that you would assume I was married to CD. We have a similar sense of humor but we are as different as night and day. I have heard she is the controlling type, while I must be free. You can't have a controlling woman at home if all you want to do is wander around and huff paint under bridges.

Sal Kilmister said...

Good ideas. I shall use them well.

Michael said...

"If you've got any good ideas, please let me know."

Yeh, if you live out in the sticks, you can buy a small wind-turbine to generate some or all of your electricity. Like these: http://www.aeoluspower.co.uk/?gclid=CLujt8qXqJcCFQ2IMAod-DrOJA Not only does it give you a supply of green electricity, it also helps encourage and support the burgeoning eco-industry. Alternatively, you can install solar panels, but they are more expensive.

There are numerous other little things like double-glazing or triple-glazing your windows, loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, composting food scraps, switching to a green energy supplier (If you don't get the windmill.) There are lots of tips about all that stuff as part of an energy saving checklist here: http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/calculator/checklist
You can also calculate your own specific carbon footprint there to see how well you're already doing: http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/calculator/start

You can also petition your local authority to adopt greener policies, such as, for example, if they don't already sort rubbish collection into recyclables, then try and get them to adopt it, yet that depends if you have the time and motivation for all that etc.

Finally, if you're really committed, become a vegetarian, as massive amounts of the world's resources are squandered in meat production and it would also have the added benefits of making more food available for more people all over the world (it takes approx ten times the amount of land to feed people via meat production than via crop production) whilst also letting you get to be kinder to animals.

About the light bulbs: maybe the low energy halogen type are better than fluorescent as they latter have been linked with migraines: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/3320402/Energy-saving-light-bulbs-blamed-for-migraines.html Those are the ones I use. they're a bit dim until they warm up, but then they're fine and they last virtually forever.

Hope some or any of that helps.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

Michael. All good ideas. I've looked into a wind turbine. Unfortunately I don't have enough wind around here.
I am very interested in solar panels, especially the passive kind.
Here in "the sticks" I raise pasture fed organic chickens ducks and turkeys. In the spring we will begin raising pasture fed beef. We farm using a minimum of grain feeds and those are all organic. . . except for those damn horses that my girls insist on keeping. I couldn't possibly be vegetarian. . . it's just not natural.
We already recycle. My trash amounts to a small half filled bag per week.
I don't think I've heard of halogen bulbs that weren't used in special fixtures. I'll look into that. The last house I built had a number of halogen light fixtures and they went through bulbs faster than incandescents.
Thanks for the good ideas!