Sunday, July 8, 2007

Save the Cheerleader Carbon, Save the World

Just like a carbon offset, this post offsets the previous post, my fine evening out in Jacksonville. Such close proximity in posting should successfully over-shadow the last post, more so because this one is a little bit more serious than a bit of rain, a bad coffee and cognac. This one, though being written on 08.07.2007 is about my thoughts from the Live Earth Concert held on 07.07.2007

I have been aware of the green house effect as a kid and I feel unsuccessful in doing something about it when I am hopefully all grown up. But we humans have that problem. Being aware is one thing. Acting on it after careful thought is another. Keyword(s): careful thought. Then there are always others who act without thought and solely on misdirection, but we thinkers are not talking about them, are we?

The concert worked. At least on me. It kick-started this dormant chain of thoughts and ideas that have been trying to bubble up for a while. I want to contribute to the effort, so here goes the list. Global warming is evident. The hypocrites argue that it needs more research or that it is non-existent on a cold day (ha ha ha), but they also accept creationism and intelligent design completely disregarding all scientific proofs and hypotheses. So, they can all eat the proverbial dirt.

I gathered the following list from the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC): link
I will go along the list and write my views under the points.

1. Raise your voice.
This is what this post is about and my voice will not stop in the confines of these css codes.

2. Chose an efficient vehicle.
This is a sensitive topic for me and I will come back to it at the end.

3. Drive Smart
I get my engine tuned up professionally. The monthly prompt email from my car (one of those onstar thingies) lets me know what tire pressures are and what they should be. The last one said they were the right amount. The air filter is working great. I will have the dealers check on it in another thousand miles at the next oil change.

4. Drive less
Jacksonville, Fl has a bus system that is not favourable to the everyday commuter unless your places to go revolve around the bus stop. Mine does not. The roads to the grocery store (Publix, Target) are not designed for pedestrians and bikers. It is absolutely ridiculous the route I have to take to go to Publix. Southerners love privacy too much to do effective carpooling. I do try to bundle my errands together to reduce the amount of driving. I need to try harder.

5. Buy Energy Efficient Appliances
I live in an apartment complex that is the oldest in this area. They are trying to make as much money as possible on rent before they get leveled and the land is taken over by a developer. I do try to turn the thermostat up during the day so it does not run while I am at work and is not too hot for the puppies. I will however plan my finances around energy efficient appliances when I buy my own house.

6. Replace light bulbs with compact fluorescent tubes
I will run down to Walmart Target tomorrow. Update: 8 July, replaced four 100 watt and four 60 watt bulbs with eight 60 watt energy saving bulbs

7. Weatherize your home or apartment
We check filters regularly. Like I mentioned, this is an older apartment complex. I will check with the management this week to see if they can do any further insulation.

8. Chose Renewable Energy
As far as I know, JEA does not have any renewable energy options. Suggestions are welcome.

9. Buy clean energy certificates
I will do that after consolidating all my credit card debt. Yes, Mr Citibank, I do not love you as much as you love me.

10. Join an awareness group
On further research, I will join a group that does the most efficient work towards the prevention of global warming. I will be a member of a group by the end of August 2007.

11. Recycle
I buy recycled toilet paper, kitchen napkins and organic food. I try not to print anything at work or at home unless it is absolutely essential. I switch off monitor screens, unplug chargers when not required and switch off lights when not in use. I have to stop using those styrofoam cups for coffee at work. Also, it will be paper, not plastic when I go grocery shopping next.

Now we come to number 2. Chose an efficient vehicle
Here it goes. The normal roads in Jacksonville are good for cruising along at a comfortable 45 mph at which my car gives me around 33 miles per gallon (mpg) or 14 Kilometers per liter to my metric readers. That is a sort of good mileage. I love driving long distances and thats where I get 26 mpg on highways. Not too bad. It is the crazy driving I do, the accelerations that affect my mileage. On a quick zero to whatever, the mileage drops to 19mpg which is way better than the Suburbans, Expeditions and Hummers that seem to have filled the landscape. I would really want to buy a Toyota Prius (55 mpg or 23 kmpl). Actually a Honda Insight would be ideal but Laya wouldn't fit. The problem is that I love acceleration. It fuels my life and I want it every day. It does have something to do with my age and raging hormones or maybe it is something I will grow out of. Therefore, I am presented with this moral dilemma. I want to do something for the environment but I don't want to give up my car. If not anything, I want a quicker car. Now, the option to buy clean energy certificates sounds relieving.

I do see myself in the future with a hybrid car and a motorcycle to fuel those speed-desires.

All you thinkers are tagged. I will not mention your names here but I will personally drop messages. If you are an activist, consider yourself tagged. The rules are to write down what steps you are taking today and would like to take to reduce global warming.


Sakshi said...

I will do this tag but it will take some times.

Janefield said...

aahhh...a serious tag...but atleast an original one...good thinking, keep it up!

Sparx said...

Ooooh, you rotter, you're going to make me confess on my blog how green I am (not)!!! Will do in the next day or so!

Shek said...

I hope everyone understands that this is an opportunity to start new practices towards going green.

i will be looking forward to it

thanks for the appreciative words. Now do the tag

we need to leave a livable world for Spud and his tadpoles.

Anonymous said...

Dear Shek,
Hey am new here,like your blog- just wanted to share this- next time you are off to the grocery- try taking a canvas bag (they are available all over the place) -this is far better than paper bags-since we need to conserve our trees too...

shub said...

Nice post. It is the little things isn't it, like making an effort to keep a coffee mug at work, instead of styrofoam, remembering to reuse plastic bags while grocery shopping. The basic things like turning off lights/fans have been drilled in by our folks since childood, mercifully.
And to reduce, reduce, reduce reliance of tissue rolls, especially in the kitchen.
Came here via DP.
Will take up the tag. :)

Shek said...

We need to save the trees too. I will look for canvas bags the next time I go. Good tip.

I have been using a rag (that i thankfully remember ot regularly wash) in the kitchen. Usage or rolls has gone down to about 20%

Remember now, it is a tag that we have to practice...not something that we write and lose it in the archives!

Santosh said...

Nice post. Living in Tallahassee, FL, I understand your pain about not having easily accessible public modes of transportation. I'm actually going to follow some of your tips but first thing will be to get rid of my SUV and get a more gas effecient car as soon as I can afford it.

shub said...

Tag done :) Here -

shub said...

err, never mind, pliss to just visit blawg :)

arpana said...

Tags Done -

Shalini Gowrisankar said...

Hey! I will do this tag..
I ve posted on global warming in my blog too..
check it out


Shalini Gowrisankar said...

Thanks for visiting my blog..

Ya, deforestation is being one major cause here .. but, there are a few NGO s and individuals as well who take some initiative against it..