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[Off Topic] What else can we do?

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by Sir Guacamolaf, May 22, 2017.

  1. Sir Guacamolaf

    Sir Guacamolaf The good kind of fat

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    One of my key motivations in buying a Tesla was reducing my footprint on the planet. 2 years, no gas.

    I can't get solar panels (issues beyond my control).
    I've replaced some meat in my diet with vegetables.

    What other ideas do you have that I can incorporate in my life, without compromising the quality of my life, that are good for me, and good for the planet?
     
  2. lunitiks

    lunitiks ˭ ˭ ʽʽʽʽʽʽʽʽʽ ʭ ʼʼʼʼʼʼʼʼʼ ˭ ˭

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    Take short breaths. In this way, you help keep the CO2 level to a minimum.

    Takes some practice, but it's worth it
     
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  3. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Well-Known Member

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    Replace *ALL* of the meat in your diet and go completely plant-based. Eliminate dairy and eggs from your diet as well. Over half the global warming gasses are emitted by factory farms. The Amazon, the "lung of the earth", is being cleared to create grazing pastures for cows. Changing your diet is the easiest and most effective way to have a positive impact on the environment and global climate change. You'll have a more positive impact by doing this than packing your roof with solar panels.

    I have solar, drive an electric car, and eat a completely plant-based diet save two or three times per year. I've gone for the trifecta. Never been happier!
     
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  4. Sir Guacamolaf

    Sir Guacamolaf The good kind of fat

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    @AmpedRealtor - yeah .... it's hard though. I do intend to eventually cut out meat completely. However dairy and eggs, that's hard to cut out. Lets just agree to not waste those ;-)

    Ok Diet, Solar, EV .. what else?

    PS: Good for u
     
  5. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    Better insulation and appliances to reduce home energy usage?
     
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  6. Takumi

    Takumi Member

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    Become and Uber/Lyft driver on the way home or when not in a hurry. Use that Tesla to pay for itself and let those less fortunate than you know what they're missing. ;)
    Go Organic - go pesticide free and try to help Apis and his/her family help us keep this spaceship together.
    Minimalism - break the consumer cycle and give yourself more time for yourself instead of keeping track of all your things. How often do you use your things? If you do need to buy anything, try to buy local - less shipping = less fossil fuels used.

    I think that's a good start. If you really want more, I'm pretty sure there are others willing to chime in.
     
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  7. Sir Guacamolaf

    Sir Guacamolaf The good kind of fat

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    @Saghost - also more efficient appliances at home (already done).
    .. didn't understand that part.
     
  8. Takumi

    Takumi Member

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    I know you're being sarcastic, but this does bring up the point that the human body can become more efficient. I'd recommend yoga or any other positive self-help habits, but I don't want to be a hypocrite. :p
     
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  9. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Start reducing the use of plastic in your life. It's destroying our oceans and killing ocean life.

    I'd love to say I've completely eliminated the use of plastic, but can only say I use much less than I used to and continue looking for ways to 'be better'. Leftovers are stored in the fridge (or frozen) in glass canning jars. I use waxed paper to wrap cheeses. I don't put produce in plastic bags at the grocery. I use recycled plastic garbage bags that will biodegrade. When given the choice, choose the products in plastic-free containers. Buy recycled plastic products whenever possible.
     
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  10. Takumi

    Takumi Member

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    The Honey Bee is a member of that genus. Overuse of pesticides and fertilizers (usually fossil fuel related) are, well I think you get the picture.
     
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  11. Sir Guacamolaf

    Sir Guacamolaf The good kind of fat

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    Ok that's a good suggestion. I put trash in paper bags inside a big plastic bin (the plastic bin gets reused).
     
  12. Takumi

    Takumi Member

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    Or reuse them. Pinterest has lots of ideas. This is one of my favorites.
    [​IMG]
    Diy recycled crafts & ideas

    But I do agree, plastic use needs to be reduced or eliminated. Besides that, glass also feels classier.
     
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  13. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    As I see it,

    SEQUESTERED CARBON = BAD
    "CARBON CYCLE" CARBON = BENIGN

    That is, if you envision making use of fossil fuels as the opening of a Pandora's Box, then anything you can do to keep that lid down is to the benefit of the planet. Certainly, different energy sources differ in their release of CO2 per unit energy, but in truth it's not just coal, not just crude oil, fracked oil, shale oil - but so-called "clean burning" natural gas also derives from carbon that's been out of the carbon loop for, mostly, 300 million years. The earth is a very different place from that era.

    "Carbon-cycle" carbon includes effectively anything of current derivation. Firewood is the most obvious example, but any vegetal matter - grasses, foodstuffs, even peat - I consider harmless and the reason is that in instantaneous geologic time - that is, within a few thousand years and usually far less - those compounds will be releasing their constituent carbon, usually through the effects of ground- or termite-hosted bacteria but direct oxidation, aka burning, works as well - back into the atmosphere.

    That being the case, the seemingly counter-intuitive action of warming your house through a relatively dirty woodfire rather than through the clean flame of natural gas is, in fact, less of a burden on our environment. It's simplistic but usefully truthful to realize that log will out in nature rot and decay and its carbon will become atmospheric CO
    2, and so the fact that it's occurring now rather than in 20 years is meaningless But the natgas? Keep it back in the Carboniferous-era stratum where it's been sequestered for close to half an aeon.

    The more draconian, unpopular...a certain person joined to it the word "inconvenient"....truth is that the most powerful way to lessen our footprint is by limiting - severely - our offspring. 0 is best; 1 is good; 2 is borderline satisfactory....and every number beyond that is unjustifiable by any calculus.
     
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  14. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    One large waste of plastic is plastic bottles which comprise a large part of energy use and landfills.
    I personally never buy any beverage in a plastic bottle. I drink tap water in reusable bottles. I don't drink any flavored water (all that sugar and chemical additives are bad for you). The only liquid I drink from a container is wine (and the occasional beer) in glass bottles which I recycle.
    1.) Only 1 in 5 plastic bottles are recycled

    2.) Americans consume over 8.6 billion gallons of bottled water

    3.) Most tap water is more heavily tested and regulated than bottled water

    4.) Plastic water bottles can take between 400 and 1,000 years to decompose

    5.) It requires 3 times the amount of water to produce a plastic bottle than it does to fill it

    6.) Bottled water costs over 1,000+ times more than tap water

    7.) Last year, the average American used 167 water bottles, but only recycled 38

    8.) In many taste tests, tap water was preferred over bottled water

    9.) The NRDC conducted a comprehensive four-year scientific study of 1,000 brands of bottled water. The results showed that one third of the bottled waters violated their own industry standards for water quality

    10.) It takes 17 million barrels of oil to produce plastic bottles yearly. This could fuel 1 million cars for a year
     
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  15. Sir Guacamolaf

    Sir Guacamolaf The good kind of fat

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    @AudobonB - indeed. The only thing I'd add to that, sometimes burning wood is not an option. So natural gas is a better way out than burning oil. Of course, if you can do solar + electric that is the best.

    @mspohr - yep I drink tap water. GF insists on bottled, but I've bugged her enough into reusing the bottles now. Still the transport etc .. not best. But then she is 100% vegetarian, and I am not.
     
  16. Max*

    Max* Not Banned

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    Get involved in your local school districts education program.

    My kids are being taught the typical recycle stuff. But in addition, they had an art project where you bring in items to school to "reuse" them that you would usually throw out that are not recyclable (some bottle caps, scraps of clothing, broken pens/markets, I can't remember much else but they had a long list of suggestions....).

    While the art project is very minor and seems like a gimmick, it changes the way kids think about items. Instead of "o, this has only 1 use, once I'm done, it goes in the trash" it's "well, I can re-purpose this item instead of sending it to the landfill"
     
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  17. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    As msphor notes, stop drinking bottled water of any kind. It's of no higher quality than most tap water, and the impact of the plastic bottles and shipping make it very bad for the planet. I never drink water out of a plastic bottle and I'm astouned by the number of people who do -- it's almost a universal bad habit.

    Also reduce you air travel whenever you can. In other words, eliminate discretionary trips by air.
     
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  18. brkaus

    brkaus Active Member

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    I'm not a tap water fan. Know it's safe, flavor isn't to my liking unless cold. But I do use a Britta filter plus S'well bottles instead of plastic water bottles.
     
  19. Topher

    Topher Energy Curmudgeon

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    Have you looked into the possibility of community solar farms?

    I like the rule of knowing the person who grew your food on a first name basis. And knowing how they grow that food. Designing a sustainable farm which includes animals (and thus produces animal based food) is easier than an equivalent vegetable only farm. A significant portion of the harm food production creates is in HOW, not WHAT. Organic carrots can be grown badly.

    We were asked for suggestions. No hypocrisy will be inferred.

    Many of these things are for turning a no longer needed item into a bunch of smaller not needed items. Not a win. Recycle that plastic bottle (or better yet, don't buy it), and forego the wrapping paper altogether.

    A bit over simplified, but yes. The atmosphere can't tell where the Carbon came from. The question is, are you increasing the amount of carbon sequestering by your actions.

    My suggestions:

    1) Plant trees somewhere there currently aren't trees. (Subsidize someone else doing that).
    2) Calculate you carbon footprint. Pledge to reduce it every year by at least 10%. Become aware of it.
    3) Compost. Stop using that garbage disposal.
    4) Only go to the dump/transfer station/trash pickup, 4 times per year. If your trash starts to smell, you aren't doing it right.
    5) Don't buy anything without considering its life cycle.
    6) Get a composting toilet.
    7) Increase the insulation in your house.
    8) Add interior storm windows to your windows (disclaimer: shameless plug).
    9) Convert your lights to LEDs.
    10) Turn stuff OFF.
    11) Turn down you water heater to 120°F (49°C) unless you have people at risk.
    12) Get a competent independent energy audit done. Particularly one that uses a blower door test to determine locations of air leaks (disclaimer: another shameless plug).
    13) If building a new home, make it to pass Passivhaus standards.
    14) Think about heat pumps for heating, cooling, and hot water.
    15) Grow some of your own food. (start with an herb garden right near the kitchen).
    16) Get rid of the lawn!
    17) Make a (long term if necessary) plan to get to zero carbon.
    18) Learn how to operate your windows to be comfortable in shoulder seasons without supplemental heating/cooling.
    19) Read the ingredients labels.
    20) Shop around the outer edge of the grocery store, avoid the inner aisles.
    21) Buy ingredients and cook for your family.
    22) Go for walks (but don't drive to get there).
    23) Put gaskets behind all your outlet and switchplate covers.
    24) "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." -- William Morris

    Thank you kindly.
     
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  20. gavine

    gavine Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast

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    [​IMG]
    Boycott places that use ornamental fire:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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