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Old 07-25-2008, 06:04 PM
 
285 posts, read 970,083 times
Reputation: 53

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Between Boone Pickens commercials (that is the name I think), Green Planet channel, rising oil prices and other issues. I have been really thinking of ways to be more green.

Little ways like investing in those reusable bags (I forget sometimes but it is getting better!), needed some appliances and made sure they were the "most" efficient in the energy star ratings, and rain barrels. Replaced all my bulbs with energy ones. (had to replace them as none worked when I moved in!)

I am excited Sencera is investing itself here in Charlotte. Read about Duke Power buying renewable power.

How about you? Are being inspired? Have you taken any "green" steps?
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Old 07-26-2008, 09:01 AM
 
4,093 posts, read 10,154,343 times
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Yes. We are more careful with where/how often we drive, we are very efficient with our electricity used. We got our new a/c installed and got the best energy efficiency available. We also got EE appliances last year.

We reuse bags, try to buy things that don't have a lot of packaging with it.....we eat mostly whole foods, like produce, rice, potatoes, that sort of thing....and try to not get many processed foods with lots of cans and such to throw out.

We would LOVE to build a solar and EE home, but the cost is so prohibitive....we have looked into it and the cost is about double!!!! Unless we are absolutely sure we will never move again, I can't see that it would be good for resale.

Dawn
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Old 07-26-2008, 02:33 PM
 
Location: CLT native
4,280 posts, read 10,038,363 times
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His name is T.Boone Pickens, and when a life long oil man spends his fortune on alternative energy, I think it is important to take note.
I also do believe in the Peak Oil theory, although many do not.

We were pretty resourceful already, before the recent trends.
From our home, our 'circle of activities' is less than a 9 mile radius.
That is work, school, church, doctors, most dining, etc.
Beyond that, I commute more than 50% of the time on two wheels, and have a Mini Cooper on order to replace my sedan (which already gets 20/30).

Regardless of what we conserve, China and India will buy everything we do not on the market...
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Old 07-26-2008, 11:21 PM
 
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I love Boone. I've worked with him. He is a real Texas original and a very smart man. What he has to say about alternative energy is worth listening to.
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Old 07-27-2008, 07:04 AM
 
285 posts, read 970,083 times
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I joined up on his site, www.pickensplan.com

I am too impressed with him. He is the first of a "real" and working solution that makes sense. Still needs tweaking but excellent points expressed on his site.

One of the reasons I moved to where I am is because I am within 2 miles of everything I use and dh works half a mile away. I love that our car can last on a tank of gas for 2 weeks and it is NOT a fuel efficient car. That hopefully will come later after I save up for it.
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Old 07-27-2008, 07:11 AM
 
755 posts, read 2,242,659 times
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I think the "green" movement is approaching this whole thing the WRONG way. They are trying to play on people's sense of guilt and responsibility, when they should be playing on people's sense of laziness and greed.

I use canvas shopping bags (I love the ones from Harris Teeter) because they are MUCH easier than plastic or paper bags. They hold more and are a lot easier to carry. It takes much less effort to load and unload the car after doing a big shop.

I use CFLs because I hate changing lightbulbs. They're not only cheaper on the electric bill, but they last sooo much longer than incandescent bulbs!

I drive a hybrid because I hate getting gas. I don't just hate paying for it, I hate pumping it, and with my hybrid I don't have to do it very often at all.

I recycle everything, but where I live recycling is free and we have to pay for garbage pick-up.

I compost, because it's easier than bagging yard clippings.

So there you go. The lazy person's guide to living green!
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Old 07-27-2008, 07:19 AM
 
285 posts, read 970,083 times
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LOL I love the "lazy" approach.

Speaking of reusable bags, Home Depot have awesome ones that are 99 cents, huge and best of all has a clasp on the top....

They roll up so you can leave them upfront where you can see them and won't forget...
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Old 07-27-2008, 08:19 AM
 
3,774 posts, read 6,995,021 times
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my family is taking a big 'next step' right now. Since we both live so close to center city and work, we've decided to become a one-car household. Having so many vehicles before was really a waste when I think about it, but when gas was $1.75/gallon it was easy to maintain. Rising gas prices inspired us to reduce our demand as much as possible. Not only to be green, but also so we could more easily afford to spend money on things we enjoy more than cars (like our daughter and retirement!).

So last week I gave up my deck parking spot uptown and got a SmartRide pass from CATS (unlimited travel on buses and light rail) and we will be listing a vehicle for sale this week.

Sooooo, anyone want a used Volvo V40? Leather interior, sunroof and dealer maintained! I'll make you a heckuva deal!

We figured if we were gonna live in an urban area, we may as well take advantage of some of the urban perks. And when prices for everything are skyrocketing, free transportation equals a heckuva deal (my office offers the bus pass for free if you voluntarily give up your parking spot).

We're also hoping that only having one car will encourage better efficiency from all our driving trips.

Not to mention, we are gonna save so much $$$$!
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Old 07-27-2008, 04:03 PM
 
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I have been trying to be green for years and everybody thought I was some sort of crackpot. I moved from Europe where they charge you for plastic bags so it's natural to bring your own - it's funny how until recently the packers at HT would look at you funny when you said you brought your own bags. Garbage where I come from is weighed by the garbage trucks at pick and you are charged for how much you dump but recycling is free so guess what is the heaviest load. The recycling bins are as big as the normal garbage bins. Petrol has always been more expensive and I have to admit when I came here I started to drive more and more - have to cut back now. I have always hung my washing out to dry (private garden with privacy fence) but our hoa forbids it but on the news the other night there was an item about hanging laundry out to dry. NC is one of the states which is looking into forbidding HOA's from forbidding you not to hang laundry outside. Some states have already outlawed the old rules - a bit like the satellite dish rule. I love it that at last people are starting to look at what we are doing to the earth and that we have a responsibility to look after it.
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Old 07-27-2008, 05:41 PM
 
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I personally think that 90% of the 'Green' movement is misdirected. The first wrong move was "paper vs plastic" many years ago where entire industries of a renewable resource were completely wiped out in favor of an oil based alternative that takes forever to decay. People were somehow misled into believing that by using a platic bag over a paper one that they were saving the rainforest. All they really saved was a couple of billion dollars of renewable, replanted trees from being harvested. Oh, and they saved a few hundred people from having jobs in Central Louisiana. Didn't have any affect on the rainforests... still hasn't.

I'm sort of "green" by default. i ride a motorcycle most of the time because it's fun, not to save the planet. I eat food from my garden because it's good, not because it's safer or better for the environment. I conserve water because I'm on a well and it's my responsibility to make sure that it continues to work. I built a solar heater for my pool because it was cheaper to make one than it was to pay for the energy to run one. I still own an F250 and love driving it though.

I have worked in the oil industry and believe the Peak Oil theory to be so much garbage. There's plenty of oil, even here in the USA but people have been misled into thinking that getting it is somehow "dirty" and "unsafe for the environment". In actuality that's completely untrue. The "dirty" part of any oil well can be completely managed and is in the US. It always makes me giggle when people tell me how dirty oil drilling is and then they tell me horror stories about polution in Argentina... where we get a substantial portion of our gas and oil.... which means you're causing the polution because you're buying the product from poluting companies when you could be buying oil from US companies drilling from regulated rigs. In the Gulf of Mexico, if you get caught dumping so much as a paper cup over the side you get a personal $10,000 fine. That's a personal fine that the person responsible pays. The company gets an additional $50,000 fine for every offense. Dive operators in the Gulf of mexico run dive charters to the rigs because they're some of the cleanest areas with the most diverse life available in the gulf short of the florida reefs. I have seen onshore oil wells that one year after being drilled it's impossible to find because they've been returned to "natural" status. I have sat on drilling rigs and watched deer graze 20 yards from the platform. They're unaffected by the "terrible intrusion" that we created. High gas prices are somehow "justified" by this misinformation. Meanwhile you pay the same price for gas whether it originated in the US or in Iraq because of the "global market". We've all heard about the windfall profits that the oil companies are making be are somehow fooled that this has to do with the price of OIL and not the price of GAS... the refined product of oil?

As for the whole global warming debate. It's insane that when even the scientist providing the results say clearly, "we don't have all of the data yet and what data we do have we're not sure we understand" we start making regulations that require us to change our lifestyles. Not because we have hard scientific fact but because we have preliminary data that even now is being proven incorrect. Apparently, all you need is a single bit of footage of ice melting and an appropriately alarmist message and you can get anything done. The "green movement" is a significant cash cow right now because of the massive misinformation campaigns. People are making billions off of it.

I had someone tell me not long ago when having this argument that this is "VERY IMPORTANT". When I asked if he had read the scientific studies relating to global warming and matched the results up with what the mainstream media is telling him he told me that, "i don't have time for reading stuff like that"... if it's that important then you'd better make the time to understand what you're spouting or you become just another sheep. I'm not saying that the whole global warming theory is "wrong". I'm saying that the level of understanding that we currently have doesn't justify regulation preventing something that "might" be causing it. I'm saying that maybe the data is just wrong or maybe we don't understand what it's telling us. That the data might be misinterpreted and the earth might even be cooling (as suggested by some recent research) versus warming. If that theory is proven will I then be encouraged to drive my vehicle more to stop it? I mean, really... didn't we learn anything fromt he LAST ice age?!?! ... oh, wait... we didnt' cause that one... did we?

Find out. Understand what you're voting for before you take yourself down a path that we can't return from. Be smart about how you use resources but do it because it's the smart thing to do, not because some media pundit made his dollar for the week by telling you to.
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