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How NOT to Celebrate Earth Day Today

April 22, 2010

1) Drive your kid and his science fair project to school, along with all the other parents most of whom live within easy walking or biking distance. Idle the car as long as necessary.

2) Drive across town to have coffee at your favorite place. Don’t bring your own bag for beans or  cup for coffee. Get pastries in a paper bag.

3) Drive home.

4) Drive your spouse to physical therapy.

5) Buy gas on your drive home. Go to Valero because it’s cheapest.

6) Drive to the kid’s school to drop off forgotten parts of science project.

7) Drive spouse to office. Have his co-workers drive him home, picking up the kid on the way.

8) Drive to the Delicious Wine Tasting featuring French wines. Make no attempt to carpool.

9) Drive home in rush hour traffic.

10) Drive to see Exene Cervenka at Buffalo Records.

11) Drive to the kid’s school to see the science projects and take your kid’s home.

12) Drive home knowing you did your part toward warming the planet up and melting the glaciers.

Okay, well, this is a slight exaggeration of my day. I didn’t go to Valero or idle my car. I am carpooling with Tim Cabrera to the Delicious Wine event. I remembered my own bag and cup for coffee. We’re trying.

Some days are just like this, and I am grateful to have a car.  Normally, many of these trips would have been by bicycle.

But my husband can’t drive right now much less ride his bike so we had to drive and I had to drive him around.

It’s just unfortunate that all this happened on Earth Day, a day when I like to live my most conscious best on the planet.

Back in 2008, we joined a VCCool carbon ring support group to reduce our carbon consumption by 5,000 pounds in 30 days. By examining our records and our choices, we learned a lot about our carbon footprint and made steps to change out uses. I am very proud to say that we have changed as testified by our most recent electricity bill:

Our family has reduced our electricity from 7.5 daily average KWH in 2008 when VCCOOL had carbon ring reduction workshops, to 5.3 in 2009 to 2.7 now!

Turning off the hot tub this rainy cold winter helped for sure! Also has lots of line drying and a new refrigerator! It all adds up!

Are YOU having any success in reducing YOUR carbon footprint? How? Please share your tips!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. T Cabrera permalink
    April 23, 2010 12:36 pm

    Well you carpooled 1/2 way to the wine event, which I really enjoyed. Thank you. It was fun to re-introduce myself to wine that was not made in California. See– This is my way to be “green”, drink local products. Cheers!

  2. April 27, 2010 7:34 am

    ah, Gwen – since your normal days are probably better than the average American’s Earth Day, I wouldn’t beat yourself up about it! And 10) Drive to see Exene Cervenka at Buffalo Records. – well that’s just about the best Earth Day you cold manage! :-)

    Neither Ken nor I have vehicles, so I know we are doing a great part. it’s been easier to bike now that the weather is nicer, too.

    We rode our bikes to the Projecting Change Film Festival (all docs on how people are positively changing the world) and saw an inspiring film called Carbon Nation by filmmaker Peter Byck. It makes me all warm inside to know that smarter people than I are making good things happen at a time when we’re out of time. The movie seriously made Ken and I want to change careers, it was that inspiring:

    If you donate $10 they’ll send you the 90 minute DVD.

    My goal is to leave the science and production to those who know best and do my part by creating a foundation for innovative solutions to the worlds social and environmental issues. it will be called the White Forest Foundation and I’ve made it my goal to start it this year, no matter how little money i use to do it.

    Wanna be on my board of directors? :-)

  3. April 27, 2010 11:48 am

    I’ve been chain smoking for 20 years and if I remember the reformation to lung recovery formula correctly it will take another 60 years to clean my insides out. I wonder how long it will take the atmosphere to recover from my smoking habit.

  4. April 27, 2010 3:40 pm

    Thanks for going with me Tim! More fun to go together and better for the planet.

    Holy cow, Brad! Congrats on quitting smoking and I hope you can continue to stay off smoking sticks! That’s great for you, the people around you, and the planet.

    Danika, not having a car certainly keeps you healthy and on your bike! I remember when we visited how walkable Vancouver was and with great public transport. That certainly helps.

    I’ll have to check out the movie. This summer I’m teaching the Matrix (it’s all about choices, isn’t it?), Food Inc and probably Into the Wild. In the fall, I’m teaching a lot about food too…we’re reading Michael Pollan’s book.

  5. April 27, 2010 5:09 pm

    Cool! Which one? We just checkd The Omnivore’s Dilemma out of the library.

    And I bike to the library. :-)

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