Saturday, September 17, 2005

Priorities

If I were to list, in true 7-Habits fashion, things most important to me, numbers 1, 2 and 3 would be "learning." But for numbers 2 and 3 learning would be tied environmental protection. The obvious way to go would be with learning about environmental protection.

This blog has been pretty random. My environmental interest doesn't show up when I'm also involved in learning more about economics, philosophy, politics, photography, gardening, etc., etc.

This morning I've been pursuing the elusive perfect environmental site. What I usually want to know is "What shall I do next?" and "Why?" I already reduce, reuse, recycle, compost, own a high mileage car, keep my thermostat low in winter and more. So, superficial conservation tips aren't very helpful. But I've found a few sites that I plan to keep an eye on.

For news and links: Gristmill, Alternative Energy, Triplepundit.

Two sites stand out. Enviropundit, for good writing and design. And Environment Economics for a "stand back and look at the big picture" perspective.

3 comments:

Laura said...

Hi Mary Ann,
Over at Gristmill, when Umbra invited suggestions for going beyond the usual "Top Ten List of Things You Can Do for the Environment," I suggested rewriting that top ten list to make it appropriate for your own locality, and then sharing what you've learned with others. Unfortunately the discussion got absurdly sidetracked by the illustration I gave for my own area (instead of eating less meat, eat range-fed beef to help keep native grassland in good condition) and we ended up at the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement (which I have to admit was an entertaining bit of food for thought).

j&c said...

Hi, thought I could give you a few more ideas on lowering your impact on the environment.

First, would be to have an energy rating done on your home. www.natresnet.org has a listing of raters by state. It will save you money on your HVAC and can increase the comfort of your home.

Second, keep your car in top shape.

Third, watch out for ghost loads. Most entertainment appliances suck electricity even when they are "off." The ones that do will have some kind of digital display and/or a remote with an "on" button. These loads are small but can add up over time.

Fourth, if you are interested in renewable energy, look into passive solar water heating, especially evacuated tubes. They have a payback of less than a year in most cases.

It's really hard to renovate a home to save money on your bills, but it can be done :D

Let me know how it goes!

Good blog, too, by the way!

Mary Ann said...

Thanks, Laura. The grassland debate was fun to read instead of the knee-jerk "Don't eat meat." The adapted top ten list is just what I need. I think I've been evading responsibility by looking for someone to tell me what to do. At this point I really need to do some actual work figuring it out. I'm going to get started on it - tomorrow...

Jacqui, maybe I'll try the energy audit again. The one time I did long ago, he just kind of threw up his hands at my owner built log house with wood heat. At the moment I'm considering an on-demand water heater. But I will check out passive solar. I'm working on the ghost load. Why does every appliance have a clock? I already know what time it is. I'm good about unplugging the chargers for phone, camera, laptop. I could turn off stereo/TV at the surge protector - which, of course, has it's own damn light.

I'm on my way to the local Democratic picnic. I'll check my tire pressure before I go.