Sunday, July 27, 2008

Things To Do

Here's an email I sent out 06/19/07.
I kept it because I thought I said some good stuff.
This is one of many emails that have prompted people to urge me to start a blog:

there's this absurd belief out there - someone actually said it to me recently - that 'one person can't make a difference'...
it brings to mind people like Martin Luther King Jr, Mother Teresa, Ghandi, Beethoven etc.
one person can make a difference
and one person plus another, plus another no longer equals 'one person'...

that being said, thought i'd pass along some things everyone can do - something that everyone can do - to help themselves, their wallets and: tada! the environment, little things...

change to florescent bulbs! serious savings - they last forever (less inconvenience to go out and buy them) - side note: there is mercury in these bulbs - if you break one it is recommended that you clean it up with a wet paper towel

take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible. not only are you doing yourself some good but you're not wasting electricity to carry you up and down, up and down

fill your gas tanks at night (at least after the sun sets) ok - this will probably not save you any money but more gasoline evaporates in the heat of the day and crap - it's cooler outside at night!

use cloth bags when you shop - re-use paper and/or plastic. even if you just re-use them one time - it could cut your plastic bag consumption in half in a given year! cloth is best - i use several (sometimes i need the paper and/or plastic [recycling, changing the catbox]) and totally worth it to buy one of those cooler bags - love mine. then you won't have 1/2 as many plastic bags to deal with or throw out either! side note - i can always use them, animal shelters take them; you can give them to me!! [paper or plastic]
side note: check your citys website for what to do/how to do it...
p.s. those of you in Cleveland - Cleveland does recycle, they just don't do curbside pick-up. every citizen of Cleveland lives within 1.5miles of a recycling drop off though...

remember to turn lights off when you leave the room. little things add up too: turn off your calculators, your desklamps etc.

speaking of little things - all those electronics with displays that stay on all the time - adds up! i unplug my surge protectors, microwave, alarm clocks. plug your surge protectors back in when you get home from work the next day. tada!!

one we've heard forever: turn off the water when you brush your teeth! i forgot the amount per person per year/brushing of gallons this saves but: adds up!

lastly: recycle, recycle, recycle!!
it is not difficult - you're putting things into bags and bins anyway why not sort it out - it's all going to the lawn regardless. hey - i recycle for a 14 unit apt bldg and my office. my sister has 2 kids (that go and go and go) and she recycles and saves all her cardboard and paperboard for either me or her mother-in-law because her city doesn't take it yet. it's a minor inconvenience and we all have a responsibility... (that whole: 'you can't go through life with two catcher mitts on; you've got to be able to throw something back...' idea)

that's it for now. i was just sitting and thinking; pondering it all and thought i'd share some of the things that i do that maybe some of you can do. if you all did one or two - even just sometimes then even those of you with the false idea that one person can't make a difference - well, you wouldn't be one person after all. i think it's more about one person can make a difference, that it all starts with one person...

thanks for your time


A life of Assorted Nuts said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
LMK1976 said...

Actually, it'd be helpful if you did more research - from "Ideal Bite":
Jul 10, 2008 - Light Gossip
Heard the tittle-tattle about the mercury in compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs)? Don't get 'em in a twist. While CFLs do contain a little flicker of Hg, rumormongers tend to overblow the dangers. These days, CFLs fit more sockets and contain less mercury than ever (and yep, you can recycle them) - and that's no hearsay.

From Dr
(Published 8/16/2007)

Energy Star is a U.S. government designation for compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) that use 75 percent less energy than standard light bulbs. According to government projections, if every U.S. home replaced just one regular light bulb with an Energy Star bulb, the energy savings would be enough to light more than three million homes for a year, reduce annual energy costs by $600 million, and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars.

The CFLs last 10 times longer than standard bulbs and, again according to government figures, each one will save $30 or more in electricity costs over its lifetime.

All this adds up to a worthy individual contribution to saving energy and reducing greenhouse gases, but there is concern about how to dispose of them so that the mercury they contain doesn't end up in landfills. The danger is when bulbs break, vaporous methyl-mercury can enter the food chain. In addition, bulb breakage in containers and sanitation trucks can expose workers to high levels of mercury.

The solution appears to be recycling, but here, too, there are problems related both to cost and to the mercury content of the bulbs. First of all, very few recycling programs are in place. Secondly, the breakage problems and potential for worker exposure are the same as they would be for bulbs tossed in the trash. Consider, the EPA's instructions for dealing with a broken bulb at home:

Open a window and leave the room for at least 15 minutes
Wearing disposable rubber gloves, carefully scoop up the fragments and powder with stiff paper or cardboard.
Wipe the area clean with a damp paper towel.
Use sticky tape to pick up small pieces and powder.
Put all the cleanup materials in two plastic bags and seal them both; recycle, if facilities are available. If not, put the sealed bags in the trash.
Wash your hands.
The first time you vacuum the area, remove the vacuum bag or debris from the canister and seal it in two sealed plastic bags before disposing of it in the trash.
So far, bulb recycling options are limited. One retailer, IKEA has instituted a recycling program, and in June 2007 Wal-Mart launched a limited collection effort in five states. Some municipalities and counties have banned disposing of CFLs in the trash, but few government recycling programs are in place. The EPA is urging retailers who sell the bulbs to help with recycling.

***these are just two examples of why using these bulbs is worth the minute risk they pose. I think if you visited other websites on health and green living you would see that these should be used. The amount of mercury is very, very, very small and the risk is smaller when handled properly...