Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Seattle Times Challenge Continues: Our Report

The Seattle Times Climate Challenge continues...an encouragement for all of Puget Sound to do better. Popular columnist Nicole Brodeur reported out today. She's starting where we started - way too much carbon usage.
We're still there. I'd have to say we're energy pigs. We own two cars and drive them both most days. We travel. We have more computers than people and tons of devices.
We're changing, but slowly.
Things we've done across the last year include taking the bus to work at least once a week every week we can (we often have to go to more than one place across a work day), switching to an environmentally friendly dry-cleaner, installing fluorescent bulbs in some lights, buying terrapasses to offset airline travel, and trying to plan trips to reduce driving. We bought new energy efficient windows (we needed windows anyway). We did do a few things for Earth Day, too. We signed up for the green power program at PSE which lets us pay more for power and supports PSE as they buy green power or invest in building green power plants (kind of like a more focused terrapass). We bought a new washer and dryer and they coincidentally got delivered on Earth Day. We chose the Whirlpool Duet, and then had to paint the laundry room since an empty room demands paint. We picked an eco friendly paint from Benjamin Moore. $56 a gallon.
We've been doing good. But not good enough.
The paint is symbolic for our choices (a gallon of bad-for-the-world paint would be half that price or less). We've been throwing money at the problem. That's good , and something we can do to a limited extent, although we've got to finish paying for the windows before we do anything else big. It sort of feels like middle-class reaction.
We might have to actually do something harder soon to keep getting better.

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