Saturday, January 17, 2009

Climate Change, anyone?

It is mid-January. It is mid-January and we are having a heat wave. So much so that I took my daughters swimming for a late afternoon dip at our local pool yesterday while watching the sun set over a carbon layered city. It's amazingly beautiful what sunsets and pollution can create. The lights of the city never sparkled so bright. But it's freakin' mid-January and feels like the middle of summer.

Be afraid. Be very afraid. I am. I enjoy warm weather as much as the next girl, but this is bad. We have not had weather like this since the early 70's, and if we don't get some rain soon it will equate to equally bad statistics. Perhaps we can all gather round for some lovin' rain dances, which could explain all that dancing they did in the 70's if they were having their own heatwave.

So, I'm really serious people. It might be too late, but what if it isn't. What if we could start doing little things everyday that could turn this climate change around. What if we become like the Aunt Becky's of the world by taking little steps in a humble way to change things. Seems like a better solution than good 'ol Uncle Gary who laughs it off with a chuckle and a grin while mumbling something about Al Gore. Just give it a shot. You might end up with a warm, fuzzy feeling rather than an oddly warm January.

Aunt Becky's 10-step program:
  • Make your own coffee at home. Heck, you can even through in the organic, unbleached filters.
  • Find some re-usable water bottles rather than buying bottled water. Sigg has some very durable, and very groovy designs.
  • Recycle those beer cans, soda cans, salad dressing bottles. Heck, just recycle anything your recycle-picker-upper man will take, and in the sake of green awareness, you can also check out what those pesky little numbers on the bottom of the containers mean.
  • Wash and reuse your ziplock bags and then dry them with the handy-dandy plastic bag dryer.
  • Make your own cleaning products which are likely much less toxic and more environmentally friendly than that bottle of 409 under your sink.
  • Reuse your lawn and leaf bags after dumping them into your compost pile, or if your waste management does not provide a composting option you can choose biodegradable lawn, leaf and yard bags.
  • Tshirts! Save those tshirts! Wear them until they have settled into the soft, fashionably worn item that is all the rage these days. Or if you are desperately trying to shed anything older than your youngest child you can donate them to your local shelter or red-cross-like store. Someone out there is bound to appreciate that Pink Floyd concert shirt from 1973 almost as much you.
  • If it's yellow let it mellow, if its brown flush it down. Yes, it's true. No one likes to think about these things, but do we really need to flush for every little tinkle? No. Every flush uses approximately 4 - 7 gallons. That's enough water to hydrate a small village in some desolate locale for a day. Instead, just keep it mellow, or if you really want to earn your dark green standing, you can install a low-flow toilet or waterless urinal.
  • Reusable grocery bags. You can't find an easier way to go green. Plastic bags have wreaked havoc on our ecosystems from bags floating through the atmosphere and ending up in our water systems. 500 billion plastic bags are used each year, 84 billion in California alone, yet only a small percentage of them are actually recycled. That means the remainder end up in landfills or the stomachs of the millions of sea creatures that you call dinner. In the end, that plastic breaks down in your system after making its way into your body via Van de Kamp and Chicken of the Sea. Paper or plastic? Neither!
  • Just walk. Try to jump into that F-150 a little less frequently, and get out and enjoy this beautiful weather that global warming is currently providing. By walking just a little you are preventing that extra C02 from entering the atmosphere. Multiply that by the 6 billion inhabitants of earth and it might actually add up to something significant.
Now go out there and get your green on!

(*it should be noted that I actually do love my Uncle Gary despite the constant razzing that takes place on this blog.)

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