Sunday, April 19, 2009

Self description in Two Words..

I was in a group a while back and was trying to decide how I would describe my self in a word or two to someone who had never met me and who has never talked to me. I came to the conclusion that the best description was realistic environmentalist.

Now I know you all are wonder what exactly that means. To me it means that I am enough of a realist to know that I live in America so I am going to continue to live with conveniences like a car and 3 bedrooms and a bath and a half for a family of four. Yet it also means that I will make the changes that help the environment that I can. I will ride my bike to work and I will hang my wet clothes on a laundry drying rack to dry. I will turn off the electricity to my electronic devices when they are not being used.

Changing habits from driving to biking takes some initiative and it even takes some training since riding for transportation on the streets is different than riding for fun on trails. I suggest that you take a street biking class so that you will learn the rules. I took one and I feel 95% more confident about how and where I ride. Also I think I am a better car driver as well when I am sharing the road with a bicyclist because now I know where a little better what the expectations are.

Another habit that was changed over the past couple years is laundry. I have switch from a conventional washer dryer arrangement to a super efficient washer and a series of laundry drying rack. The washer uses very little water, very little detergent and has a high rpm spin cycle so drying a laundry drying rack is very practical.

There are benefits of a laundry drying rack over a clothes line. One is that I can use it all winter even when it is sub-zero. I can use it when it is rainy. Also I can move it around my house into what ever space is currently not being used.

If your house is like mine most of the time the whole house is not being used. The kids are at school and my husband and I are at work. So the house can be used for something worth while like hanging our clothes to dry on our laundry drying rack. Then at night while we are all asleep the laundry drying rack can still be used in the kitchen and the living room.

Air drying your laundry saves 6-10% of the energy that an average US household uses. If we all did these simple switches to biking and air drying what a difference it would make.

So again how does this relate to my self description as a realistic environmentalist? The realist part comes in because I love many of my modern day conveniences including my computer, (we have three of them in the house), our telephones we have 4 portable phones all in charges and 3 cell phones. I think there is a future blog in that.

So for now Happy Earth Day, Happy National Hanging Out Day and National Turn off TV Week!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Just introducing myself.

I started back in February setting up this account so I could try my hand at writing a blog. Well now it is already the middle of April and I am still working on it. So this may be a short blog just to see how it goes.

I am very interested in the environment; specifically global warming and I have become addicted to watching the weather. Sadly yesterday there was a series of tornadoes that ripped through the Southeast. There were wildfires in Texas and Oklahoma. And there is water rationing in Mexico City. All of these have to do with Climate Change.

My husband says that a better name for global warming would have been climate chaos. As the atmosphere warms everything moves just a touch faster those putting more energy into the global system. This causes extreme weather events.

I have fears that the events like happened this week are going to become more regular. I am sure that my actions to reduce my carbon footprint are not going to change the current trend. Yet if I become a role model then others may also see there are other ways of doing things and they may change some habits and become a role model for others. I like to think of it as a positive ponzi scheme.

So here is my first tip. To save energy usage air dry your clothes using a laundry drying rack or a clothes line.

Wish me luck on my blog writing endeavors.