Sunday, October 7, 2007

How much do you know about going Green?

Test your knowledge of "Green Technology"

Solar panels are good for the environment-True or False?

Toyota Prius batteries are collected back by Toyota and recycled-True or False?

Cloth grocery bags are better for the environment than plastic bags-True or False?

Everyone should install CFL bulbs to help stop global warming-True or False?

America collects 2 million pounds of rechargeable batteries for recycling every year-True or False?

If we don't switch to Solar panels and wind power, America will run out of energy in my lifetime-True or False?

FALSE. Solar panels(and CFL's) are made in China in huge factories with little or no environmental regulation. Typically the land around one of these Super-Factories is dead all the way down to the bedrock due to heavy metal contamination and industrial runoff. While these products do help the environment in the US and in the UK, the countries that manufacture them suffer. When you add up the damage and subtract the benefits the sum still equals horrific environmental damage rather savings.

FALSE. Toyota does collect Prius batteries for recycling but so far the technology has not reached a point where any batteries have actually been recycled. The batteries being collected are being warehoused in China for a future time when it becomes feasible to recycle them. Another note: While Toyota basks in the Green glow of the Prius, they also build and sell the worlds largest private use pickup trucks, the Toyota Tundra, a pickup with the dubious claim to fame as being the worst gas mileage pickup on the market.

FALSE. Already, most cloth grocery bags on the market are made in China or India. The environmental damage of making these bags and shipping them 10,000 miles negates the environmental savings that would make them desirable. Best solution: Re-use the plastic bags you already have for as long as possible and then make your own bags from reused materials.

FALSE. CFL's bulbs have several problems that make them less than environmentally friendly. While the mercury content of a single bulb is manageable, the impact of 150,000,000 bulbs is dramatic and ominous. (1 bulb in each home in America) Think ahead before you buy: where will you dispose of the bulb when you are done with it? If you have to drive more than 5 miles to take the bulb to a recycler then it isn't saving energy at all. You are just trading electrical savings for gasoline usage.

FALSE. America collects 220 million pounds of batteries for recycling, most are warehoused and about 2% are actually recycled as of 2007.

FALSE. Free energy sources are the Holy Grail for America but the environmental expense of individual solar or wind power systems is staggering. It takes about 1000 solar cells ($20,000 worth) to power a medium sized American home. Obviously that expense takes it out of reach for most people. Thankfully, America does have enough power for a couple hundred more years at current usage and up to 500 years if we conserve more. Alternate fossil fuels, nuclear power and biomass can sustain the US but what we do not have is CHEAP fuel, aka light sweet crude that we buy from overseas. The lights will stay on but the price is going up.

Mass marketing tells America that we can "buy" green and save the future. This is false advertising of the worst kind. There isn't a single thing that you can buy that is actually going to make your lifestyle greener because every item requires a manufacturing process that negates the claims of being green. To actually add some "green" to your lifestyle then dump the advertising campaigns and try something new:

1) Participate in the "Hundred Mile Diet"

2) Spend a "Year Without China"

3) Live more Frugally

4) Drive less and treat your car to a complete tune-up.

5) Grow a portion of your food:,2029,DIY_13826_2269893,00.html

6) Unplug what you are not using.

7) Trade DOWN to smaller TVs and household appliances.

8) Consider working toward a 1 income household and let the home maker actually cook, grow food, and take care of the home. Or, better yet work toward 1 person in the house being a telecommuter.
[This is one that I have become very successful at. I am a telecommuter-I work about 30 hours per week from my home. I also cook every meal from scratch, home can and freeze foods for the future, make wine, bake bread, grow a garden, shop sales, recycle throwaways into useful items, make quilts, etc. Since to switched to telecommuting, I not only make the same take home pay as before but I do not pay for prepared food, home care services, wardrobe, or car expenses. It was an excellent move for my family.]

9) Buy less.

10) Use less

Those are the Top Ten things you can do to help the environment and stop Global Warming.


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