Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day

Today is Blog Action Day and the topic is the Environment. Unfortunately I'm a little unwell. Not really sick but a little unbalanced (inner ear problem, not mental state LOL) so I'm just doing a broad sweep of what I think you might be able to do to help the environment.

Did you see that both Al Gore and the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) received a joint Nobel Peace Prize? link here How cool is that? The really great thing was Gore said the prize must spur action.

So what action should we all be taking?

Well in my humble opinion we need to exercise consumer power and buy products that are environmentally sound. Organic cotton, hemp. Fuel efficient cars. Energy efficient appliances. Pencils and wood products from sustainable sources. Locally grown food. Half the time you can't find anything that isn't made in China, but it doesn't mean you should stop looking. Use the internet, check labels, ASK shop keepers. The big corporations listen to one god and one god only. Money. They only care if you care, so pay attention.

If you are putting in a new heating/cooling system get a quote for geothermal systems. There are all sorts of financing options (Manitoba Hydro give you a loan at low interest which is affordable because your bills should reduce by approximately 70%, possibly more as fuel prices increase). Geothermal systems can heat and cool your house and are very low environmental impact. It is my dream to have this in my house.

Use Norwex (or other microfiber) cleaning products instead of chemicals. I started using the products 3 years ago and although initial outlay is bigger, over time the expense evens out. The main spur for me using these cloths over chemicals was the fact that cancers in women who stayed home was actually higher than those who went out to work. How can our own homes be more toxic than a workplace, unless you live over a radon leak or some sort of chemical dump?

Dry your washing outside. (even if some people think it looks trailer trash)

Walk/cycle when you can. Especially the school run. We teach our kids by example and environmental impact paired with childhood obesity rates suggests this is a good thing if you can do it.

Don't waste water. That's the most important resource on this earth and we might only realise it when it is too late.

Recycle. Compost. Reuse bags and boxes.

Another option is carbon offsetting schemes. Here's one for your computer. It isn't perfect, but every little helps.

I think the main thing we can do is think more about the choices we make. We can't afford to do everything all at once but maybe we can force our governments and corporations to provide us with more environmentally friendly options.

Good luck :)


  1. I'm already doing much of this - or what's available. For example, we don't have full recycling facilities here. They think they're being ground-breaking by recycling paper and glass. But I think it's important that we do what we can and ask why we can't do what we can't. My diet is also virtually 100% organic, so that helps with pollution, food miles, etc. And the more of us start buying these eco-friendly goods, the faster the prices will become more competitive.

    Hear, hear Toni.

  2. I do some of these things but not all of them. I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't know a lot about some of the statistics you listed Toni, and I thank you for bringing them to my attention. I admit laziness has a lot to do with it. I'm going to try to be more aware.

  3. Diane, I totally agree.

    Stacy~ Never forget I'm a nerd :) You probably aren't lazy, but busy. Life gets away from us. We all just need to think a bit harder.

  4. All good reminders, Toni. It's up to us!

    I'd love a geothermal house, too. If we ever build that's the way we're going.

  5. Yes -- all good reminders, Toni!

  6. Thanks for the reminder of Blog Action. I try to be environmentally aware, that has to count for something, right? And we definitley recycle.

    Feel better soon!

  7. We recycle at work and we do recycle our pop cans at home, but we need to do more.

    You've got some great tips and ideas, though. thanks!

  8. Inner ear problems suck, Toni--mine's been making me sick as a parrot recently. You have my sympathies.

    As for the annoys me that it's become about political one-upmanship, because a lot of people have been campaigning for it for years and were dismissed as weirdie beardies.

    Our refuse collection went emvoronmental a year or so ago--the bulk is recycled. We don't exactly get a choice.

    The rest, though...there's little alternative. The gov't here is always trying to persuade us onto public transport, which is 100% rubbish if you live outside a big city (which I do). They send us on guilt trips about carbon emissions, but but ignore all legal and environmental protests about doubling the size of our local airport. It's difficult to commit to saving energy by turning your TV off Standby when the people who are supposed to be setting examples are doing little more than tax environmentally inefficient things.

    And as for drying washing? My mum's been trying to persuade my dad to buy her a tumble drier for years, she'll never get one now!

  9. In my remodel I replaced all of my incandescent lighting with fluorescent fixtures and we opted for bamboo flooring over hard wood. I also bought re-usable bags at Target. I figure I can save at least 300 plastic bags a year just from the switch.