Every day is Earth day — that’s my excuse for getting out a blog post way past the date. Earth Day was officially April 22… and I did start this post before that but I’ve had a little trouble getting to the point of posting it.
But really, when you have to single out a day in order to acknowledge that the earth is important that implies that it isn’t important the other 364 days. That’s just not right. The earth is vital to our very existence… but it is true that we have treated the earth as a resource we can exploit and “use up” for a couple of centuries, so we need to change our habits and behaviors to think about sustainability.
Since I am in the middle of moving to my new business and home (to 78 Main St — which is my real excuse for not hitting ‘publish’ on this blog post), I would like to bring up some thoughts about re-cycling and re-using things. A push for conservation and sustainability is at least as important as figuring out how to reduce our use of fossil fuels.
Energy Emporium, 10/24/09
Sat, Oct 24, 2009: Today is the International Day of Climate Action! I added a couple of signs to my store window to try to spread the message. Look for lots of interesting pictures from around the world: 350.org
Also, I signed up for the Huffington Post’s week of ‘no impact’. Each day they send me a suggested no impact action that I can take. For instance, Tuesday was focused on transportation — riding to work or sharing a ride. Monday was trash day — pay attention to everything you throw out and try to recycle instead. Today was food day — see if you can buy and eat only local foods to keep down the amount of transportation that was needed to get it to you.
I think this is a great idea and I would like to pick a few weeks in the year to try this. It is not unlike the program I am working on with my spinning class (exercise) — tracking everything we eat and counting all the calories that we exert. Basically if you measure stuff you have an opportunity to improve it.
We moved this weekend from Acton, MA to Enfield, NH. We have lived in the same house for almost 18 years — and we had the stuff to prove it. Over the last few weeks we have been donating, recycling and throwing out things in an attempt to down-size a bit. The house we are moving into is smaller than the one we left.
In a previous career, my husband (Kent) and I ran a computer game company and created a fun, educational game to teach programming concepts, “MindRover”. Well, we had been storing the 1000 left-over box copies for many years and it was time to get rid of them! Below is a picture taken from this recycling experience.
Recycling a computer game
I actually thought we did a good job of getting rid of things… but, no, when the movers couldn’t even fit all our stuff on their truck, we realized we still have too much stuff. We definitely have more work to do in the down-sizing category.
I’ve been thinking that many people may be joining us in the “live simpler”, smaller is better… some by choice and others by necessity. There is a silver lining from the energy and conservation perspective that with a smaller physical footprint, we can live within a smaller energy budget and decrease our carbon output as well. It’s a great reason to be happy about down-sizing.
But – a word of caution – moving in the winter in New England is just a bad idea. The movers leave every door open and trample all the snow, mud, salt and sand into the house. We turned down the thermostat to almost nothing so we would slow down our heating of the entire neighborhood. After a while I had one of my family members “manning” the door — opening it and closing it for the movers so there was a chance that we could keep a little heat in the house.
That’s behind us now and lots of boxes are in front of us!
In Acton we had forced hot water with an oil burning furnace. In Enfield we have a wood burning stove in the basement and electric baseboard heaters when that isn’t enough. We got the stove going today (move-in day) and it feels great so far.