Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Yummy Potatoes and Being Cool

Did you Hear the News?
Canada’s brand spanking new conservative government is pulling the plug on the popular One Tonne Challenge. Ah, so it begins… But hey, perhaps Harper has something much better up his sleeve to help reduce our GHG emissions. You never know.*

Earth Day is April 22
To find an event in your area, click the Earth Day International site or Earth Day Canada.

And Another Thing…
It’s a challenge, isn’t it? Using up all your fruits and veggies before they become a bio hazard lurking at the bottom of your “crisper”. And for you Torontonians, who can toss this fungal slime into the green bin for bio-recycling, don’t think this problem is solved – it still takes energy and torrents of water, not too mention fertilizer and pesticide (if not organic), to produce that which you once considered appetizing food.

Speaking of organic – now that you are being a careful shopper, and saving over $500 a year, why not invest that money, which amounts to $41 a month, in organic fruits and vegetables? Organic is good, and not just the purview of yuppies pining for their hippie roots. Organic farmers practice methods that give back to the soil and the surrounding environment. As I explained last week, soil erosion and degradation pose serious threats to human beings partly due to industrial farming practices. But enough of that doom and gloom stuff! Organic is tasty!! Have you ever tried an organic potato or banana? No….?

TO Do This Week
Buy organic potatoes and bananas and rediscover what potatoes and bananas are supposed to taste like. Yum!!!

Be Cool! - Turn the Temperature Down
I’m going to start delving into hefty stuff. Home appliances and heating. According to Dave Reay, in Climate Change Begins at Home, space heating and cooling make up 41% of GHG emissions of the average American home. Appliances make up 34%. In the weeks ahead I’ll look into ways in which you make your home more energy efficient.

Of course, it’s ideal to bring in an inspector to test your home’s efficiency. I will discuss how to do that later. Some of you may be renting and living in an apartment, so bringing in an inspector is not an option. There are simple things that you can still do to make your home a little more energy efficient, such as….
To Do – Turn down the temperature by one degree.

What’s the Big Deal - This may not seem like a big deal now that the weather is getting warmer. And now that it’s getting warmer, we’ll soon be dusting off the air conditioner.

Heating the average American home emits four tonnes of GHG emissions a year. Cooling it emits another tonne, and ironically heats up the outside air. By reducing your temperature by just a degree in the winter and increasing your air conditioner by a degree in the summer, you will reduce your annual GHG emissions by a third of a tonne.

Please resist cranking up the temperature in the winter so you can walk about in shorts and t-shirts. That’s what flannels and sweaters are for!

In the News


Truth Out

* Photos taken from Rick Mercer’s blog - Image credits: Neal Domenico and Big Jule

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