Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13922
Posted:So right now, I'm ashamed and disgusted to admit that I live a very "Brown/Grey" lifestyle. I drive a gas-guzzling SUV and don't take public transportation to work (because it's a question of 1:15 vs :25). I live in an energy-inefficient building with poor insulation and in-wall A/C (rather than central, which is far more efficient). I don't have a low-flow showerhead. I'm terrible about recycling. And I take a lot of cabs (although I don't necessarily view cabs as that Brown/Grey because they charge the end user a serious premium for the carbin footprint).



A lot of the problem is that New York doesn't make a lot of this easy. You have to meticulously separate your recycling. Most buildings don't have central air (you need A/C. In fact, we provide air conditioners to families who can't afford to buy A/C's because New York summers are dangerous to babies). I can't live near work because near work is insufferable and I have to go way downtown to go swim, anyway. And at least I only drive two and from work and nowhere else (less than once every two months do I take a trip in my car not related to work or car maintenance).



And I'm moving to SF in three weeks. And in three weeks I plan to make a serious change in my life. 1) I'm living both near work and in a place I enjoy. 2) I'll be biking to work most days. 3) On the days I need to drive, I'll be buying a Toyota Prius in which to do it. 4) I have a set-up for recycling already in mind and SF doesn't make you separate it. 5) Light my apartment entirely with LED's and fluorescent bulbs (which my NYC apartment essentially already is except for the kitchen overhead). 6) Not own an A/C.



So who else has or is planning on doing this sort of change?









-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Rouge Dragon
BRONZE Member since Jul 2003

Rouge Dragon

Insert Champagne Here
Location: without class distinction, Aus...

Total posts: 13215
Posted:I think I already have a pretty low carbon footprint (mostly from not owning a car, but also from avoiding pre-packaged foods, recycling, shopping at op shops and things like that), but there are some things that do bother me - When you look at those calculators of carbon footprints, they usually mention the smaller your house the better. But since living in an apartment I disagree.

When I lived at home with my parents, we recycled the water on our garden, had a green waste rubbish bin collected by the council, our own compost bin for the garden, and a dog to feed scraps to. In my flat I have none of the above, therefore all my organic waste goes to landfill and all my washing machine water goes down the drain.

I think I have a larger carbon footprint here than I did in a house on a double block.


i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...

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Birgit
BRONZE Member since Jan 2005

Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland (UK)

Total posts: 4145
Posted:Good plans. I'm a bit surprised about not recycling because you'd have to separate it yourself though.

"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

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Mucky
SILVER Member since Apr 2008

Mucky

Rum-Swilling Combustioneer
Location: Macungie, PA, USA

Total posts: 227
Posted:I hear ya on the recycling; when I was living in Carbon County (one of the coal capitals of the world, and naturally hesitant to embrace anything other than fossil fuels) I had to take the recycling to the center myself, which also had to be separated. I often felt like, as Stewie would say, "Earth's bitch." I wound up just figuring out what we used most and saving those and throwing the lesser-used things away. It made my trips easier and I still got to recycle a little...

Good luck in SF though! smile


Bouncing Baby Pipe!

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Fire_Moose
SILVER Member since May 2007

Fire_Moose

Elusive and Bearded
Location: Scottsdale, AZ, USA

Total posts: 3597
Posted:Sounds like SF has the right idea...

Here, we have big blue recycle cans that the city picks up. Makes it a lot easier to recycle thigns then trow them away because the trash has to be taken to a back alley and thrown in a big dumpster....although sometimes laziness kicks in and i recycle non recyclables.


O.B.E.S.E.

Owned by Mynci!

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Mand
SILVER Member since Oct 2003

Mand

Keeper of the Spitfire
Location: Calgary Canada

Total posts: 2317
Posted: Written by :Rouge Dragon


When you look at those calculators of carbon footprints, they usually mention the smaller your house the better. But since living in an apartment I disagree.

When I lived at home with my parents, we recycled the water on our garden, had a green waste rubbish bin collected by the council, our own compost bin for the garden, and a dog to feed scraps to. In my flat I have none of the above, therefore all my organic waste goes to landfill and all my washing machine water goes down the drain.

I think I have a larger carbon footprint here than I did in a house on a double block.



This is exactly what I was thinking the other day.
There are some green issues that we (Spitfire and I) could improve on, but for where we live (6th floor apartment on the edge of downtown) we don't do too badly. We recycle, even though it has to be seperated ourselves, stored in the apartment, and then taken to the recycling bank ourselves. Most of our lightbulbs are energy saving, we try not to waste water, don't have a.c., etc. Oh, and as of this weekend I'm going to try growing some of our own veggies out on the balcony.

But, if we lived in a house with a decent sized back yard (aparantly a big no no for being green), I know we could do a whole lot better.
I could use a much bigger space for growing our own fruit and veggies, have a rain barrel for water in the garden, recycling would be easier because of local pickup, I'd actually be able to compost instead of throwing out the bags and bags of lovely composting material that I'm doing now, and we've even talked about the possibility of solar panels.

I'd be interested to know the difference of living in an apartment and being low to moderately green, to living in a house with a garden and being a lot greener. Is there really much of a difference?


Lets steal a spaceship and head for the sun, and shoot the stars with a lemonade ray gun.

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Eera
BRONZE Member since May 2003

old hand
Location: In a test pit, Mackay, Austral...

Total posts: 1107
Posted:I'm getting solar power!!! I have the ideal aspect in that I have a north-facing highset with no trees or neighbours in the tropical north, as I don't use much power anyway I can flog the excess back to the national grid too. I made a huge lifestyle change by buying my own place; I grow my own veggies, compost waste, recycle everything I can and rarely use the aircon (unfortunately the house is fibro with little insulation apart from 30 years of gecko crap in the roofspace so it needs a bit of cold), but the solar power should offset this.

It's easy when you have your own place, if you're renting it's a lot harder


There is a slight possibility that I am not actually right all of the time.

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hamamelis
BRONZE Member since Jan 2006

hamamelis

nut.
Location: Bouncing off the walls., Engla...

Total posts: 756
Posted:Yeah.. I found the smaller houses are better for the environment thing odd- surely it's better to heat and light one living room and kitchen between 4 people than have one per person?

Doesn't make much sense.. it's like having an allotment= good
Having a big garden=bad (even though growing trees and having a pond in the garden you don't have=good)
I just try and ignore anything that conflicts, and pick the bits that seem to make sense..
Did one of those 'how green are you' tests a few days ago, and lost points for not having a bike- I walk everywhere, but that's apparently not as good.. wink


THE MEEK WILL INHERIT THE EARTH!


If that's okay with you?

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13922
Posted: Written by :Dr_Birgit


Good plans. I'm a bit surprised about not recycling because you'd have to separate it yourself though.



You don't have room for the extra bins in a New York apartment.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:1) German cities have these programs for more than 15 years now.
2) We can put stickers on our mailboxes: "No ads please" - any ads still ending up in there can result in a complaint for the company who sent it.

Can't be that with sorting trash and recycling Germany is ahead of the US (for once)... Germany even supports Green (renewable) Energy and turns off one Nuclear Power Plant after the other - no new can be built.

Germany is (very) Green...

peace


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13922
Posted:So apparently right now my footprint is 13.198T. In San Francisco, it will be 12.8 BUT... only next year. And that's because of all the traveling I plan on doing. Leaving out the trip to Ozztrellia and the trip to Spain and England, my footprint drops to 5.103. I'm not going to be a vegetarian but darned close (It works best for me when less than 10% of meals involve any sort of animal flesh and 90% of those are fish). But with a standard flying load it's 7T and change. That's not bad, actually. God, flying burns a lot of carbon...

-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Where do you got these numbers from? confused

the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:I used this one...

5.69T

Of course that comes with living in a small city where my commute to work is only 8 minutes....and I only work four months a year. I only drive about 4000 km/year and that's in a gas guzzling van ( 4.6l V6 ). I could chop the total carbon down if I worked in miles per gallon per passenger....but so what.

The calculator is also missing a spot where I can tell them that most of my electricity comes from a renewable source, hydroelectric. and I'm wondering what the relevance of my banking habits is...

peace


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Rouge Dragon
BRONZE Member since Jul 2003

Rouge Dragon

Insert Champagne Here
Location: without class distinction, Aus...

Total posts: 13215
Posted:It's proving difficult to find a calculator that doesn't assume I have a car.

Pretty sad statement about society right there frown


i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Mike, have you read the recent studies about how a $5000 used Geo Metro actually is more efficient and better for your footprint than a Prius.

It's been all over CNN the past couple of months.



I agree Rougie that owning our house has allowed us alot of liberties to be more green than being in the apartment ever did. The house is closer to everything, there's more walking. However, for when we do have to drive we own a motorcycle and a small hatchback, depending on how many people need to go. We have central air instead of window units. We have gardens and compost and more water control than in an apartment. We have energy star appliances instead of the old crap apartment ones we had before. We recycle, everything we can, and have the space to do so.

We also have space where friends crash instead of driving back and forth, so we save them that and carpool often when going out/doing stuff.

We use those energy efficient light bulbs.

Also Rouge, you are so right in the house, we are able to control the weather stripping/sealing of windows and doors and such (our house has almost all new windows) so as to not heat/cool the outdoors, thus being more efficient.



One thing everyone can do is to plug things into power strips and turn off the strips at night to stop electronics from drawing electric when they are not being used. That's been huge.



Now, if only I could convince the men in the house to not take super long showers. Good lords if you can't get clean in 20 minutes, another 25 on top of that won't help! lol

EDITED_BY: Pele (1214011251)


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13922
Posted: Written by :Pele


Mike, have you read the recent studies about how a $5000 used Geo Metro actually is more efficient and better for your footprint than a Prius.
It's been all over CNN the past couple of months.




Yes. But I'm a 31-year-old employed physician. I want a nice car. smile


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Shall search for a carbon calculator myself wink

the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted: Written by

One thing everyone can do is to plug things into power strips and turn off the strips at night to stop electronics from drawing electric when they are not being used. That's been huge.



I went to that system too after participating n a thread about computer power usage.

To make a long story short, I ended up trapped in this place after it was destroyed by a flood. My wife and kid had to move out, leaving me here alone minding the cats and working on the reconstruction and due to the fact I had no kitchen, I improved a way to heat up cold left over take out using my modem.

The modem that for some peculiar reason doesn't have an off switch.


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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:I liked the calc you found Stout. Rouge, it doesn't assume you have a car.

Mine alone was 3.63

For my entire household of 4 people (5 to 6 on weekends) it was 11.39, which was waaaaaaaaaay lower than our national average.


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Rouge Dragon
BRONZE Member since Jul 2003

Rouge Dragon

Insert Champagne Here
Location: without class distinction, Aus...

Total posts: 13215
Posted:It wouldn't let me type in 0km though confused

aw well, I don't need a number to tell me i'm green.


i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13922
Posted:It's still odd how much air travel kills you.

I mean, I suppose it makes sense. It's far more efficient for a car per distance but if the distance is 7,000+NM (such as my upcoming trip to Oz) that's a lot of energy to be cavorting through the cloud at 500 kts.

There's this exciting new biofuel technology that Boeing is starting to invest in. Airbus, too. It's based on algae that is grown in vertical plastic bags. Supposedly, it actually pulls more carbon from the air than it produces. And it could use 1-2% of the available US farmland (except it could do it out in the middle of New Mexico or Arizona where crops can't be grown) and supply the world's jet fleet as of 2008. Uses a lot of water.

I think that carbon emissions are the most important issue facing us today. We've tackled CFC's. They are no longer in use. It's just a matter of waiting for the Ozone hole to close. We should tackle CO2 next. I can only dream of the day that my descendants come to the realization that they have scrubbed too much CO2 from the air and need to dig up and burn some fossil fuels or risk an ice age! ubblol


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Birgit
BRONZE Member since Jan 2005

Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland (UK)

Total posts: 4145
Posted: Written by :Doc Lightning


 Written by biggrinr_Birgit


Good plans. I'm a bit surprised about not recycling because you'd have to separate it yourself though.



You don't have room for the extra bins in a New York apartment.



I'm not buying that. Recycling is clean (if you wash bottles, plastic and tins like you should) and non-smelly, and you can easily keep it in a bag hanging from a door handle until pickup day when you can sort it and put it outside.

I've lived in cramped places before (no, it was NOT New York...) and one extra bin or bag always fits in somewhere.

Mind you, I'm not telling you off, you seem to be making quite a bit of effort, I'm just noticing (especially living in the UK as compared with Germany) that as soon as recycling requires a minimum amount of effort, such as using different bins or washing out the bottles from your party 6 weeks ago before throwing them out, even self-declared enviromentally friendly people start slacking.


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted: Written by :Doc Lightning



Yes. But I'm a 31-year-old employed physician. I want a nice car. smile



Then get a civic or metro in good shape and have it detailed and waxed. tongue
Better yet, get a scooter or motorcycle. Then you'd really be hawt to the guys AND when travelling they'd have to wrap themselves around you.
Efficient, green and sexy wink

hug


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:I had no idea flying was that bad until the flying and eco-hippies thread. I did the math, and using the idea of radiative forcing ( which, like abletion I can't claim a full understanding of ) managed to work out that a round trip Vancouver to Bangkok equalled six years of my current driving habits. Dream confirmed my calculations.

A friend of mine just converted his Mitsubishi Delica ( diesel ) to run on straight vegetable oil. It cost him about $ 1500 for the conversion and it's a system you have to pay attention to relative to conventional fuels ( like switching back to regular diesel before shutting the engine off, or else there's a possibility of the veggie oil clogging the injectors )

He freely admits doing it for economic reasons rather than environmental but given the controversy over biofuels, he bristles if you call veggie oil a biofuel. I can't say if he's right here. One minute he's bragging about "going to pick up $300 worth of free fuel, the next he's complaining about the availability of that free fuel.

Restaurant owners are concerned about breaking their contracts with waste oil recycling companies out of fear that my friend won't show up to pick up the oil they've saved for him and being stuck with it and no way to get rid of it.

So the Delica cost him 15 grand ( imported from Japan ) the conversion another $ 1500 and it's a way cooler vehicle than a Pious wink...I want one.


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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13922
Posted: Written by :Pele


 Written by

Then get a civic or metro in good shape and have it detailed and waxed. tongue



No no. I want a car with some bells and whistles, dammit. I'm getting rid of the '99 Cherokee and I am getting a car with built-in navigation, XM Satellite radio (they have great electronic music), and bluetooth. Prius. Best gas mileage you can get in a new car. Really.

I'm indulging. But I've worked crazy hard. I get to be a real, live doctor now. So I'm indulging.



Better yet, get a scooter or motorcycle. Then you'd really be hawt to the guys AND when travelling they'd have to wrap themselves around you.
Efficient, green and sexy wink



Not nearly as sexy as winding up in the ICU with C-spine trauma and a ventilator doing my breathing for me.

Hospital care=not so green.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Dom
BRONZE Member since Dec 2001

Dom

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Bristol, UK

Total posts: 3009
Posted:I read a good article in the Independent yesterday which made me think 'Oh ****!' about every flight we take:
Bangladesh is set to disappear under the waves.

Which makes me think of an interview I saw a few years ago with the economist who's work was taken up by the climate change denial lobby but actually his argument was along the lines of: The West isn't going to change or stop climate change, so instead of spending money and effort solely on reducing CO2 levels, we should spend most of that money and effort on helping those in developing nations that will be hit hardest cope with the changes.

After all the change is now under-way and unstoppable, it's not if it happens, but how badly it happens. After all, somebody living in the Thames estuary can move inland more, but where does a Bangladeshi cobbler go when there's no more Bangladesh.


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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13922
Posted: Written by :Dom


After all, somebody living in the Thames estuary can move inland more, but where does a Bangladeshi cobbler go when there's no more Bangladesh.



Yes, but we don't care about them because they have brown skin. frown


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Sparklygreenfire


Sparklygreenfire

*Green Spirit*
Location: Southampton, England

Total posts: 201
Posted:That's just it! People don't give a [censored] till it starts to affect them directly...

We recycle as much as we can and happily take in our life bag to shop with, yet I look to my neighbours rubbish and I see a bin overflowing with a mixture of recyclables and landfill junk (and we are supplied with a huge recycle wheelie bin!!)
Asda are starting to phase out their plastic bags (finally!) but my Brothers Fiance works there and she says the amount of ppl who feel like they've been done a grave wrong because of it is ridiculous!! They don't care...
We've just built our first raised veg bed and we currently have a whole variety of yummy greens, onions, carrots, pumpkins etc. I love it, I can't wait to eat homegrown, organic, ethical veg. My neighbours can't slab their gardens over fast enough frown
I got upset the other day because we are the only people in our road (as far as I know) who actually really care about the environment...yet we are the only ones who can't get a water butt! Our roof is an odd shape and all our water runs to the houses either side of ours so we have no down pipe. We're moving next year so hopefully we'll have one then...till then the garden gets a nice mixture of rain tap and grey water!


Are you a robot...or an alien?

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