Jun 10, 2008

[Environmentalism] Thinking Greener

I've always considered myself to be a pocket environmentalist - I say pocket since I've yet to get on a boat to protest whale fishing in the middle of the ocean and other fun stuff like that. Still, what geek doesn't maintain some level of awareness of the needs of the planet, right? How can we even hope to reach the futuristic world of our science fiction fantasies unless we manage to keep things together long enough for human civilization to get there, right?

With recent news focusing on constantly rising oil prices, greater concerns over the cost of basic necessities like food and utilities like electricity, thinking "greener" is definitely more and more important these days. It seems only right that as your resident Geeky Guide, I ought to be doing more in line with this.

That's always the challenge, isn't it? I'm sure a lot of us are keen on wanting to do something (or at least we say we are) and then when the task seems too daunting to address right away, we sort of take time, park it then forget about it until the next big issue or crises comes along to spur us into action. Don't you just hate that?

At the very least, I've started with the basics.

SAN FRANCISCO - JANUARY 31:  A worker at the City Lights Light Bulb Store holds a traditional incandescent light bulb (R) and an energy efficient compact flourescent bulb (L) January 31, 2007 in San Francisco, California. California State Assemblyman Lloyd Levine is preparing to introduce a bill that would call for the incandescent bulb to be banned in California and be replaced by compact flourescents.Image by Getty Images via DaylifeFirst off I made sure that my partner and I put a conscious effort towards using only florescent bulbs throughout our apartment. It was a bit tricky since there is some comfort associated with the warmer tones of incandescent lights, but with recent advances in bulb technology to include a wider variety of both shapes and colors, we eventually resolved that concern.

Next came energy conservation. It's the basics of closing all lights when not in use, keeping appliance use to a minimum and checking the energy efficiency ratings of appliances before purchase. It certainly helped keep our electrical costs down, but it's not exactly saving the world just yet. I also tried to address the so-called "vampire electricity" usage due to higher technology appliances using power even when turned off. I now have all appliances on simpler kill-circuit power strips so when they're not in use, I can kill the circuit and thus the flow of electricity. That really made on our electric bill and I was very happy to see that.

But there's a lot more to be done, naturally.

I'm thinking of trying to devote more Geeky Guide time and resources towards speaking more about environmentalism, actively working to battle climate change and generally trying to reduce our carbon footprint in order to impact the world less negatively. It seems a great thing to do since everything starts with information, and I can only hope it pays off somehow.

Let's all try to be greener my fellow geeks! More on this subject in the weeks to come.
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