Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Climate Change

"Chikyuu ni yasashiku arimasen."

It isn't environmentally friendly.

Al Gore was in Japan a while back, promoting his film. I'm not 100% sure that things are as drastic as he says, but he does have a point. As a wanabee diver, I want Maldives and Yap and Galapagos to be around when I get back into things, and I want to be able to see them with the Pumpkin Princess. Current trends in climate change do make me a bit uncertain that this will happen.

Here are some things I do for the environment, in the order they pop into my head. I don't think all of these things are for everyone, but they work for me.

1. Drive a hybrid.
Hybrid cars are more expensive than their conventional counterparts. The point of a hybrid isn't that you're saving money on gas. From a money point of view, you'll probably break even at best. The point is that if you can afford to, you should drive a car that uses less gas as a sign of your affluence and intelligence and emotional security. Or something.

2. Use recycled paper products.
Stationery. Oh, and toilet tissuse made from recycled paper. The other day, I found Kleenex and paper towels made from recycled paper. I'm wary about using the paper towels for cooking, but for wiping a greasy stove or a microwave, they are more than good enough.

3. Sort the trash the way the city likes it.
Burnable trash, recycleable glass bottles, metal cans, recycleable plastic packaging. Takes up room in the kitchen, but it's kind of inevitable. I also make it a point to squeeze the excess water out of anything caught in the sink strainer. Less water means less energy for combustion (the city burns its burnable trash).
Gross? I figure that's what rubber gloves are for.

4. Limit my consumption of plastic bottle beverages.
In Japan, they don't reuse plastic beverage bottles. They recycle them into clothing. I've tried wearing a recycled PET jacket. It was stiff and scratchy.
I like sodas, so I know I will drink them. I try to remember to take a bottle of home brewed tea with me to drink at work, so I don't have to buy anything. Saves money, too.

5. Turn off the water heater when not using hot water.
Our apartment has a water heater that heats water on demand, so it only needs to be on when you actually need hot water.

I can go on, but maybe on another day.

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