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Getting Greener |

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Over the last couple of weeks I have been trying to make a conscious effort to reduce my impact on the environment.

Probably the biggest thing I’ve done is start recycling at home. I know this is a late start but it’s better late than never right? What peaked my interest is that I found out my city offers curb side pick up. I called the city offices and requested more info about it. After looking over the literature they sent to me, I was so upset that I decided that it would be easier if I just brought the recycling to the recycling center a couple times a month. I have a sneaking suspicion that the city is trying to make this so difficult that no one will use the service. One thing I don’t get is why the city requires everything to be put in plastic bags instead of reusable plastic bins. This seems counter productive to me.

But wait there’s more. I’ve also fixed both leaky toilets in my house. I’ve switched most of the house to CCFL light bulbs. Treah has a couple canvas grocery bags. I’m not a huge fan of these, I still can’t get over the dork factor of bringing in your own grocery bags. When we do use plastic bags we have been saving them to take back to the store for recycling. I have also powered off most of my electronics that I do not use regularly, the others I have set to be in stand by mode. I know it’s not as good as turning them off, but it does use less power.

I have had a programmable thermostat for years now, but don’t used it like I should. It always has the same temperature set no matter what the time of day. I will be switching this to match our work schedules. In the mean time I have bumped up the temperature 2 degrees.

I think the worse thing I have going for me is my Jeep. It needed a fill up last night. I had used 14.1 gallons of gas since the last time I filled up. I had only gone a measly 168 miles since my last fill up. That averages out to 11.9 miles per gallon. Wow!

I took my Jeep to the dealer today for maintenance. I asked about the millage, they seemed to think that this was pretty average. They did rotate the tires and check the air pressure. They also suggested changing my air filter. I decided I could do this my self as they wanted to charge me $25 in parts plus labor costs to do this. The last time I checked air filters were only $10 or so from Auto Zone. I don’t anticipate these will increase my mileage drastically but every bit helps.

If there is any good news about my Jeep it is that I don’t use it all that often. It took over 2 weeks for me to build up those 168 miles. It mostly only gets me to and from work. Anything else I use Treah’s Hyundai Elantra. We’re getting between 25-30 miles per gallon in it, depending on the amount of city or interstate driving.

I hate to admit it but the Live Earth Concert kicked this green movement into gear for me. I know it is what the concert set out to do, but it seems kind of cliche. The concert encouraged people to visit http://www.earthlab.com. Here you can enter in your daily activities, how much your monthly utilities run, and it will output how many tons of pollutants you release per year. After doing this I found out that I was above the regional average. This is when I decided I should change. It’s all stuff that deep down I knew I should have been doing for a long time now.

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