Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My Carbon Footprint and Texas Monthly

I recently calculated my carbon footprint. I did so with a smug grin on my face, knowing how below average it was sure to be. I mean how could it not? I recycle. I just made the move to working from home so now I don't even have a daily commute. I turn off my lights and don't have air conditioning and eat organic, locally grown food. I support environmental awareness! I don't even own a printer for goodness sakes. I'm one of the good guys! El-wrong-o.

When my CF was revealed, I was devastated. Two full tonnes over the national average. I thought surely there had been a mistake. Nay, no mistake here. Apparently I am an environmental mercenary.

In my humble defense, it was clear what lifestyle choices sent my score soaring. Confession: my husband and I bought a car last year and my vehicle of choice was a 2000 Jeep Cherokee with a V8 engine and four wheel drive. Don't worry, I'm regretting it now as it's costing $92 every time I fill up. I've repented my sins. However, the real culprit was shocking: my 3-4 round trip airplane trips to Texas. Truthfully, without this unavoidable necessity, my footprint WOULD have been below average. But NEWSFLASH! Air travel wreaks havoc on the environment.

I can honestly say that I had NO idea. But now I do. And it just motivates me to work really hard to counter act the effects of the occasional trips to the airport that I'm afraid I cannot eliminate.

I calculated my carbon footprint at this pretty cool website. The coolest thing about it is that it has TONNES of suggestions for reducing your carbon footprint. You can make commitments on the site as to which steps you're going to take and when. Accountability, folks!

On the topic of environmentalism, you folks ever pick up a copy of Texas Monthly? I know it has Texas in the title but don't judge. It's one of my faves. In this month's issue:

Jim Atkinson goes to the dark side and tells readers to stop hyperventilating about the environmental crisis and just do something about it in "Trash Talk." It's a hoot, folks. And if you kinda want to learn how to compost, look no further. A Texan talking about recycling? Believe it.

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