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Can Uncontrolled Consumerism Lead to the Destruction of the Environment?

Posted by gerry @ 5:00 pm on December 17, 2008

Are we doomed to roam space in an intergalactic space cruiser, after we’ve destroyed the earth’s environment?  This was actually the premise to a cartoon I watched this weekend, “Wall-E.”

Here’s the synopsis of the movie:

By the early 22nd century, the Buy N Large megacorporation took control of every economic service on Earth, causing excessive worldwide consumerism to cover the planet in un-recycled trash. A plan was implemented that would have the Earth’s population evacuate the planet into space on fully automated luxury starliners where they would spend the next five years, while an army of waste disposal robots called “WALL-E” units (Waste Allocation Load Lifter, Earth-Class) would be left to clean the planet. This plan failed, however, and the planet was deemed uninhabitable. For the next 700 years, humanity continued to live in space while all of the WALL-E robots on Earth eventually broke down.

Is this storyline far-fetched, or could it really happen to us?

Going Away for Holidays

Posted by Courtney @ 1:19 pm on

The holidays are fast approaching. Mid-way through next week, I’m going to be heading off to visit my parents for about a week and a half. While I’m gone, I want my apartment to be using as little electricity as possible, and to stay as green as possible. I’ve been looking into everything that I can be doing over this period of time to make it as green as possible when I’m away. I’m unplugging everything except my refrigerator (and my stove, which is staying plugged in as I cannot pull it out and get to the plug). If something is plugged in, it still draws power. Whether it’s for a clock, or because it likes to respond to remote controls, it draws power. And there’s really no sense in it doing that while no one is home.

A lot of sites that I’ve been looking into that talk about greening your home when you go away on vacation mention turning down your heating. For me, that is hard because I have no control over the heating – the whole building uses radiators that the landlord controls the settings of.

Are you going anywhere for the holidays? Are you planning on greening your home while you’re away?

One Million Acts of Green

Posted by Courtney @ 10:16 am on December 8, 2008

I joined a new(ish) website over the weekend – One Million Acts of Green. This website counts how much greenhouse gases you’re saving with each “act of green” that you commit. For example, packing a literless lunch saves 100 kg of greenhouse gases.

A lot of the things listed on the site I don’t have the ability to do, what with living in an apartment building – there is a good portion that is related strictly to home projects (such as hot water pipe insulation).

What I like best about this site, though, is that I can quantify what I’m doing – I like that I can put a number of greenhouse gases I’m reducing. Awesome!

Are you a member there?

Going Greener for the Holidays

Posted by Courtney @ 11:47 am on December 1, 2008

I love the holiday season. Positively love it – it’s my favourite time of the year, and I’ve been known to go overboard with the holiday cheer. (Yes, I may have been listening to Christmas music since mid-October.) I’ve been hearing/reading a lot of stuff in the media and on a handful of the blogs I subscribe to about making your holiday – whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or any other holiday – a “Green” holiday this year. I’ve seen everything from buying energy efficient lights to regifting gifts you’ve previously received. Some things are extreme, but some of the ideas seem very easy to put into practice.

I’ve got a few plans for myself to make things a little greener around my holiday season:

I’m a huge advocate of real Christmas cards (electronic ones seems not as personal to me). I realize that this isn’t necessarily environmentally friendly, but I make my own every year. This cuts back on packaging, and adds a bit more of a personal touch. This year, I’m sending them all out in recycled envelopes, and have cut back the number that I’m sending out.

This year I started bring my own canvas bags when shopping for Christmas gifts in order to avoid a collection of plastic ones by the end of the shopping trip. This is definitely something that is going to continue throughout the year as well.

Lastly, a number of the gifts I’m giving this year are going to be edible gifts that I’ve made. This is cutting back on the driving to the mall, cuts back on packaging that the gift is in, and it’s much more likely that this gift doesn’t have the chance of sitting around and never being used, or thrown into a landfill.

How are you making your holidays a little greener?