As I ruminated over my article on becoming greener, I happened upon a Carbon Footprint booth at the Marin County Fair. Inside, we calculated the negative impression we make in terms of greenhouse gases produced, measured in units of carbon dioxide. The average carbon footprints are: 6,933 pounds for an average person on earth; 29,050 pounds for Californians; 41,500 for Americans. My footprint is just 9,604 pounds.
Christians should be out in front leading the charge to take care of this beautiful earth God entrusted to us. He could have made it all beige, boring, and flat. Instead our Master Artist created splendor and variety in textures, shapes, and colors – all for our pleasure.
Still, many people just don’t care about preserving the earth, but everyone cares about saving money. Being greener also saves money! Besides the reduced utility bill, many companies give rebates for energy efficient purchases.
We can all make easy, small changes in our homes and workplaces:
• Turn lights off when you leave a room.
• Change to compact fluorescent bulbs. A typical CFL uses only 15 watts and lasts 8,000 hours as opposed to a typical incandescent which uses 60 watts for only 1,000 hours. That means a CFL uses a quarter the energy and lasts eight times longer. Each CFL will save you about $54 on your energy bill over the course of its lifetime.
• Use canvas grocery bags. Refuse plastic.
• Use less hot water. Only run full loads in dishwashers or washing machines. Wash clothes in cold water – cold-water liquid Tide really works. When you shower – get wet, turn off water to lather up, then rinse off.
• Replace old appliances with energy efficient ones bearing Energy Star labels – especially refrigerators and clothes washers. Gas appliances use a third the energy as electrical ones.
• Dry clothes on clotheslines (at least sheets).
• Weather strip your windows and doors.
• REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE.