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Reduce, Re-use, Recycle

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Volo, Jun 19, 2010.

  1. Volo

    Volo
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    Myself and my fiancee spend a shitload of time doing "green" things. We recycle nearly everything we use, we hardly use our cars at all, we grow a fair bit of our own food and collect rainwater to use for it, I've fitted my home with a new heater and various other things to improve efficiency, my fiancee even makes our shopping bags out of old clothing. The list goes on.

    FOCUS: What do you do to be "green"? The purpose of this thread is to get some ideas out in the open and learn a few things in the process. Discussion on what actually works and what doesn't is welcome, but this shouldn't turn into a shouting match over the validity of the the green movement. I think we can all agree that using less is always a good thing, regardless of intention.
     
  2. JoshP

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    I don't do too much, I commute to class on my motorcycle rather than my big truck, I recycle, I grow some of my own vegetables, use low energy bulbs, and bring my own bags to the store. To be honest I do most of it for my wallet rather than for the sake of being green, but if it works out both ways, then awesome.
     
  3. Trakiel

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    Call me Caitlyn. Got any cake?

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    Since I've moved into my house I've replaced almost all my lightbulbs with compact flourescents, got a new 95% efficiency furnace, and am also in the process of replacing all of my windows with energy saving types, but to be honest all of those efforts are primarily motivated by my desire to reduce my energy bill. I'm lazy, so anything that takes extra effort such as separating bottles and whatnot I'm not going to do. The one exception is computer and electronic components, I refuse to thow these types of things away and make sure they're either salvaged or recycled when I get rid of them.
     
  4. Sicnevol

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    Most of my "green" comes from the food I eat. I eat hippy food. Local grown veggies when I can get them and locally raised meat. That way you haven't had the steak you're eating shipped from New Mexico.
    I also live in a 100 year old Victorian and am attempting to get the land lady to re-wire, and let me add a rain collector.
     
  5. foredeck

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    I;m green mostly for financial purposes. I can be cheap, so if it cuts down on gas or electricity I'm up for it.

    The biggest thing for electricity was to lower the temperature in the hot water tank. I brought it down from 140 to 125 degrees and saved quite a bit of money. I've tested it a bit, and have never ran out of hot water.
     
  6. Lasersailor

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    #6 Lasersailor, Jun 21, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2015
  7. Happy

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    This. It's quite apparent that 90% of Americans (and 99% of politicians) could give a fuck about the environment, but they care about their wallets. That's fine, and that mentality isn't going to change anytime soon. One of my majors in college right now is sustainable planning and development, and my biggest challenge when addressing people is getting them to make the initial investment. Yes, you are going to have to spend a little bit more money right now. However, with immediate results with many of the technologies, if it is affordable, why not? I really like the way that Chicago has built in to their zoning and building codes that any new buildings in the downtown area have to be outfitted with a Green Roof. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_roof) Green roofs are still being researched quite a bit, and have been estimated to save at least 20% on heating and cooling bills. (Those were the numbers I ran on a 2 story commercial building last year).

    LEED certification is all the rage now. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LEED_certified) quick points: grading scale on how "green" and sustainable your building is. Which is great, because it brings the "Keeping up with the Jones's" to the area. Business X built a LEED certified building, they're green and economical and everyone loves them. Business Y builds a building that is LEED Gold certified, and they're Al Gore green, and everyone loves them, and so forth. (This is currently happening in a town not too far away from my school.)

    I highly recommend watching any of these episodes http://www.hulu.com/design-e2. They're extremely interesting, and give lots of new and profitable ideas.
     
  8. TX.

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    It's definitely not groundbreaking or huge, but I try to do small things to help.

    I use a water bottle that I wash every day instead of buying bottled water. I can't believe most of my friends have cases of Osarka when we have perfectly clean tap water to drink. It makes me a little ill to think of all the trash accumulated by drinking bottled water.

    I reuse plastic baggies and use my own recycled bag to grocery shop.

    When I buy something small at a store I refuse a shopper/bag and put it in my purse instead.
     
  9. Kels

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    This episode came out in 2004, & a lot of the points they made then are no longer as valid. Recycling processes have become more efficient, and will continue to do so, and this is the real reason its important to have programs in place - even if the processes aren't efficient now, they will continue to improve and the structures need to be in place (and people prepared to use them) for when it is actually far more efficient to recycle than create new waste.
     
  10. lust4life

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    We're pretty good about recycling paper and plastic since that gets picked up once a week, but we probably wouldn't be as good about it had we have to cart it ourselves to a recycling center. Home modifications we've done (tankless hot water heater, radiant barrier insulation, high efficiency appliances, etc.) have been motivated more by personal economics than environmental concern. I drive a large pick-up because I'm a big guy and I want to be comfortable, so basically, I'm as green as comfort and convenience allows. Though, we do use a compost heap, but my neighbor refers to it as "his backyard." Selfish prick.
     
  11. Volo

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    I'd like to add onto this by saying it's also important to get people used to the idea of recycling, and the idea that it is an endeavor that takes a fair bit of effort to work into your daily/weekly/monthly routine. I, for example, spend several hours a week just hauling my stuff to the recycling center because I don't like driving, and employ my "rickshaw" for hauling bottles, cans and the like, and this is something that worked it's way into my routine over the course of a year now.
     
  12. Eastcoaster

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    I compost, and also separate and recycle all plastic, paper, and metal. It's a bylaw here that we have to do this. Actually, in about a year or so, we are not going to be allowed to use dark (black or green) garbage bags. They are going to have to be clear so the garbage men (garbage man? garbage person?) can see if you're not recycling something you should be. not everyone is happy about this.
     
  13. Tuesday

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    First thing I thought of:




    At the townhouse complex I live in now, they have a huge dumpster, and then tiny little recyclable bins for paper, glass, and plastic. So the bins are always full/overflowing, which means everything into the dumpster. Except beer bottles - they go back in the case and returned for deposit. When I lived in a house we recycled a lot more.

    So yeah, I'm going to echo what has been said - recycling seems to be a function of convenience and costs.
     
    #13 Tuesday, Jun 21, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2015
  14. Mantis Toboggan M.D.

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    I used to just dump dead hookers into a lake or bury them in shallow graves by the interstate, but about a year ago I realized how wasteful that was. And what can I say, everyone seems to love my new chili recipe!
     
  15. lust4life

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    Would that be WhoreMel Chili?
     
  16. NickAragua

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    I drive a fuel-efficient car (a stickshift Corolla), turn off the lights in rooms I'm not using, and avoid using the AC as much as possible. I spend a large amount of effort "encouraging" the woman to not throw away reusable things. We also get those half-size paper towels - they last like four times as long (I know, it makes no sense).

    Oh, and I guess I buy part of my energy from wind farms or whatever. That's pretty green.

    Recycling is one of those things where if my town makes it difficult to recycle, it's just going into the trash. If you put a dumpster out back, but make it so I have to drive twenty minutes to toss out a little blue bin of plastic or whatever, you can go fuck yourself, that shit's going in the dumpster. I'm pretty sure I had a much different attitude about it when I was in college, but nowadays, I don't really have the time to drive out to bumfuck nowhere to specially dispose of a couple of piece of paper and some bottles.

    So, in summary, I'm lazy, cheap and don't really have a lot of time, so I do the things that save me time and money (and I'm capable of making long-term investments that will result in more time and money being available later).

    Edit: Also, fuck bottled water.
     
  17. Luke 217

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    In your opinion how many times can you re-use a tampon?
     
  18. Volo

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    A friend of mine rinses her used ones, saves the water and uses it for watering her plants. She's told me on several occasions that when she passes by them in the house, that they look like they're reaching out and trying to touch her.
     
  19. Volo

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    It's not all that hard to separate those things if you do it right off the bat. I bought a half dozen collapse-able trash cans that are made out of canvas, and use them to keep shit separate instead of having to rifle through it all after it's all sticky and smelly and nasty.

    The downside is, it takes up a fair bit of space.
     
  20. Zazz

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    I don't pay my maid her whopping $2.25 an hour to sort the recycling, but I'm pretty sure I see her up the street after every shift sifting through the neighborhood bin. So I guess I'm doing my part.

    That, and thinking about a house version of this:

    [​IMG]