Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

I just read in the latest Mother Earth News that the 2.3 trillion dollars we've wasted killing people and embarrassing ourselves in Iraq could have solved all our sustainable "green" energy needs FOR GOOD. I don't know what upsets me more, this outrageous misuse of money, or the whiny woulda-coulda-shoulda tone of the statement. I mean, it's not too late! Surely we could cough up another emergency 2.3 trillion dollars to spend on something useful? Makes up for spending so much on a stupid wrong thing? Evens things out, like? What are we, BROKE?

I've been doing a lot of work-related reading about water conservation and electrical circuitry. Wouldn't think those things are related, but it turns out that by saving electricity (by installing those new-fangled fluorescent bulbs, for example), you also help save the planet's finite water supply. That's cuz many processes used to make electricity, like burning coal or gas or oil, create pollutants that affect water quality. So use less of the stuff and you mess up the earth a tiny bit less. Plus one of these bulbs will also save you bucks because it lasts a lot longer besides using less wattage.

Also I learned that reusing and recycling materials can help the environment. Wait, was I supposed to know this already?! I was reading that the ocean is turning to "plankton and plastic soup" because plastic doesn't biodegrade, it just photodegrades into nasty little plastic bits. So what am I doing about it? Well, baby steps man. I've started asking for "for here" dishes at the cafeteria even though I'm really taking the food "to go." Then I take my dishes and cutlery back to the cafeteria for washing instead of trashing them. Also I've become guilty about using plastic bags to buy bulk foods. If I'm such a hippie that I'm buying bulk, why am I using so many baggies and twist ties? So I'm trying to use Mason jars for bulk stuff now. Just get the tare weight first and mark it on the jar, then fill and label.

Also I'm so proud of our low-flow air-assisted toilet. It's a Gerber. Not the baby food company, the toilet company. If you're in the market for a new throne, check one out! (Or similar low-flow thingy.) It works better than our old leaky toilet, and with less water.

Sources: National Geographic depressing issue about how the oceans are messed up. The book "Hold Your Water! 68 Things You Need to Know to Keep Our Planet Blue." ESFi online resources, especially booklet on assessing circuitry in your home. Mother Earth News magazine.

Here's last week's playlist, BTW!

  • Fantasy Island theme
  • Autour du feu: Maritas de Plata
  • La Iguana (son jarocho): Los Lobos
  • Una Linea di Dolcezza: Bert Jansch
  • Banderilla: Calexico
  • Tientos: Carlos Montoya (guitar)
  • Piedras Negras: Laika & the Cosmonauts
  • Veinte Años: Buena Vista Social Club
  • Memories of Madrid: Herb Alpert
  • Desaparacido: Manu Chao
  • Hotel California: Gipsy Kings
  • Soul Sacrifice: Santana
  • Malagueña: Mantovani & his orchestra
  • Chan Chan: The Mammals
  • Saga gitane: Manitas de Plata

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