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How 'green' are you?

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Craven Morehead, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. The 'green' movement has finally caught on in the US. No stronger evidence than seeing it used in marketing campaigns on everthing from detergent to light bulbs and automobiles. But have you actually made a product purchase solely because something was advertised as being 'green'?

    I can't say that I have. At this point I feel that 'green' cars are overprices based on the savings they would yeild compared to a standard version of the same car. Have picked up some CFLs but I actually prefer the old fashioned incandescent bulb. And LEDs are far too expensive. We do recycle extensively and I do compost all yard waste. But so far, we've not modfied our buying habits to specifically select 'green' items. Maybe it will be a matter of time until all products are 'green' or maybe it will be just another marketing gimmick, a passing fad perhaps.
  2. snowy

    snowy so kawaii Staff Member Donor

    My husband and I go back and forth on purchasing CFLs. When they make a CFL that has the light I like--my favorite light bulb is GE's Reveal--then I will be happy. So far, I've yet to find one. If anyone has any recommendations, I'd appreciate it.

    We tend not to purchase things just because they advertise as "green." My husband chose to go into chemical engineering because he is a staunch environmentalist. He's a vegetarian because he cares about the land-use issues associated with raising meat. We both tend to look at things that advertise as being "green" as a case of greenwashing first, then we look deeper and make a decision.

    One "green" thing I do tend to purchase is non-chemical cleaning products. BioKleen makes an enzymatic cleaner called Bac-Out that I love. It can be used for anything from getting the stain out of your carpet to getting the stain out of your clothes to cleaning up a pee-pee mess to deodorizing anything that stinks, really. Buying Bac-Out got me hooked on their other cleaning products--Bac-Out Bathroom cleaner, and the All-Purpose Cleaner (comes in concentrated form, so you can mix it up how strong you want it, and one bottle makes like three bottles of the regular All-Purpose Cleaner). Generally, I clean with: baking soda, salt, washing soda, Borax, vinegar, lemon juice, hot water, Dawn, and the Biokleen cleaners, mostly because you do need a spray-and-wipe cleaner from time to time, and theirs doesn't smell obnoxious. It's not truly necessary--I could get by cleaning just with baking soda and vinegar if I had to.

    I think to think green--think about what people did before modern marketing and modern manufacturing took over. We're convinced we need to Comet our toilets. I contend washing soda works just fine.
  3. ralphie250

    ralphie250 Fully Erect Donor

    im not very green at all. i use what i use.
  4. KirStang

    KirStang Remember...only YOU can return fire.

    I think it's a fad. While I appreciate and support sustainability, I won't purchase a 'green' item unless it has some real world, measureable impact--such as a lightbulb that lasts 3 years and costs less to run (even though the 'green' bulb contains mercury).
  5. snowy

    snowy so kawaii Staff Member Donor

    Yeah, but if you recycle a CFL like you're supposed to, it can go to make a new light bulb. According to the EPA, nearly all of the materials in a CFL can be reused to make a new CFL. My municipal garbage service takes them at the transfer center for recycling. For those of you without that option, Home Depot has a CFL recycling service.
  6. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    According to this test, my carbon footprint is just over double that of the average person globally, but half that of the average American.

    • I work at home.
    • I eat a mainly plant-based diet.
    • I live in a small apartment.
    • I recycle like a sonuvabitch.
    • I use most of my products until they break, are embarrassingly obsolete, or are threadbare.
    • I don't drive.
    • I fly maybe once a year, sometimes once every two years.

    All of these are factors that make me much greener than the average North American.

    Not all green products are fads. Energy Star, for one, is on many of my larger electronics. I also use biodegradable dish soap, as the regular products have some pretty harsh stuff in there.

    Also there is a lot about the green industry that many people don't see or realize: construction materials, book production, energy, services, etc., have all moved towards a trend of "greening."

    It's easy to get distracted by the high-profile stuff, like light bulbs.
  7. Stan

    Stan Resident Dumbass Donor

    We're fairly green, though I do my homework.

    We haven't owned an incandescent lightbulb in years. We have fluorescent and CFL lamps in places where they seem inoffensive and halogen bulbs where we care. I really don't get the fallout over incandescent bulbs, halogen can be better in every way.

    We compromise a bit on vehicles, we simply aren't getting home in the winter without 4wd and studs. A Prius might be greener; but the Tacoma gets me home. On the up side, the Moto Guzzi gets Prius gas mileage and is my ride of choice in the summer.

    Most of our heat comes from wood. We live in the National Forest and use an EPA approved wood burning stove with secondary combustion chamber and catalytic converter. Emissions out of my chimney are similar to a gas furnace.

    We recycle plastic and aluminum, the economics and viability of paper and glass recycling are a bit iffy where we live.

    I've spent a small fortune on energy efficiency in our home. Installing the wood burning stove, combined with new windows and insulation, cut our energy bills by 50-60%. I'm not sure I can go any further economically.
  8. Good point. That's the marketing aspect of it.
  9. According to Baraka's test, our household is greener than the average household in Utah by 33%. Our home isn't particularly efficient - the appliances are old, but we do use those spiffy lighbulbs, run our heat low in the winter and wear sweaters, and we didn't use A/C all summer (it's broken and we just didn't bother fixing it. Hasn't been too bad, actually). There is no community recyling in our complex, but I still recycle aluminum. I also bring stuff to my dad's house and put it in his bin. I work from home most days, and when I go into the office (45 miles away), I drive 10 miles to the train station and take the train from there. We don't do a lot of driving in general and very rarely fly. I've started using vinegar and baking soda to clean with, but I'm still experimenting with what works best. We use cloth napkins. I try to reuse old things when possible (socks with holes make great dust cloths) or at least donate old things instead of just junking them.
  10. cj2112

    cj2112 Slightly Tilted

    I don't consider myself very green at all. I drive a full size 1/2 ton 4wd with the biggest V8 available for my truck. I drive a minimum of 30, usually 50ish miles a day. I get 12mpg....yes 12. I have yet to find a CFL that doesn't give me a headache, so I don't use them. We have a tankless water heater, not because it's way more efficient (which it is), but because the old one was nearing the end of it's lifespan, and with the minerals in our well water, we didn't want to find out that the pressure relief valve didn't work, and end up w/ a broken tank. That got it out of the house all together. I don't litter because I spend a lot of time on the river, in the woods, etc. I get pissed when I see litter everywhere.

    however according to the test that Baraka linked:
    The average for a household my size is 110. Weird, because I don't think that I am green at all.
  11. Seer666

    Seer666 Getting Tilted

    I am not green. I eat meat. Lots and lots of meat. I don't recycle, because I think the whole recycling craze is pretty much worthless. Take a look down stream of a recycling plant some day and tell me just how good it is for the environment. I by energy efficient light bulbs when I can because I like the lower electric bills, but that is about it.
  12. EventHorizon

    EventHorizon assuredly the cause of the angry Economy..

    i put some solar panels on a backpack of mine as a boredom project once and thats about as green as i can get.
  13. Stick

    Stick Vertical Donor

    Mudgee, Australia
    I'm responsible for lots of un-green-ness on this planet - I work in a coal mine and drive trucks that have 1348hp engines and weigh 250 tons loaded and dozers that have 850 hp engines and weigh over 100 tons. I love my job.
  14. arkana Very Tilted

    I'm a vegan.

  15. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Not to piss in your quinoa or anything, but your round-trip flight to Germany easily burned through those savings, champ.
  16. cj2112

    cj2112 Slightly Tilted

    So do you only purchase locally grown, organic produce, grown on small farms using sustainable practices? If so, do you find the selection very limited?
  17. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Even if he doesn't, the carbon savings of eating low on the food chain is astoundingly high. For example, it takes 16 lbs. of grain to produce a pound of beef. I'm not sure about the water, energy, waste, or other costs.
  18. EventHorizon

    EventHorizon assuredly the cause of the angry Economy..

    i laughed pretty damn hard, but seriously, cavemen who knew what fire was left carbon footprints. from what i understand, long after we nuke each other to death, all the hydrocarbons will eventually break down and the bacteria/plants will use it so that people can evolve again and nuke each other again. so through my eyes it really doesn't make that much of a difference
  19. Japchae

    Japchae Very Tilted

    My household produces 42 tons per year... national US average is 53 for my household make up. Unfortunately, our area doesn't recycle reliably. I definitely do as much organic and local as possible... seasonal produce, some cheeses, my friends' eggs. When I can.
    I drive a clean diesel... my carbon footprint there is pretty small, actually, even though I drove 20700 miles in 11 months. I get 40+ miles per gallon most of the time. And we don't do a lot of meat often, have LEDs in some of the rooms (I get massive headaches from CFLs, which I can't afford to deal with). We should unplug more, but we don't. And don't have the option to change out a lot of things, because we're in a condo. But when we get a house, we'll have a tankless water heater and are going to try to go as green as possible.
  20. There are several incredible responses here. I'm impressed.