Going Green

I’m not going to talk about whether global warming is caused by humans or not, because it doesn’t matter.

Fact: The activity of any living organism changes the environment around it.

Pookah certainly thinks this is true.

Now, unless someone can come along and conclusively prove that human activity does NOT change the environment, we have a clear-cut responsibility, as caretakers of our environment, to minimize our impact on our environment. This follows the principle of do no harm. (By the way, if someone does come along and conclusively prove that human activity does not change the environment, I will laugh at them, point them back to high school basic science principles, and cordially request that they check out the gas vent pipes on top of their rock pile. Evidence either supports a theory or doesn’t.)

Are you listening to me? I’m purring. See? You should pet me.

Ethic: As intelligent beings, we are responsible for our actions and the consequences, direct or indirect, of those actions.
Ethic: As intelligent, responsible beings, we must do no harm to our environment wherever possible.
Ethic: Where harm is unavoidable, we must do the least harm possible. When harm is done, we must bend every effort to minimize or repair the effects of that harm.

Sigh. I have lost my human’s attention in favor of philsoph… philosph… head-churn-wordy-stuff.

These ethics have a very firm background: I don’t want our descendants growing up living on mountains of toxic waste. The easiest way to avoid toxic waste is NOT cleaning it up – that’s a reaction to a problem. Preventing a problem is (usually) much less expensive in the long run.

So, in our pile of rocks, we have A Plan.

Pookah will run and hide now. Human is getting power tools out.

1. Weatherstripping.

2. Air Sealing.

3. Insulation.

4. Conservation.

Here are some things we’ve done:

Those plastic containers of Welch’s Grape Juice Concentrate? Filled them with cheap marbles from the dollar store, added water, voila! Instant water brick. Dropped it into a safe portion of our toilet’s reservoir tank, and watched our monthly water bill drop by $3-$5/month. Level of effort: Very Low. Time: about 10 minutes.

Remember those plastic containers of Welch’s Grape Juice Concentrate? They also make great pen/pencil/small paintbrush holders. I had to use a nail file to smooth out the edges.

Showers have a 10-minute limit. Level of effort: Reminding young child to finish up.

Our one working showerhead was replaced with a more water-efficient model. Estimated savings, $1-$2/month. Level of effort: Low. Time: 15 minutes.

While we’re running water, waiting for it to warm up, we capture it in a bucket. This water is then used for washing the bathroom, or dumped into the clothes washer. The gain on this one isn’t much, but it does reduce our water consumption. No estimate on savings. Level of effort: Low. Time: 30-45 minutes/week.

Very important note for other cats: It is NOT a good idea to jump up on open bucket of water to use as launching platform to a higher elevation. The results are VERY unpleasant. Humans should know better.

I’ll post more details about what we’ve done going forward.

One Response to “Going Green”

  1. Rossella says:

    I have a reverse oossmis water purifier under the kitchen sink. The filters need to be replaced every six months. I absolutely love it. I don’t think health conscious Americans drink out of the tap any more. According to the Environmental Working Group, my city has the #9 worst tap water in America!!exile

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