I've been watching this thread off and on. If you want to make a
difference in the eco-friendly environment, you can start with
something a lot more simple and in your own home. You be the first
line of responsibility.
Start by changing out your incandescent and halogen light bulbs with
compact fluorescent lights (CFL). They use 1/4-1/3 the energy of the
other types of bulbs. Replace your energy ineffiecient appliances
with energy efficient ones. That means refrigerators, freezers,
computers, television(s), stoves, etc. A new refrigerator comparable
to your old one that's ten or more years old, will only be using
1/8-1/10 of the power. Start looking into solar panels and wind
generators. Most now are able to be put into urban settings and are
allowed under zoning laws. In addition, most of your states, and
starting this year, our federal government give tax breaks and
rebates. And do you really need a large screen TV? And do you really
need more than one TV? And have you switched to LCD screens that
require 1/3 the power of cathode types?
To give you an idea of where I'm coming from--We have lived on the
backside of the boonies for more than 25 years. We do not, nor have
we ever had, commercial electricity during that time. We are
off-grid, with the nearest power lines 15 miles away. We generate 95%
of our electrical requirements through wind and solar. The other 5%
is through a deisel generator when the wind and solar aren't working,
which is very little instance that affects both wind and solar. We
live in Wyoming, so it's not like Arizona where you have oodles of
solar. Our appliances are functional and energy efficient. We use a
gas stove instead of electric. Solar radiant heat, with a propane
backup. Point-of-use, or on-demand hot water heaters.
Yes, I do have an SUV. We live 30 miles from the nearest town. We go
once a week, providing the weather is cooperating. That SUV is packed
to the gills with feed, groceries, supplies for a ranch, and I've
been to the doctor, dentist, visiting the nursing home and bringing
in their requests, 4-H, library, or other appointments as well.But
we're often snowed in during the winter (we have lots of snow, and it
snowed day before yesterday), sometimes up to 5-1/2 months per year.
We do hunt. Remember the part about being snowed in for 5-1/2 months
at a time? You can't survive on snow and being vegan is not
practical. There are no nice little organic vegan stores down the
block from us.
We have also improved the wildlife habitat by planting trees, grass,
shrubs, flowers, and providing water to the wildlife. As a result,
we have a healthy population of the indigenous wildlife, as well as
other things which should not be out in a alpine desert environment.
It is a healthy microecology. Biologists, zoologists, mammologists,
ranchers, hikers and casual visitors cannot believe it when they see
our place. The grass is lush, the trees are green, the wildlife
abounds, while all around our property everything else is seared and
barren because of the long drought we've had for the past six years.
OK, so my lifestyle is not going to appeal to everyone else,
especially those that are vegan or vegitarian (and btw, we have
vegetarians in our family, but they live in cities). But, I do feel
we have been as responsible as we can, to do our part in being
stewards of the land. We are slowly winning over a few converts. It
may be just a small drop in the bucket, but if there are enough
drops, it will eventually fill the bucket. In the future, we may not
even need the bucket because we've found even better alternatives.
If you are truly bothered by the lack of eco-friendly practices,
start in your own back yard.