Jan/10

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Big Foot Spotted Calculating Her Carbon Footprint

Challenge #1: What’s your carbon footprint?

I was shocked. Appalled, really. Nearly horrified! I mean, I consider our little household pretty mindful about resources and what we consume and what we conserve. So when I calculated our carbon footprint (I waited until I had a current San Diego Gas & Electric bill in hand) and it revealed that we spew 21.9 METRIC TONS of carbon into the atmosphere each year, with the national average being 21 metric tons, I was reeling. Our miniature commutes, rabid recycling efforts, well-insulated home, drastic water conservation, and profound aversion for using plastic grocery bags all still spelled out CARBON EMISSIONS. Argh. So I will be buying 1.2 acres of rain forest for $108 to pay penance for my carbon sins. I hope it helps.

Before you write us off as the wasteful scourge of the Earth, let’s talk Christmas. One of my favorite things to save (besides money) is trees. So each December we drag a coniferous tree into the house from the patio, which I have, God willing, kept alive for the past year or two. This year’s tree was dinky because it was its first year living in a pot – we usually get three to four years out of each tree before they become root bound and we either donate it to the Boy Scouts or plant it somewhere that needs a little shade. We’ll never compete with the lighted tree in Times Square, but I feel all warm and fuzzy knowing that no bark was shed on our account.

Before you think we’re tree hugging goodie-two shoes, I must confess that we decorated with colored lights, and I mean the nice, big, fat, old-fashioned Christmas lights of years gone by. We even had a little string of those classic “bubble lights” on the mantel. So far, my husband has not warmed to LED holiday lighting–too “modern” for his sentimental tastes. That’s not to say he never will, but for now I’ll consider us “green minded” for reusing our living tree. And maybe Santa will bring us an extra acre of forest next year to keep us on an even keel.
Karyl Carmignani

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3 Comments for Big Foot Spotted Calculating Her Carbon Footprint

Barbara Steinberg | January 14, 2010 at 12:57 am

This makes me think, hopefully to make some changes. BTW, love your writing style.
Thanks for your admirable efforts.

justkristin | January 22, 2010 at 12:57 am

So, what do you suggest that people for whom even making a dent in their footprint seems daunting? How do you make it seem like it matters?

Joni | January 22, 2010 at 12:58 am

Baby steps, JustKristin, baby steps. :)

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