Tuesday, February 28, 2012


I guess I’m entitled to my fair share of this planet.  The question is just how much is my share and is it fair? 
There are a number of devises that can help compute how much of the Earth’s resources we use, our “eco-footprints, ” based  on a series of lifestyle questions, dealing with our use of food, housing, transportation, heating and cooling, water, etc. 
Here’s one if you’d like to see where you rank.  http://myfootprint.org/en/
One reason for living in a yurt in Hawaii is to consciously attempt to lower my footprint.  So:

·         My heating and cooling impact is near zero.  Other than a warm blanket on a cool night, my impact is minimal.  Climate clearly comes into play.  The temperature ranges between 60-80 degrees.
·         Cooling food is another issue requiring sizable amounts of energy.  No one likes warm beer. We generate 99% of it through photovoltaic systems.  It runs the ‘fridge, lights, pumps, computers, etc.  Surprisingly much of Hawaii gets its electricity via standard generation using expensive, dirty, imported oil.
·         Currently propane is used for cooking and hot water.  This needs to change. Solar is the obvious solution.
·         Water is plentiful, large catchment tanks are common to supply household needs, using gravity to move it to where it is needed.  Since is rains often, refills are free!
·         We grow some food here, and could do better.  Right now there are bananas, strawberries, chard, basil, cilantro, tomatoes, and eggs.  Taro, pineapple, artichokes, beans, and others are coming in soon.  A greenhouse helps.  Plenty of sun, water and compost are added as needed.

·         Transportation is via gasoline powered car, big part of the footprint.  A hybrid would be nice.  Someday.  Meanwhile we ride share and use the public bus system, which is free!  And of course there was a long airplane ride here.  I have done a carbon purchase to help offset the fuel used.  Somewhere in the world, someone is planting trees for me.

I think I have reduced my impact to a reasonable share.  
But we all could do better, right? 
So what will you do?
Next time:  Work!


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