What can I do to make a difference? You
I don't have air-conditioning in my house, my company's offices have no A/C, and quite a number of our friends and family members and neighbors live without A/C, too, along with most people in the world. This is a fine thing in terms of the environment, and in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts hardly heroic. But these last few days of heat have made us think about extreme weather conditions and how to manage without A/C. I found a short "keeping cool" list in one of my early books, [...]
It often takes an outside eye to help one see things close at hand. Last night, a friend came to my house for supper. I'd made a rhubarb crumble, and mentioned that it really should be served with ice cream. Everyone agreed, and my daughter said, in the most ordinary way, "I'll go get some at the coop." The Berkshire Coop is a small version of Wholefoods and it's about five minutes' walk from my house, straight down the hill and across Main Street. She picked up her purse and [...]
I have no right to be holier than thou and have never claimed to be a perfect when it comes to household matters, but I was a bit shocked by this story comparing Al Gore's home to George W. Bush's house in Texas. The excellent Urban Legends site, Scopes.com, says it's true: http://www.snopes.com/politics/bush/house.asp.
I'm blogging in haste from Narita Airport in Tokyo, en route to China, and here's a link I've been meaning to pass along: SustainableWebsites, Green Web Hosting. We're planning to look into this at the office, and I've heard good reports. More from China, as I meet with environmentalists there.
In some cases, a new household appliance can save a good deal of energy. This is true for refrigerators and freezers, and for washing machines (especially if you choose front-loading). But it's not true of televisions, as this article, "Plasma screen TVs sap energy supplies," explains: "Britain's seemingly insatiable appetite for the latest plasma screen televisions could be posing a serious threat to the planet, a technology expert has warned. "If just half of British homes were to buy one of the flat-screen sets, two more nuclear power stations would [...]