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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Friday, April 27, 2007

Earth Day One Week Later—What Can You Do?

Okay, so maybe I’m married to an environmental scientist who refuses to use a sprinkler system in the hot Georgia summer. Yes, our lush fescue lawn is brown and crispy by mid-July. And maybe, unlike most people, we faithfully compost, participate in our county’s recycling program, and capture any stray water we can find, be it rainwater from the gutters or shower spray. Yes, there are buckets in my shower in the summer. Thanks to marrying the man I did, I have discovered that’s how one keeps a vegetable garden alive when one vows to conserve water by any means and refuses to use a sprinkler system, even though the house came with one. I’ll even grant you that we are those weird kinds of granola-head people who don’t turn on the air-conditioner until the thermostat hits ninety and we’re sweating like proverbial pigs, BUT I’m not asking you to live as I do.

All I want from you is a simple pledge to stop running your car engine as you wait for your kid to walk out of a dance studio or run off a soccer field after practice.

Since the Earth Day celebration on Sunday, many celebrities and politicians have urged you to change to fluorescent bulbs. They have suggested you use alternative fuels and buy hybrid vehicles. I’m not asking you to buy anything. I’m keying in on the middle verb of the environmental mantra “Recycle, Reduce, and Reuse.”

One small way parents can reduce emissions is to just turn off the car when they aren’t moving in the vehicle. If the interior of your car gets hot and stuffy while you’re waiting on your child, turn off the engine and roll down a window. It’s what us pioneers did back in the pre-air-conditioning, only three TV channel days. If you like to read while you wait for ballet class to end and night is falling, you can buy an LED book light that clips right onto your thriller. If you need tunes to make the wait for practice to end bearable, borrow your child’s iPod.

Making this one small change CAN help. Thanks!

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At 3:05 PM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

I'm right there with you on doing what you can for the environment. We don't water the lawn either. I just take the hose to the plants if we go too long without rain. Otherwise, we let Mother Nature do her thing.

One irony I noticed the other day -- all the cars running, spitting exhaust into the air, as they were sitting in line at the emissions inspection station.

At 3:12 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

These are great ideas!

I recycle all of my cardboard, bottles, plastic, but I do need to turn off the engine while I wait for my kids, so I'll work on that! We just sold our car and bought a hybrid, so that should help too. I don't know if I can wait until the house hits 90 before I turn on the air, but I'll shoot for 80! I've also been cutting down on napkin and paper towel use. I have really bad allergies and I do feel guilty at how many tissues I have been using. Maybe I should get a handkerchief!


At 3:33 PM, Blogger MaryF said...

You really DON'T want to wait till the house reaches 90 before turning on the AC. My brother is an AC guy and he says it makes the unit work too hard to cool down the house - it will run constantly, which doesn't save electricity, and is bad for the unit.

Make sure you change your filters regularly, and using those dust catching filters will save energy, though!

(And he thinks I never listen to him!)

At 10:48 AM, Blogger Mo H said...

I guess I was exagerrating on the 90 degree thing! Yeah, we do turn it on at 80. :) We have a whole house fan, too.

At 2:21 PM, Blogger Kiki, aka Esri said...

Maureen, I didn't realize you were a fellow granola-head!

At 8:23 AM, Blogger Mo H said...

I try to keep the granola-head thing on the downlow. Mostly it's because I'm more a granola-head wannabe. I'm very bad when it comes to leaving the flourescent light bulbs on in my office.


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