Monday, November 20, 2006

The Lean, Mean, Green Machine

I'm going on a diet. Not that kind of diet -although I ought to do that, too. This is an 8-week carbon-diet. Sponsored by Slate magazine and treehugger, the diet is a regimen for reducing the carbon load from household use.

Step one is to determine the baseline -our current carbon output. The news is disturbing: 12,568.8 lbs of carbon emissions for our household. Good grief. They claim, though, that the U.S. average is 22 tons of carbon emissions per person. Can that be true?

My first task is to reduce my transportation emissions. The tasks they suggest are:
  • Check tire pressure and get the tires inflated to the proper levels
  • Check the car's air filter and replace it if necessary
  • Carpool two days each week
  • Drive 25 fewer miles this week

Alrighty then... How much of this can I actually do? Don't they (ahhh....the mysterious "they" responsible for all the peculiar goings-on in the world) check your tire pressure and the air filter when changing the oil in the car? In that case, I should be okay. I'll get that done tomorrow. I think I'm maxed out in the carpooling area, but I'll think about that one some more. Driving 25 fewer miles???? Wow. There are lots of days when I don't drive at all. I don't know where 25 fewer miles would come from. What I'll do is set the odometer in my car and see how many miles I drive this week. (Well, it's going to be artificially high. There's a trip to the airport and a trip to Wisconsin, because of the Thanksgiving holiday.) Then I'll cut it by 10%. How's that?

Anyone want to join me? If you need some motivation, watch Al Gore on TedTalks. Who knew he could be funny?