Dreaming in green

Most of us leave work ready to drop in a chair, our most strenuous task the flicking of the finger on the remote control.
So I relish the days when I leave work inspired, and I cherish the weekends when I can put my plans into action.
Saturday was jam-packed with work for me, starting with the “green” Christmas in July Roscoe Chamber festival, followed by a stop-over at the Sustainable Living Open House at the Apple Pond Farm in Callicoon Center and a foray into my other job shooting a family portrait.
You’ll find I rarely dress up for work because I never know if I’ll be headed from a cow field to the government center.
So two “go green” events in a row? Unheard of.
Of course, they both fell on the same day as the first-ever “Live Earth” concert that was rocking my television as I readied for work.
Opportunity wasn’t just knocking. It was hammering a rhythm on my skull.
So I finally got my hiney in gear.
Already heavily committed to recycling, I chatted up County Recycling Coordinator Bill Cutler at the Roscoe event for the latest on what I can stash instead of trash.
I walked off with the updated county list of “required” recyclables to post on my refrigerator and some new ideas for the big pile of compost that’s constantly growing in my back yard.
When I finally settled down from running across the county, I went online and calculated my “carbon footprint,” the approximate tonnage of greenhouse gases my household is responsible for releasing into the atmosphere every year.
Proud I was well below both the American and Canadian averages, I nevertheless started punching in different options.
If I cut this or switched that, how much could I save?
Then I went shopping.
Jonathan and I stocked up on the compact fluorescent bulbs we’ve always been meaning to buy and just never got around to.
Turns out their use would cut an entire ton off our carbon footprint – according to the online calculator.
You can give or take a few hundred pounds for the errors of a generalized calculating system, but you can’t refute the electrical savings we’re bound to feel.
And guess what?
They’re recyclable.
It costs money here in the county, but Ikea will take all the CF bulbs you’ve finished for gratis.

That was my next step – online to research the greening of corporate America.
When I can’t shop local, where should I go?
More research this weekend revealed Staples will take any computer monitor, printer, fax machine or other big e-waster for a $10 fee – even if they didn’t sell the product.
And the fee isn’t going in the CEO’s pocket – it’s to offset the recycling cost.
I can’t even grumble about the corporation we all love to hate much longer.
Super Power Wal-Mart has told its truckers no more idling those big rigs. It’s a fuel savings for them – in the millions of dollars – and the equivalent of taking 200,000 cars off the road for us.
And thank goodness Jillian likes that Johnson’s body wash because Johnson and Johnson’s earned the distinction of utilizing the most wind power of any corporation in America. They’ve got photovoltaic and geo-thermal too.
But my final bit of Internet work this weekend took me back to work – to a site dedicated to “greening your workplace.”
It turns out; I’m right on track.
Number 6 on the top 10 list?
Work from home.
With three days spent out of the office, I’m on my way.
I don’t just feel good. I feel inspired!


  1. “Why is it so rainy, snowy or cold if there’s global warming”, is the least favorite ignorant question I hear. Duh. ‘I guess he doesn’t know much about ice caps melting’, is my thought. What about overpopulation of human beings? Nobody seems to have the guts to touch on this phenomenon. Who else causes all the pollution, traffic and waste? The mountains? Nah. The tigers? Nope. Yeah. It’s humans. But dare someone like you or I touch this topic! I’ll have pro-lifers down my throat like soft orange jello!

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