Sunday, April 23, 2006

Earth Day Resolution!!

So, there was a Minnesota Public Radio "Policy and a Pint" earlier this week about environmental awareness that I missed. I really wanted to calculate my environmental footprint, and see what kinds of changes I could make!

I did a quick web search, and found this ecological footprint quiz. It was pretty interesting! Although I learned I have a below-average ecological footprint, I also learned it would take 4 1/2 Earths worth of space if everyone lived the way I did! Interesting. The biggest factor, by far, was the poor gas mileage my vehicle gets, coupled with my lengthy commute each week. At the end of the quiz, there is a place that offers suggestions for ways you can make changes! Cool. Obviously, the best way for me would be to stop driving so far each week, which will be accomplished in a very short period of time. (A week and a half left!) Also, selling my air conditioner should happen, (I run it too often, and really, there are only a couple of really uncomfortable weeks each summer,) and air-drying some loads of laundry each week. There weren't questions, however, about the types of products you choose to purchase, (like recycled toilet paper, phosphate-free laundry detergent, etc.) recycling or composting habits, etc.

Overall, it was interesting to see how I compared! I encourage everyone to give it a go -- I know there are plenty of things I could change in my life to better care for the planet, and I bet everyone else could find one or two changes to make, too!

I propose to anyone who's interested, make an "Earth Day Resolution" with me -- take the quiz, pick one or two things you plan to change, and we'll check back with each other periodically to see if it's happening!

My resolutions:
1. Drive less, and possibly sell my car and relying solely on my feet, bike, and public transportation.
2. Air-dry at least half of all laundry loads (towels and sheets will still hit the dryer, since I have limited air-drying space in my weenie apartment, and sometimes cotton knit things just get way stretched out and need a trip in the dryer for reshaping.)

Let's do it!


Shawn Powers said...

Wow, I guess working close to home helped me some -- but I still need a spare planet and a half to let everyone else live like me...

Cool link, thanks!

Catherine Weber said...

So, what's your resolution??

Shawn Powers said...

Well, we *did* plant seeds to supply some of our own veggies this year. We're trying to teach our kids to be more green.

AND, if I can find a reasonably priced bicycle, I plan to ride my bike the 2 miles to work while the weather allows.

So there you have it -- we'll see how I do keeping up with it.

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

Hi Catherine: I'll make an "Earth Day Resolution" with you! After taking the quiz I'm sad that even though we are so earth conscious we still make too much of an impact.

1. I'll compost my kitchen waste. I have no excuse, we have a composter that is still in the box...ugh.
2. My long-term goal is to replace our grass with native/drought-tolerant plants. Two of our neighbors did this recently & it's lovely.

Eat Peace Please said...

Mine was a 19. It would take me 4.3 planets, yuck! Thanks for this info and always reminding us about the earth. I'm looking into that windpower soon too.

Catherine Weber said...

Vicki -- I am able to compost now, because I haul it in to work with me a couple of times a week. Kind of icky, but worth it. Once I switch jobs, I'm going to have to stop composting . . . boo! Perhaps I can convince the family I'll be working for to compost, as a teaching tool for the kids? Here's hoping. (I bet your girls will love digging up worms in the compost!) That idea you have of replacing your yard with native grasses sounds awesome! I bet it's both pretty, and uses less water, too!

Shawn -- what are you growing? I wish I could garden -- there are so few joys involved with apartment living. Blech. Hopefully, I can do a little gardening with the kids I'm going to nanny for! Your biking sounds like a cool idea -- you get exercise and energy efficiency! When I sell my car, I plan on using the meager proceeds to buy a bike that is light enough I can haul it up two and a half flights of stairs into my apartment!

Leslie -- Isn't that windpower thing so cool? And it's pretty cheap, too, when you consider how effortless it is to make a better environmental choice!

Anonymous said...

You can listen to the Policy and a Pint online (go to, click on The Current, scroll down)