Saturday, May 19, 2007

The environment and my yard

We all hear about the environment and how delicate or resilient it is. Everyone has to form their own opinion and decide where they fit in. I'm not sure where I fit in. I recently watched Al Gore's documentary An Inconvenient Truth. I found it very interesting, but then again one of my favorite channels is the History Channel. That may not say much for me, but it is who I am. I was impressed by the evidence that we are having a dramatic impact on the earth. I have to admit that I visited the website that is the media base for the film, I checked other websites that had information about how to be 'carbon neutral' and other means of reducing my personal impact on global warming. The advice that is out there on the web is good. A large portion of it even viable. I don't have any problem doing something 'extra' to help the environment, but my primary motivation is not for the greater good. I could be described as 'frugal' or 'monetarily conscientious'. My wife just tells me that I'm cheap. It could all be true. However, when I can do something that will ultimately save me money, I am all over it. For example, Energy Star qualified appliances is a no brainer. You pay a little more up front for something that you were going to buy anyway. But you also get the added benefit of knowing that your electricity bills will be slightly lower because of it. Needless to say, all of the appliances that we have purchased have the little blue star symbol on them. I also have all compact florescent bulbs in our house. The models now a days are much better than before. The size is the same as your regular incandescent bulb and you can choose the type, or color if you will, of light that you want. I know, I know, you are saying "but those bulbs cost way more than regular bulbs". It's true. Anyway, I got thinking about of this today because I broke down and purchased a lawn mower and trimmer. We live in a dry climate and the amount of grass in our yard is limited to a patch about the size of a small swimming pool. I went to the local Home Depot and picked out a manual push mower. No engine, no gas, no cords, and no pollution. I am the motor. The trimmer, however, had to be powered by something else. So I choose electric. I got them both for about $110. I thought that it was a deal. I get some exercise, the yard looks good, I am not polluting the air with toxic emissions or noise, and best of didn't cost much. I was thinking tonight, as I was trying it out for the first time, about when I was a kid and we only had a push mower. It was hard work when the grass got long, but I enjoyed it. Maybe that was my initial draw, but then it was cheap, and I am helping the environment.

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