I live in Ottawa, Canada, and normally on a day like today, we would consider a balmy day in January to be about -15 Celsius. As I’m writing this, it’s a really balmy +6 degrees out. It’s like the Great White North has been exported south this year, and I actually saw some geese flying back here this morning. And we all play a part in this…
The sheer number of people who are on earth only accounts for a small percentage of global warming; what really accounts for it is industrialization and large industrial processes. So, most people figure that there’s nothing I can do, it’s all these big operations that are causing the problems. That’s where you’re wrong; there’s a lot everyone can do. And it’s really the little things that can add up to a big difference.
In our house, we’ve swapped out almost all the standard incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents, which will pay for themselves in energy savings within the first year. The standard bulbs we’ve left in are all on dimmers, so they never run at full power. I re-built my server and desktop computer this past year, and they’re more energy efficient than the older products they replaced, while being more powerful, and the parts used meets the RoHS directive for restricting hazardous substances. I also avoid printing things if I don’t have to; instead I rely on print preview or carrying the information around on my Treo. I’m also starting to eliminate paper bills, and relying on electronic statements and PDF printing wherever possible. And those are just some of the technological steps we’re taking (after all, this is a tech blog!). We also recycle whatever is recyclable.
In today’s consumer driven environment, we CAN vote our conscience with our wallet. Buy products that are energy efficient or eco-friendly, even if it means spending a little more. If enough people do that, they’ll all become energy efficient or eco-friendly, and cheaper, in order to compete. Use print preview instead of printing something to “check out how it looks”. Look for other ways you can make a difference; a whole lot of little bits can make a huge difference, especially when you multiply it by hundreds, thousands, or millions of people.
There’s an old Indian proverb about the earth; “We don’t inherit it from our grandparents. We borrow it from our children.” Let’s not leave it a mess for them.