Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day 2009

We humans don't own Planet Earth. Good stewardship is our best hope for Her future.
Even we apartment dwellers have ways to help save the planet. That is IF we are willing to adopt them. When one lives in a "utilities-included" rental situation, it might be easy to forget about the costs of electricity and gas. Aside from environmental costs, the $$$ for these energy sources do rise and, without a little conservation, rents must rise, too. Since I live in D.C., that is my frame of reference. We live in an older building with single pane glass and not the best insulation. Still there are ways we've found to decrease our carbon footprint. Recycling is the law in the District. It does apply to rental tenants, too. Our complex was built in the late 60s, so little if any thought was given to accommodating recycleables in trash rooms. We carry them to receptacles on the loading dock. No big deal. We found thermal curtains to replace the flimsy ones that came with the apartment. They do a good job of cutting out the cold in winter and heat in summer. During the evening we have two lights on in the whole apartment, not including the night light in the kitchen. I prefer incandescent light over colder-looking CFC light. Fortunately, Spouse found "warm light" CFC bulbs for my reading light and desk lamp. Our complex management came through a few years ago replacing all the overhead lights with compact fluorescent tubes. I detest overhead lighting, so we seldom use them. Still, it was a good thing to do. Now if we could just convince some of our neighbors not to trash their recycleables . . . Every Friday and Saturday night, I hear dozens of bottles clanking down the trash chute. It bothers me because glass and aluminum are easily recycled. I know D.C. water isn't always tasty, but a filtering pitcher takes care of that and prevents thousands of plastic bottles spoiling river and lake shores and roadsides. If all that doesn't convince you to reconsider how you handle your disposables, perhaps this will.

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