Friday, September 15, 2006

Medium-Well Please

Anyone who knows me would know that the last couple of weeks have been exceptionally hard on my stomach. My mother in law is visiting and she’s vegetarian. What this means to a devout carnivore like me is no cooking meat at home, no more take out and no more steak dinners with my friends.

Studies (I choose to ignore most of the time) show, that industrial meat production requires huge energy inputs and creates noxious waste. It takes far more fossil-fuel energy to produce and transport meat than to deliver equivalent amounts of protein from plant sources. The heavy use of carbon-rich fuels also contributes significantly to the emissions of global-warming gases.

Blah! Blah!

I guess what I’m trying to say is that; strict vegetarianism isn’t for everyone (definitely not me). I’ve been a little unhappy, but one less steak a week hasn’t killed me. Not yet anyway.

So, World Saving Tip #3: Replacing one meaty meal with a vegetarian meal, saves you money and possibly the world; one steak at a time.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Ah! The Bathroom Lights!

Three years ago, my best friend was living with me for a while. I came home from work one evening to an apartment in complete darkness. She had one tiny light on. She was saving electricity. When she did dishes, she washed plates under a trickle of water. She was conserving water. Well, my friend is an environmental engineer, ground water tester…umm something along those lines.

I don’t do it for the conservation. I enjoy dim lighting. If I’m home alone, I have one lamp on. I remember to turn off lights when I walk from one room to another. The bathroom in our town home came with a fancy 12 bulb lighting structure; I use the 2 bulb option. Not really to conserve anything, just 'cos I hate the glare of bright lights.

Quite the opposite, my husband wants everything lit like he’s picking lint off his shirt. We argue incessantly; mostly about bathroom lights. Now I have an excuse. I’m saving the world, one light bulb at a time.

Random thoughts of an environmentalist that never was

I'm what ecologists would call a pseudo- environmentalist in a corporate world. I think about things like pollution and global warming. I occasionally have ideas and plans. And shortly after, the inspiration dies. What’s good an idea, if it isn't shared and if no one acts on it?

Truth is, like most busy professionals, I am too busy juggling work and home, planning dinner and thinking about what I need to do to get my next big raise. Most of my ‘save the world’ or ‘what’s my true calling’ thoughts have come to me while driving back home from work, mostly when I’m exhausted after a grueling day sitting at my desk and doing what I do best - working at my computer.

I keep myself happy by believing that I do my bit. I volunteer, occasionally toss that recyclable product in the right bin and carry my milk home without a plastic bag.

Should I be doing more? Does it really make a difference if I incorporate trivial changes in my daily life? One day at a time they say; but is that really enough? Could I, the lazy and busy pseudo- environmentalist really come through and go-green?