Archive for the ‘Global Warming’ Category

Getting rid of junk mail

Friday, May 18th, 2007

A friend recently told me about a for-fee service offered by GreenDimes to get rid of junk mail. GreenDimes charges $36 a year and promises to get rid of junk mail and plant a tree each month.

Did a bit of digging around and discovered what seem to be a couple of relatively simple and low cost steps that promise to do the trick as well:

  • The Direct Marketing Association appears to offer consumers a service for a $1 fee that prevents mail from DMA members for a period of 5 years.
  • The major credit reporting agencies have a site for consumers to stop receiving credit card offers (we seem to get about one every day on the average).

I tried to figure out what additional features were offered by the GreenDimes service – they appear to hint at covering a proprietary list of junk mail sources in addition to the ones above and also seem to offer a level of customization in terms of being able to receive certain types of junk mail if desired. For now, I think I’m going to stick to the cheaper DIY method and see how well it works before I fork out more money …

28 tons a year

Sunday, May 13th, 2007

Did some math using the EPA’s Carbon Emissions calculator today. Looks like our household generates about 28 tons of Carbon a year. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Our cars – 10 tons
  • Electricity/gas for our home – 17.5 tons
  • Waste – 0.5 tons

A real eye opener for me.

Its pretty safe to assume that households in third world countries generate nowhere close to this much. I was thinking of my own childhood growing up in India. We did have a car, but it was used mainly for leisure trips and driven nowhere near as much as my family does now. We did not have central air conditioning or heating systems in any of the homes we lived in (we lived in some extreme climes where we could definitely have used these). We used ceiling/table fans for cooling ourselves and blankets/sweaters to warm ourselves. We did not generate even a 100th of the waste my family generates today. We simply did not consume as many goods with elaborate packaging and we did not throw away anything until it had served every ounce of its life. Could I get my family to change so we start living that sort of a simpler lifestyle ? Probably not. But could we do something to reduce our emissions ? I think so – there’s a number of very simple suggestions available here which we are going to try.

I recommend anyone reading this do the math for themselves and look for ways to conserve.