Social Question

Highbrow's avatar

How green are you ? Do you think you are green or a polluter in training?

Asked by Highbrow (366 points ) December 10th, 2012

1)How green is your home?
Is your home helping or hindering the environment?
What sort of windows make up most of the glazing in your home?
Do you have loft insulation in place ?
Do you have a central heating thermostat?
Have you switched to low-energy lightbulbs?
Is your hot-water tank lagged ?
Do you close your curtains in the evening?
How old is your fridge/freezer ?
How many appliances do you leave on ‘standby’ overnight ?
When you boil the kettle, how full do you fill it?
Do you have baths more often than showers?
2)Do you really want to save the planet?
If you saw some one throw their paper on the ground out side, what would you do?
Do you mostly…
*Sit around all day and throw litter on the ground?
**Pick up garbage when you see it laying around?
**Attend “Take it to the basket” meetings?
How long do your showers usually take?
Do you keep the water running when you brush your teeth?
Do you use “green” items? Such as, paper towels, detergent, and so on.
Do you keep a recycling bin at your house, and recycle it?
Do you want to beat up BP for that oil spill?
How do you dry your clothes?
Do you use paperless billing?
What do you do with your grocery plastic bags?
Where do you buy your fruits and vegetables?
3)How much do you care about the environment and the people in it?
There are recycling bins placed everywhere around your county. Do you recycle when you can?
Just to see how good of a guesser you are… what percent of large fish, such as catfish and tuna, are already gone?
Composting…. do you REALLY do it?
What are your feelings about the recent Gulf of Mexico oil spill?
What do you usually inform people about/ what are some tips you give people?
What type of (energy) powered objects do you use the most?
Last but not least…What are your feelings toward people and the environment?

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17 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

MY feelings towards some people is that they circumvent the “three-questions-a-day rule here by piggy-backing dozens of queries under one rubric.

burntbonez's avatar

65% green.

Deshi_basara's avatar

Green is a marketing scheme.

1 Prius creates more pollution in manufacturing than it saves in use. And that volcanoe in Iceland, it put more pollutants into the atmosphere in a week than we’ve saved in the passed 50 years.

Be conservation minded. Recycle when you can and the like. But don’t buy into all that garbage.
Heck, here is a true story for you. I met our sustainability coordinator her first day here. I work tech support and was setting up her machine when she took an arm full of old media supplies (floppy disks, Cd’s, batteries) and threw them right into the trash can. I asked her why she didn’t recycle them and she looked me dead in the eye and said “you can’t recycle stuff like that”. The hype, the field, the profession. It’s all a damn joke. When I was finished with her machine I told her to rethink her career choice, picked up her trash can and left.

zenvelo's avatar

Yes, I am green, Recycle just about everything I can. We compost here at the office. I’d compost at home but the landlord won’t let us. I walk everywhere I can, or ride a bike. Or take public transportation.

Bellatrix's avatar

I’m not going to answer each of your many questions, however, I am quite green.

I do have loft insulation, we set the air conditioning to 24 (although when I am very I turn this down much to my husband’s irritation), we use low-energy lightbulbs and I do turn things off. We have solar hot water and solar panels to generate electricity. We have fairly new appliances except the washing machine and dryer. We rarely use the dryer. We used to have panels we could switch off so everything plugged in went off at the same time to avoid standby. We need to replace those panels. Shower more than bath and keep them to around four minutes. I turn the tap off. I also use water crystals when planting plants and use an irrigation system to minimise water usage. Yes I use green products but not for everything. Yes we recycle (our council supplies a recycling bin) and we compost. I pay many bills online.

wundayatta's avatar

At work, they just installed these automatic light switches. They also installed solar battery chargers. It seems that the cost is probably not worth the benefit, if you only look at actual energy costs and savings. But if you look at marketing, the equation flips over.

So personally, I am skeptical about green trends. The true green technologies will actually save money. You have to be very careful in your analysis of these things.

I believe in saving energy. I believe in efficiency. I do it because it is a savings. If it helps the planet, fine. But I am skeptical that what we do will help much. It’s too late. We need to think about protecting people, not about trying to close the barn door after the horse has been stolen. We need to worry about storms and solar flares and heatwaves and water distribution. It is too late to stave off global warming. We have bigger problems than that right now.

dabbler's avatar

I re-use paper-towels.
I recycle anything I can, including old electronics that go to special collections.
Whenever possible I fix stuff instead of getting a new one.

But I also fly for a vacation once or twice a year and I’m sure that overwhelms every other carbon conscious thing I do the rest of the time.

Bellatrix's avatar

Can you offset your carbon footprint when you fly Dabbler? I choose to pay a carbon offset surcharge every time I fly (which is quite often).

incendiary_dan's avatar

@Bellatrix I hate to be a bubble burster, but carbon offsets are schemes that, in reality, often weaken intact ecosystems to plant monocrop tree farms, which themselves are not carbon sinks.

Bellatrix's avatar

So you think it’s better from an environmental perspective to not carbon offset? Serious question – not me being pissy.

dabbler's avatar

I think @incendiary_dan is correct about the carbon offset. So far I have not seen an offset program that looks both worthwhile and trustworthy. Most of them seen to have neither of those qualities.

Bellatrix's avatar

Is it an all or nothing thing though @dabbler and @incendiary_dan? While the programs may not be as effective as they could be (and I haven’t done any research into this), are they doing harm and does the harm outweigh any benefits? If they do more good than harm, then in my opinion it’s worth paying the offset subsidy. Obviously, if they do more harm, as you suggest @incendiary_dan, then no, it isn’t worthwhile. I need more information to make a decision about the overall value of such systems. It may be as consumers we have to do research into each individual scheme to evaluate their value. Overall, I would rather do something, even if it’s not as effective as it could be but does less harm than my initial activity, than do nothing.

I have also written to Virgin to ask them for more info about how they invest the subsidy. I will report back if and when I hear from them.

dabbler's avatar

“Is it an all or nothing thing” Theoretically it doesn’t have to be… I mean, I like the concept. But I haven’t seen any evidence of any of the programs actually effectively offsetting carbon output. I mean, is it really possible to grow enough hemp or pines or algae to soak up enough carbon to offset the carbon output of all of our flying? I mean, to really work such programs would be employed to offset All of our carbon output.

But again and again I found offset programs that either weren’t clearly actually doing anything useful for the environment – they seemed to be just selling some “feel good”. Scam.

Otherwise, the rest that seemed to be actually doing something were doing something that wasn’t very ecologically sound, never mind being a carbon offset. Or they were doing something they would already be doing, and getting these carbon payments for nothing.
An example is creating a palm tree plantation for palm oil on former grazing land that had been clearcut. Well, whoever was using the clearcut land had simply exhausted it and moved on to more recently clearcut land, a palm oil plantation (as @incendiary_dan notes) is monoculture and nowhere near as eco friendly as the natural rainforest that had originally been there, and it was a big profit-making palm oil operation anyway.
They just hung out a shingle to collect money from folks like us who feel like we’d like to be able to do something about our carbon footprint.
Snake Oil.

Virgin does have the kind of corporate culture (all too rare) where they may actually be doing something positive with your cash. Let us know what you find out. They could be a rare exception.

Bellatrix's avatar

Although, cultivating palm oil on land that has already been cleared is more sustainable than destroying untouched habitats which is what is happening now.

This is where it becomes so complicated because you have to take so many variables into account to try to reach a decision about the cost/benefit of green activities. I know Melbourne Zoo is pushing for products to label whether the palm oil used has been grown in a sustainable palm oil plantations. Yet this article suggests in order to establish these ‘sustainable’ plantations they are still clearing vast tracks of tropical forests and therefore removing the habitat animals such as orangutan’s need to survive.

Trying to work out what you should be doing becomes this convoluted nightmare and ends up being in the too hard basket for most people.

incendiary_dan's avatar

I suspect it depends on the company. If the company is clearing real forest to plant oil palm, it’s a nightmare. If the company takes ruined areas and plants, that could help. But I bet most are the former, rather than the latter.

dabbler's avatar

In a gray area, if you ask me, are those outfits who might be taking a ruined area and planting for palm oil because that’s good business and profitable on its own.
And they are happy to take your money on top of that, for doing something they would be doing anyway. Actual net carbon reduction: zip.

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