Questions for our Coaches

23 11 2009

At this point in the process, I’m really looking back and reflecting upon my old habits vs. new habits. I’m trying to figure out which habits will make it into my permanent repertoire, and which habits may need to be tweaked to become truly climate-friendly. As I do so, I realize that I’ve got a few questions for our Climate Coaches, but I thought I’d also open them up to any readers. I welcome the input from all sources!

1. We’ve learned that recycling isn’t the only piece in the ecological puzzle. We’re also trying to reduce our consumption and reuse what we have. To that end, what are your thoughts on holiday energy consumption? Specifically, I’ve read that LED Christmas light strands are much more energy efficient, but I do own plenty of serviceable traditional lights. How do I determine whether it’s better to discard old (but working) lights and buy new (energy-efficient) ones?  I suppose that this question could extend to other appliances and items as well: When is it best to replace old (but working) appliances with newer, more “green” models?

2. Walking our dog, and hiking with our dog, is one of our preferred forms of recreation.  We scoop up dog waste and dispose of it in trash bins per local laws. In the interest of being climate-friendly, we’ve been purchasing biodegradable dog waste bags.  However, I recently realized that the plastic bags we put our grocery produce in (fresh veggies and fruits) are really not being used past the purpose of packaging produce and taking it out of the store.  So I thought I might use those bags as doggy waste bags, but then I realized that these are NOT green bags, so perhaps reusing them defeats the purpose. Is it better to reuse these produce bags in a way that’s perhaps not so eco-friendly, or best to simply return them to a recycling facility?

(I realized as I wrote this that perhaps the real answer is to not use the grocer-provided plastic bags for produce. I have seen a few reusable mesh bags that I can purchase online. But then, is it better to purchase a new product or to reuse an existing one?) Can anyone weigh in on this topic?

by Climate Pilot Mya Akin

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4 responses

27 11 2009
Patrik Helin (Climatecoach)

Hi Mya, good thougts that you bring up! I have been there and still are from time to time when different kinds of issues occure.
When it comes to the lamps I believe that you should recycle them directly. This old lamps are not energy efficient, and when you recycle them you give raw material to the industry so they godd produce the LED lamps for example. (I hope that´s the system in US..?)

The plastic bags can and is an issue for us as well here in the belloved Sweden ;o)
All the challenges should be longlasting and fit in you life so you can and will become living by them. My answer must be that you should look beyond this point to see what really happens with the garbage that you throw away – is taken care of in a climate smart way – or is it mixed with all the other non eco smart? Google aroung, mail some companies to get a figure of how they act in this matter. Depending on the answer and also fitting your life – that is the way to proceed I think.

The best of luck to you!!

Patrik

27 11 2009
climatepilots

We want so much to spread the Christmas spirit with lots of lights in our trees, bushes, indoors and outdoors. At the same time we send out a signal that right now I care more about Christmas than energy. This can however be solved in an easy and cheap way and as well making it climate smarter. Replace all the lightchains with LED technology. It can be seen directly that it is LED, but it is just as beautiful. And cheaper. And more energy efficient.

Merry Christmas!
Rolf

27 11 2009
climatepilots

In response to your question about travelling you asked at the web conference:
Carbon offsets for air travel can be purchased by companies that are controlled and involved in green energy. That is, we do not buy emission rights, but the focus is on tree plantations in for example India, wind power units, etc. Search on the Internet where you can buy this. This usually costs about 0.5% of the flight other costs!
/Rolf

2 12 2009
Tess

Hi Mya!

Buy the LED X-mas light if you haven’t already done it. It’s a great concrete example for you and your guests to see a way to make X-mas more green (if though we’d like it snowy white in Sweden :o) ) And also start a discussion about being more climate smart. Recycle the old ones or give them to second-hand.

Walking the dog is great, good environmental friendly exercise! I think you should continue buy the biodegradable bags. For the plastic bags, take them back to the store to buy more fruits and vegs. Use them for waste or whatever you use plastic bags for. Just be aware, bags that have contained kiwi fruits makes things pretty hairy, specially clothes.

Good work with the climate challenges and have a nice “green” Christmas!

/Tess , Climate Coach

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