Thursday, April 2, 2015
4-3 Tiny Acts Reflect Big Picture
Context is everything. We may set a hundred, or even three-hundred and sixty-five small challenges to make the Earth a better place, from conserving water during showers or in brushing ones teeth, only running the dishwasher when it is full, or combining trips to save petrol. Now with LED technology, if every household replaced a single incandescent bulb, it would reduce emissions as much as taking one million vehicles off our roads. The avoided costs for coal alone, used to produce the majority of our power, would be 25,500 rail cars full! That would represent about two hundred million dollars worth of coal. Avoided costs only take us so far, investing in solutions that make sense longer term is the only way to build a sustainable culture. Mass transit and efficient, walking and bike friendly cities initiatives are beginning to break out everywhere. As commutes get shorter, all electric commuting becomes viable as well and that slashes emissions by over half, even when charged with dirty coal, simply because electric motors are so much more efficient than gasoline powered vehicles. We are in a position where great strides can be made with a few simple decisions and the only way to get what we want is to vote for candidates who make ecological awareness part of the decision-making process. Driving hybrids is a start, being able to rent or borrow one occasionally would be much better! I looked at my driving habits and compared them to the national average...they say that I have about .314 car. That means the average car drives over three times as much as I do! That is the power of walking and riding bike, ride sharing and carpooling.My small acts will now be to whittle that down even further, from less than 200 gallons of fuel per year to maybe one hundred, or less! Every drop counts. This is the whole reason that I teach about bio-car, how to make it and how to use it. If we develop the will to use it, and learn what we are actually doing to our soils, it would cut by half the amount of diesel used to plow the fields of the planet. Every acre would double production and there is no way to patent or trademark the material. Using what is in the public domain to solve issues of hunger and distribution of food would heal many of the worst problems across the planet.Increased production would alleviate local hunger issues greatly if we significantly reduce mega-scale farms. Another benefit that would accrue to even large farms is that char reduces the need for fertilizers by half as well, meaning less costly inputs. also, as the soil is built, rather than destroyed, it holds water and the very inputs that cost so much. These expensive inputs can easily run off the land and end up downstream choking local and distant waterways with oxygen depleting algae. Ultimately, we always face a choice. We must decide between giving back to nature, reflecting the laws of nature creating zero waste, or to blow through resources like there is no tomorrow. We must also realize that there are no dollars to be made by telling you not to buy a bigger truck than you need, or that extra boat, however, we will all be better off if you learn to borrow those things when you really need them and plant some trees along your path to work with the money you save. If you would like us to plant them for you, I looked up how many trees I would have to plant to sequester as much carbon as I burn up in gasoline every year. It turns out, that I need to plant 460 just for that. If I planted 46 trees, it would take 10 years to sequester that much carbon. Rest assured, ECO-Tours of Wisconsin Inc. will be planting far more than that, so if you want to plant trees, but don't have the time, send us a donation and we will plant some for you! We can't officially be in the carbon sequestration market, but it costs about $10 per tree with prepping, planting, protecting and weeding, but our survival rate is extremely high. so, thumbnail math here, if you drive like I do and use about two hundred gallons of fuel per year, that would be 460 trees or 4600 dollars. If you drive the average amount, it would cost about 14K to offset your emissions by having ECO-tours plant trees. Give what you can, we'll understand. somethnig si always better than nothing and don't forget to drive less and walk more!