One of the hardest things about going green is figuring out how to take into account the entire lifecycle of the products you use. Some things that are green in terms of the carbon produced as you use them are not as green as other products by the time you take into account the manufacture and disposal.
I especially found this report comparing the Toyota Prius and the Hummer interesting. It sounds discouraging until you do a little research and find this discussion on the Prius and that article with some great links. That site is obviously biased towards the Prius, but the resources they use look pretty good. Not to mention the personal experiences in terms of durability.
But I do like seeing discussion on considering how these things are made. It matters a great deal and too often that question is left unanswered for consumers. Living green is tough and answers often are not all that clear cut.
I like to keep up on which vehicles are good. We only have the one car right now, but when finances allow, we will go back to having two, and I want to pick one that is reliable and environmentally friendly.
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Many children today don’t learn to think at all about the environment. Others do, of course, but if there’s no example set, what else can be expected?
This is something important for all parents to consider, although it can be easier for stay at home parents such as myself to set the example.
I consider keeping to the facts to be one of the most important things you can do. You want your children to trust you, and if they find out you exaggerated, there goes some of that trust
This can be challenging. Trying to explain the issues at age appropriate levels is not easy. You can start off at a fairly young age, however. Preschoolers can be great about turning off lights and asking before throwing items in the trash or recycling bins. They love helping in the garden. All very simple, very preschooler friendly.
As they get older you can discuss some of the more serious issues. Why we don’t want to produce more garbage than we have to, for example. You can also get into why you have to be more careful about disposing of things such as electronics and batteries. Continue reading →
Right now ethanol is generally made from corn. It’s an option for biofuel, but has a negative impact on the availability of corn for consumption, making the price generally higher. It’s not the best choice, really.
So I am quite glad to hear that technology is finding ways to make ethanol from grasses and trees. That’s a much more sensible source, I suspect. May depend on exactly how these things are grown, but it makes more sense to me than using a food crop for fuel production.
I found this in particular interesting:
Sell said the future of biofuels is cellulosic ethanol, made from microbes that break down woody bits of non-food crops into sugars that can be fermented into fuel.
Cellulosic, and other new biofuels such as biobutanol, which can be made from petroleum as well as biomass, could begin to feed the commercial fuel market within six to 10 years
Continue reading →
One of the reasons I love renting a house instead of a garden is that we have a back yard. We don’t have a place that we can dig up for a garden, but since much of the yard is wood chips rather than lawn or other plants, we built some garden boxes from scrap lumbar and grow plants there.
My children love this. They get to see the plants grow and see where their food comes from. That makes them luckier than a lot of children, who often have a disconnect about where food comes from.
The nice thing about using containers is that you can garden even in a small space. For those raising children in apartments or condos, you can do something as simple as grow herbs in the kitchen window.
Encouraging your children to garden has many benefits. They’re often interested in eating foods that they helped to grow. The flavor is better and the produce is fresh as can be. Continue reading →