September 28, 2007

3. Facts About Earth

Oh, No!: Bad Facts about our earth

--> If you throw away 2 aluminum cans, you waste more energy than 1,000,000,000 (one billion) of the world's poorest people use a day.

--> Making a new can from scratch uses the uses the energy equal to half a can of gasoline.

--> About one third of what an average American throws out is packaging.

--> More than 1,000,000,000 (one billion) trees are used to make disposable diapers every year.

--> In one minute, 50 acres of rainforest are destroyed.

--> Some rain has a pH of 3 or 4. (which is pretty acidic, considering 7 is neutral, not acidic, and battery acid has a pH of 1). Some fish, such as lake trout and smallmouth bass, have trouble reproducing at a pH of 6, which is only slightly acidic. Some clams and snails can't survive at all. Most crayfish are dead at a pH of 5. You can see how bad this is for the environment.

--> On average, a person in the US uses energy two times more than a person in Japan or West Germany does, and 50 times more than a person in India.

--> About 90% of the energy used in lighting a standard (incandescent) light bulb is lost as heat.

--> Air conditioning uses 10 times more energy than a fan, therefore, it creates 10 times the pollutants.

--> It takes half the output of the Alaskan pipeline to heat the air that escapes from all the homes in the US during a year.

--> Cars and pick-up trucks are responsible for about 20% of the carbon dioxide released into the air.

--> There are about 500 million automobiles on the planet, burning an average of 2 gallons of fuel a day. Each gallon releases 20 pounds of carbon dioxide into the air.

--> About 80% of our trash goes to landfills, 10% is incinerated, and 10% is recycled.

--> Since there is little oxygen underground, where we bury our garbage, to help bacteria eat the garbage, almost nothing happens to it. Scientists have dug into landfills and found ears of corn still intact after 20 years, and newspapers still readable after 30.

--> The average American makes about 3.5 pounds of trash a day.

--> In a year, the average American uses as much wood in the form of paper as the average resident of the developing world burns as fuel.

Taken from:

2. Commuter Challenge

This year’s Commuter Challenge event saved the equivalent of the following in eCO2 emissions, a significant increase from 2006:

878 Passenger cars not driven for one year!
462,059 Gallons of gasoline!
9,435 Barrels of oil!
21 Railcars of coal burned!
169,036 Propane cylinders used for home barbeques!
3,381 Acres of pine or fir forests storing carbon for one year!
104,022 Number of tree seedlings grown for 10 years!
521 Household electricity use for one year (number of households)!
33 Acres of forest preserved from deforestation!
54 Tanker trucks filled with gasoline!
1,366 Tons of waste recycled instead of land filled!

1. Left-wing, left-handed, and green


My name is Shawna and I created this blog as a way to help me keep track of my journey to become more green and to share my experience with others. I am a university student in Canada's capital city and find it hard to be extremely green in such a big urban center. I grew up in a small town and miss that lifestyle very much. I want to do so much more to help the environment. Thrown into this blog will also be rants in general about green-related issues, links to other green blogs and websites, feminist opinions, etc.

Currently, I do some green things. For example, I am huge on recycling, hence the "recycling police" blog title, and try to always bring canvass reuseable shopping bags when I go to a store. I shower in cold water [wierd, I know, but I find it refreshing], wash my dishes by hand, only do laundry when I have a full load, take public transit or ride my bike instead of driving, and other things I can't think of off the top of my head.

I am also a frequent patron of the Garden Spot [known colloquially as G-Spot], a vegan food center on campus. The way it works is you go there, bringing your own Tupperware and utensils or purchasing some from them for a toonie, and they give you delicious vegan food. The center is pay-what-you-can and I find it a good way to get affordable, healthy meals. Yesterday I was starving after my morning classes at university and I went to the G-Spot and paid them $2.76 in change that I found in my piggybank and they gave me a heaping portion of fresh fruit [bananas, strawberries, melon], rice, chickpeas, pasta, and vegan bread.

Now, this amazed me because, as anyone who knows me can tell you, I am pretty anti-vegetable. I mean, I like carrots and cucumbers with ranch dressing to dip and I love corn on the cob and peas and every once in a while a fresh garden salad but I am known as the wierd girl who goes to Subway and orders a chicken sandwich with absolutely no vegetables on it. Accustomed to picking vegetables out of my meals, I was surprised when I paused one day between scarfing down the meal from the G-Spot only to discover that there were vegetables in it! Much to my surprise, I had indeed eaten vegetables. And they were tasty! I decided any place that could get me to eat vegetables was worth going back to. And I have been ever since.

I have considered becoming vegetarian or vegan. My boyfriend and sister and a few of my relatives are already vegetarians. I just love chicken too much. I could do without other meats - I never liked anything that came from a pig, not even bacon, and only eat beef in small amounts such as in spaghetti sauce - but chicken I would sorely miss just because it tastes so damn good. Here, I ask any vegetarians or vegans reading this to please post suggestions if you know of any meat alternatives that taste as good as chicken. I find boca burgers and vegetable-based meat-flavoured products to be alright, but if there was something that tasted truly like chicken I would eat that instead and fully convert.

I look forward to posting more, so keep checking back. :)