Green Year Resolutions
I plan to be a little more green in 2007. Not with envy or seasickness, but by being more environmentally conscious.
I feel like a poser next to the "real" environmentalists. I recycle, but most people in Palo Alto do that, too. I have re-usable grocery bags, and remember to bring them into the store about half the time. As much as possible, our family eats organic, shuns processed foods, and buys food from local farms like Webb Ranch.
I also support Palo Alto Green by paying a little extra on my utility bill to offset our home's electricity usage with green energy, mostly from wind. This is really important to me, since, despite having Energy Star-compliant appliances, a programmable thermostat and our efforts to turn off lights, unplug computers, and do other energy-saving tasks, our house is an energy hog; We use twice as much electricity as the average Palo Alto home. Good thing it all comes from wind now!
This holiday season, I found out about 3 Phases Renewable Energy Credits and TerraPasscredits to offset usage of pollutants that you can't reduce, such asfrom cars and airplane flights. So, I gave gifts to family members. My brother got a TerraPass to offset the carbon dioxide generated fromhis flights to Africa and back, where he works for an NGO called Bead for Life. He received a TerraPass luggage tag and joked to me, "Alix, the baggagehandlers will be really impressed that my flights arecarbon-neutral..." I happen to know that the rabid environmentalist inhim really appreciates the gift.
So, what else can I do to get more green? This year, I will begin compostingour food scraps. This will play nicely into my other goal which is togrow more food on our property. I will replace most of our smallertrees with fruit trees. I'm originally from Chicago, so I know lessthan nothing about growing things, but I figure it's nothing a class atCommon Ground can't fix. So, I should be all set. This should put our family solidly into the slow food revolution.Continued on the next page