Happy Earth Day!

April 22, 2011 at 11:49 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Today is Earth Day and while I’d love to sit and talk for hours about the environment and how to save it, I’m pretty short on time.  We’re having a potluck at the office this afternoon and then I’m heading home on the good ‘ol Megabus for a 3 day zombie Jesus Easter extravaganza!  It’s a good day (even if the weather is dismal) full of food and family, which makes me appreciate being on this planet even more.

Thanks Be To Earth

I wrote a pretty good piece on this day last year so you can feel free to (re)read it if you’d like.  And in case you’re as short on time as I am, here’s a recap of just a few quick and easy ways to do your part for Ms. Mother Earth:

  • Unplug your cell phone charger when you’re not using it – that thing sucks up all sorts of energy.  Same for microwaves, TV’s, computers and other large appliances.
  • Turn off that water when you brush your teeth and wash your face!  Also, as nice as 45 minute showers are, you could probably do what you need to do in a bit less time.
  • Wash your clothes in cold water instead of hot (less energy is used to heat up the water).
  • Take reusable grocery bags to the store instead of using their paper or plastic – many places will actually take 5 or 10 cents off for each bag you bring (Target is one of them).
  • Recycle!  It’s really not that tough, especially since so many places now do it for you.  I take out more bags of recycling than garbage, every single week.
  • Turn off your lights when you leave the room – seriously, I know you’re not made of money.  And if you are could you please send some my way?

Okay now I”m off – enjoy your weekend and the next time you hear from me I will likely weigh 20 lbs more due to the massive amount of candy I plan to eat over the next few days.  And the only energy I will waste while doing so will be the energy spent unwrapping all of that delicious, delicious chocolate and shoving it into my mouth.

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Top Five Sounds I Hate

June 15, 2010 at 1:45 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

Um yeah.  The title of this post should be pretty self-explanatory.

Disclaimer: I know that most of these are sounds that nearly everyone hates.  That’s fine, perhaps you can take some consolation in knowing that you’re not alone.  Misery loves company, right?

1.  The Trash Truck

I hate this sound even more than that of my alarm clock, which is coming in second.  The trash and/or recycling truck that backs up near my bedroom window every Monday and Thursday morning is the bane of my existence.  If I wear earplugs then I don’t hear my alarm go off (learned that the hard way) and putting pillows over my head doesn’t drown out the noise.  Even with a fan or air conditioning unit on, that horribly awful beep beep beep works its way into my dreams.  The truck usually shows up about a half hour before my alarm is set to go off, so not only does it wake me up but it reminds me that my sleep time is almost over.  Bastard trucks (but thanks for clearing away my trash and recycling).

2.  My Alarm Clock

This one is pretty much a given, as I don’t know many people who relish the sound of their alarm going off.  I use my cell phone as an alarm, so it’s not as cool as the one seen here.  Every morning when it starts to ring, I can’t help but think of clever ploys to get out of going into work for the day.  That’s what gets me out of bed, because while I never actually call in, it’s nice knowing that I could.

One annoying thing about using your cell as your alarm is the fact that sometime, somewhere, you will be out in public and hear your alarm go off in the form of another person’s ring tone.  It will raise the hairs on the back of your neck and you won’t know just why you’re cringing until you link the sound to your morning awakening.  And it will suck, just like it does when you wake up.

3.  Car Alarms

I would almost rather listen to some random dude with cymbals than a car alarm, provided the cymbals were struck only once.  A car alarm, on the other hand, will shriek and shriek until either an insanely long interval of time has passed or its oblivious owner shuts it up.  I never realized how obnoxious car alarms were until I moved to the city.  The other sounds I can handle – fire trucks, police cars and ambulance sirens are typically en route to help someone, so I can let those slide.  The car alarm that goes off after someone drives by playing their bass too loud, though, gets no love from me.

4.  My Office Phone

This is the phone that I answer all day, every day.  I hear it when I go into other offices or businesses, because it’s pretty much standard everywhere.  I hear it at my dentist.  I hear it in my sleep.   I’m sure that one day, I’ll hear it in my coffin as well.

5.  Anytime I’m Told I Don’t Have the Secret Password

Especially when I’m Samuel L. Jackson and I’m trying to save a theme park from a bunch of errant dinosaurs.  Man, do I hate that.

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Earth Day, Every Day

April 22, 2010 at 2:36 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Happy Earth Day!

A few fun facts:

  • Earth Day was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in held on April 22, 1970.  More than 20 million Americans participated in this first Earth Day celebration
  • April 22 is the first official day of Spring in the Northern hemisphere and of Fall in the Southern hemisphere and was chosen to be Earth Day for this reason.
  • A highlight of the annual Earth Day ceremony at the United Nations is the ringing of the Peace Bell that was given to the UN by Japan. It is made from coins given by school children to further peace on our planet.

People should be conscious of how they’re treating our planet every day of the year, but it’s nice to have a reminder thrown in for good measure.  We all know the 3 R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, but how many of us put them to use on a daily basis?  If you look around, I’m sure you could find a way or two to help do your part.  There are lots of easy, little things you can do to make a big environmental difference (turning off the water while brushing your teeth; drinking from reusable bottles filled with filtered water instead of buying lots of plastic bottles; turning off lights and using energy-efficient bulbs; using canvas bags at the grocery instead of plastic; using your feet, bike or public transit options instead of a car; unplugging electronics (ESPECIALLY phone chargers) when not in use; using candles during sex instead of turning on your flashing neon lights…you get the idea).

My mom likes to tell this story from when I was in kindergarten.  Apparently I came home one day (I don’t remember this) and announced that we had learned about recycling in school and so we needed to start doing it at home.  She agreed and has been driving bags of recylables to drop off destinations ever since (as we lack the convenance of a home bin).  Since I’ve been a tree-hugging hippie since my very early days, I’m going to keep on keepin’ on and give you some interesting facts about recycling in general:

  • Used aluminum beverage cans are the most recycled item in the U.S., but other types of aluminum, such as siding, gutters, car components, storm window frames, and lawn furniture can also be recycled.
  • Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours — or the equivalent of a half a gallon of gasoline.
  • An aluminum can that is thrown away will still be a can 500 years from now.  Also, there is no limit to the amount of times an aluminum can be recycled.
  • If all our newspaper was recycled, we could save about 250,000,000 trees each year.
  • The amount of wood and paper we throw away each year is enough to heat 50,000,000 homes for 20 years.
  • Approximately 1 billion trees worth of paper are thrown away every year in the U.S.
  • If you had a 15-year-old tree and made it into paper grocery bags, you’d get about 700 of them. A busy supermarket could use all of them in under an hour! This means in one year, one supermarket can go through over 6 million paper bags. Imagine how many supermarkets there are just in the United States…
  • Americans use 2,500,000 plastic bottles every hour and most of them are thrown away.
  • A modern glass bottle would take 4000 years or more to decompose — and even longer if it’s in the landfill.

An estimated 80,000,000 Hershey’s Kisses are wrapped each day, using enough aluminum foil to cover over 50 acres of space — that’s almost 40 football fields. All that foil is recyclable, but not many people realize it.

As you can see, recycling and being aware of the way you’re using your resources can have quite an impact on our planet.  No one wants to live in a dirty, spoiled and disgusting habitat with no clean water or fresh air.  Just ask Wall-E.  Or the aquatic animals that have to put up with the Garbage Patch in the Pacific Ocean.  What’s that, you may ask?  Well, plastic waste accumulates in swirling seas of debris, and in those places plastic to sea life ratios are 6:1.  Since every bit of plastic ever created is still on the earth in some form or another you can imagine how nasty this gets.  The biggest of these mountains of trash is located in the Pacific, floating between Hawaii and San Fransisco.  It’s roughly the size of Texas.  Yes, you read that right.  Texas. There are many ways to help combat this but the easiest and most obvious is to start at home.  Recycle!  If not for you, then for your kids or maybe even their kids!  And if you don’t plan on procreating, do it for the animals.

They deserve to grow up on a clean Earth too.

For more information or to find other ways to do your part:

The Great Garbage Patch

Planet Green from the Discovery Channel


The Rainforest Site

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