Archive for Living Green

Earth Day Stuff

I hate waiting for my computer to start up when I get to work. It just takes too long, and usually I'm too tired and impatient to deal with it in the morning – so, for the longest time I've just left my computer on 24/7. For the past couple of weeks I've been very diligent about turning it off to save energy, but that reintroduces the inconvenience of waiting for it to start up every day.

The solution? Last night I set up a scheduled task on a server computer (that needs to remain on 24/7) to use the WoL (wake on LAN) feature on my computer to turn it on 10 minutes before I get to work. This seems to be the most elegant solution, since it alleviates both the power consumption issue, and the inconvenience of waiting.

I've also just set up a co-workers computer to do the same thing (with a different schedule). And I could easily scale this setup to a quite a few computers if anyone else finds the idea attractive.

It's a small energy savings, but it's better than nothing.

Also, for those of you that have screensavers that appear after x-minutes of inactivity.. turn that nonsense off! Change the setting from "display screensaver" to "power off monitor". There's no reason to waste electricity showing an image of a dog licking your monitor when you're not at your computer.

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Earth Day.. Was Yesterday

In case you didn't notice, yesterday was Earth Day.

I'm convinced that there's som sort of unwritten rule that at least 99% of the population is forbidden from thinking about the planet, the environment, and the effects that we have on them EXCEPT on this day.

What did I do in honor of Earth Day? Not a heck of a lot. I walked to lunch instead of jumping in my car (it was raining, and I didn't have an umbrella). When I got home, I kept most of the lights off at home (I've got CFL bulbs anyway, so this wasn't a big contribution to the health of the planet). And at one point I considered trying to find a source of scrap/broken solar panels, salvaging what was usable, and making refurb solar panels (hard to lookup when you don't have internet access at home).

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Bamboo Sheets

After reading an article about bamboo sheets last week, I decided to equip my own bed with a set. They were almost an impulse buy, since I was in Chicago for the weekend, and there are many places much more convenient to have to transport sheets from. I couldn't resist though, so I'm going to call it an informed-and-planned-impulse buy.

I stayed up late Sunday night because I forgot to wash the sheets when I got home, and it seemed silly to have a brand new set of sheets in hand and then sleep on the boring old cotton ones that I'm used to. I've been sleeping pretty badly for the last few weeks, and I can't claim that the sheets have performed any miracles and fixed that.. but.. my insomnia is comfy now. They really do feel good.

Oh, and they're more environmentally friendly than cotton, softer than cotton, and naturally antimicrobial (take that microbes!)

Bamboo sheets are sparx Recommended.

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April Fools

I'm not much of a prankster, nor do I hang out with many, so I don't get too excited about April Fools' Day.

I usually just hide in the shadows and get my fix by checking out the latest pranks from google and thinkgeek. Nothing terribly exciting going on in either of those places this year though.

What really made my day though was waking up to the local radio station (94.1 WJJO)  playing Right Said Fred's "I'm Too Sexy", speaking in spanish afterwards, and then playing "I'm Too Sexy" again. I just let it keep playing, and didn't bother to change the station when I got into my car. If you've never heard that song 15 times in a row – wow – you're missing out on something incredible

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Garbage Day

Once a week strange containers full of garbage line the streets. Trucks pick up the trash and then it all gets piled somewhere. Every day piles of garbage get bigger and bigger… and 99% of people probably don't ever think about it or don't really care. It's just something we take for granted.

Garbage BinI don't create much garbage, but it's still more than I'd like to be contributing to the problem. I can go weeks before putting out my garbage bin, and even then it's not even half full. But there are people that consistently have bins with lids that won't even shut because they're so full. Some even have piles of garbage sitting next to their bin.

There has to be a way to get people to think more about cutting down on how much waste they actually create. Right now garbage pickup is a flat fee, but is changing that the best solution? Is charging people based on how much stuff they add to the colossal garbage piles the most effective way to slow down our virus-like destruction of the planet? Someone.. one of you.. come up with a really good idea. Quick!

Blogs don't eat carrots

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Planet, I Save You!

Last weekend, when I was in Chicago, we visited Whole Foods Market.. and I was greeted by another reason to move to Chicago. I mean, that's the way a grocery store should be – a great selection, fair prices, friendly people, healthy stuff, and – most importantly – prepared food, healthy prepared food, sold by the pound. Nom. If I lived within walking distance of such a creature, or had one near a bus/train stop I'd be set.

Did I mention "buffet style" food sold by the pound?

At the checkout I grabbed one of those recycled plastic tote bags for $0.99. It's a decent sized bag, probably 2-3 times larger than the ones that the grocery store in town sells for $1, plus it has a huge Whole Foods logo on it. 🙂 My new coat has a pocket that fits my magic new planet-saving bag nicely once it's folded up, so I've pretty much got it on me at all times.

So far I figure I've saved 5-6 plastic bags already. Not much, but it's a start.

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IDEA: Reversible Window Blinds

Someone should make window blinds that are black on one side of the slat thingy (whatever they're called) and white on the other.  That way you could have the white side facing out in the summer to reflect as much light back out as possible, and in the winter let the black side absorb most of the light and give off heat.

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