Saturday, March 29, 2008

Earth Hour tonight...

Tonight Chas and I will be participating in Earth Hour by turning off our lights from 8-9pm. I don't see Victoria on the list there of who will be participating but I do hope we have some. The legislative buildings and The Empress Hotel could participate. I am not sure if they would turn out the lights that they have wrapped around trees on some of the streets because they get their power from the lamp posts and they will probably keep those on for driver and pedestrian safety. Being on the 15th floor with a city and harbour view, it will be interesting to see how much of Victoria will be participating. Maybe we will photograph or video it.

Victoria is already more green here than back in Florida. There are lots of smart cars all over the place here and most of the cabs here are Prius hybrids. Additionally, the transit system here, while certainly not perfect, is really pretty good for town of this size! Much better than Lynx in Orlando, though given time it can improve. Currently there's a hybrid bus or two out there in the fleet, possibly more that I don't know about, but all of the rest of them use as much biodiesel as they can handle without major overhauls to the engine. There are tons of busses running all the time, though the better routes are still in town. My stop for going to work in the morning has 15 routes that go by there. There is generally a different bus going by there every 5-10 minutes. Routes to the west and north of town are improving slowly though. With gas at $1.17 a litre and rising, there is good motivation to walk and take transit.

Many stores here are promoting their own reusable shopping bags and here's the thing...many people are USING them. And these stores aren't your "hippy health food stores" either...the mainstream shops and markets are offering and using them. I see people walking with them, pushing their shopping trolley with them, riding the bus with them, and some keep a stash of about a dozen of them in their car. In any case, I think that's cool. Will using your own shopping bags save the earth? Probably not, but it will help a bit, and I for one am all for it. I bought a little one that folds up into its own pouch and keep it in my purse so that if I am out and decide I want a few things, I have a bag to use already. The little bag was $1. I have some Whole Foods bags that I intend to bring down to the van to be available, but at some point we will likely add some of the other ones. I have hesitated getting any til I verify the ones I get are biodegradable and/or compostible in some fashion.

On a more personal note I am trying to green my cleaning. Never being my strong suit, cleaning has gotten easier now that we live in a much smaller place, with someone else's furniture and stuff to maintain. :) One of the main things that has helped me too has been "greener" cleaning more awful fumes to give me migraines! I am currently working with locally produced, highly concentrated, biodegradable products from The Soap Exchange and Method products, but I would like to go even greener (both products are better than conventional ones, but not as green as green can be), to the point where I make my own cleaning supplies from basic ingredients like baking soda and vinegar. I am using what was given to me for now because I don't want to waste it, and at least with the stuff from The Soap Exchange it is produced locally and could be considered appropriate for the "100 Mile Diet" which is gaining popularity here.

I hope to be able to go greener here, and help reduce my personal carbon footprint. The move here alone has helped because I am able to walk a lot here, take public transit when possible, find locally grown and produced goods, find greener products, and so on. As my co-worker says, "It's the only Earth we have" and I agree.

So we will be having our lights out tonight, and using non-parafin candles if we need them.


Anonymous said...

Sherry Glenn from Atlanta says:

Glad you're into the green cleaning thing. We finished the switch about 4 mos. ago and it has made a big difference. I use Seventh Generation products for the laundry and have never restocked anything containing bleach or ammonia and I have seen improved health benefits. The kids can also "help" mommy clean now that I use soap & water (usually castille soap), vinegar, and baking soda. We also use cloth shopping bags at the store. They make carrying groceries much easier, especially when buying for a family.