Resolving Timeline Issues

Posts Tagged ‘Its not easy being green

Amber just made her first post on 5 Minutes for Going Green. She makes a good point:

Pretty much all of us are familiar with the ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ mantra. What we don’t always remember, though, is that those actions are listed in order of priority. The most sustainable choice is always to reduce our consumption. If that fails, reusing something that we already have, or that someone else already has, is an excellent second choice. And only then, if an item is not reusable, recycling is a good way to reduce our waste and our consumption of raw materials.

(Emphasis added)

A lot of people I know have already reduced their consumption. They also recycle, for one reason or another. But I’m curious: how much do we actually reuse stuff beyond the usual reusing shopping bags, ziplocs, wrapping paper/gift bags etc? Or, dare I say it, repurpose it?

And let’s face it: November on the Wet Coast is dreary, dark and generally unpleasant. I need a project other than finding new ways to wear the Poptart in the Babyhawk or the Beco and washing diapers.

So for November I’m going to figure out ways to repurpose and reuse things beyond the shopping bags, the cloth diapers, etc. at least 3 times a week. Nothing complex, just a little outside-the-box thinking.

Want to join in?

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So remember when I wrote this?

Specifically, this sentence:

Where’s my tax credit for doing what I can? Where are my chits for locally grown meats and vegetables? Why not start there where its something more tangible?

Well, there’s an opportunity now. My diaper service has a petition in the Canadian House of Commons to ask for a tax credit for those that use cloth diapers and/or use a diaper service, and to increase taxes on disposable diapers. I have a copy of the petition to sign and I’m asking for your help.

Simply put, the more signatures that are collected, the better the chance at having a tax credit implemented.

So here’s the deal: if you want to sign and you’re in the metro Vancouver/west Fraser Valley area (up to Chilliwack), I’ll meet you. We can have lunch, coffee, whatever and you can meet the poptart. I mean, with this much cuteness, how can you say no?

oh baby baby

You can leave a comment or email me at rtissues (at) gmail (dot) com.

If you’re not in the metro Vancouver Area, and you’d like to sign, you can contact the Happy Nappy Service in your area and see if you can sign.

Update: If you’re not local and have no access to Happy Nappy, or even if you are local and want to take it around to your friends/family/cloth diapering aficionados, I have a PDF of the petition. Leave a comment if you would like it sent to you. Note, the original needs to be sent back to Happy Nappy in Langley by July 31.

Cross-posted at Wet Coast Women

Yes, mundanity is a word. I just used it.

My life has been rather mundane lately, or at least it seems so. Over the last three weeks, I’ve had one day off. ONE DAY. And I’m looking forward to having this weekend and next weekend off (and sort of hoping that the NLS I agreed to teach in May doesn’t run because I am FRIED).

At some point over the last week and a half (or maybe its longer than that), I received the BYO bags I won it the BlogHers ACT February contest. And I lurve them. My only complaint is that the drawstring on them tends to come loose in my reusable shopping bags. I fixed this by wrapping the string around the neck and that seems to hold it. And they came in really handy at the veggie market when I discovered they were out of the brown paper bags I usually put mushrooms in. I’ve had the mushrooms in it for a few days and they look just as robust as they did when I bought them a few days ago.

I have also been quite tired lately. The getting up when the alarm goes off at half-past-dark is wearing thin. Followed by at least an hour’s commute to work and back again at the end of the day makes for some VERY VERY VERY long days. Although The Tired has been good – I am sleeping through the night rather than waking up at 2am, 4am, etc. however briefly.

The alarm screaming in my ear when I’m at the deepest part of sleep is not cool, however.

And the reasons for the tiredness are probably multiple. I went off birth control (and I will spare you the stories of the stuff coming from my nether regions after over a decade on the pill), and I’m wondering if The Tired isn’t something to do with my body adjusting. I have been going to the gym at lunch. I am lucky enough to get to combine all of my breaks and use the hour and 20 minutes to get some exercise. I went 4 times last week (plus 4 hours in the pool on the weekend) and three times this week. It would have been more but I tweaked my knee on Sunday when performing, uhm…ACTIVITIES and it was feeling none too good by Tuesday so I took the day off, and stretched the crap out of it on Wednesday. It feels much better now.

Yesterday, I left work early in order to meet the airconditioner guy who was supposed to show up between 1 and 4. He came by at 5. But the air conditioner is now clean and works. We won’t roast this summer. But for now, we don’t need it. Its fucking cold out. They’re calling for SNOW. In April. In VANCOUVER.

I am so ready for spring and some warm weather. So ready.

So ready in fact, I finally did something that I’ve been talking about for years. Every time I go in to see my optometrist, he tells me I’m a good candidate for corrective laser eye surgery. And my benefits now cover part of it. On May 9, I have a consult with one of the top laser surgeons in Vancouver, who comes highly recommended by my optometrist, the general public and one of the bigwigs at work who had her eyes fixed by him years ago when the technology was still new. I am hoping to get my eyes fixed over the summer.

And now, since its the first weekend I’ve had off in three weeks, I have things to do. I’ve decided to organize my house, one section at a time and the kitchen is the first up.

 

 

I’m accidentally greener as of today. My bank is carbon-neutral.

At at this point I’m going to risk incurring the wrath of the internets with what I’ll say next: I am unconvinced about global warming.

*crickets*

That’s not to say I don’t believe it can happen or does happen. I sit in that group of people who question everything, and I think its really dangerous for people to believe something without questioning it – its the job of science and philosophy to continually question our beliefs.

Global warming is a possibility. We know we have an impact on the environment and we also know that the earth goes through warming and cooling trends, and it has since way before the human race came around.

Which brings me to my next point: what do we know? Well, I can tell you that in my childhood, I remember deep blue skies. Now the skies are lighter blue. I don’t know if that’s just memory, or if its actually happened and what caused it.

I remember hummingbirds – and I see very few now.

I remember seeing the geese flying south in the winter – and now they stick around for most of the winter.

I remember swimming in the ocean – and now I don’t because I don’t want to come out glowing.

I’m not saying we don’t have an impact on our environment. I believe that we should do what we can to minimize that impact. Whether that’s switching from plastic or paper bags to reusable bags, taking transit, or simply getting a more fuel-efficient car – whatever you can do, do it.

And remember to question what we know.

 A few weeks ago, the BC Liberal government had a press release – and it was huge. $14 billion dollars for transit improvement (you should say “billion” like Dr. Evil in Austin Powers).

 That’s nice. The Tri-Cities will get the long sought-after Evergreen line to extend rapid transit to that area. Great.

 Yesterday, Minister Taylor wore a pair of green Fluevogs while she delivered the budget. They’re calling it the “Green Budget” – green, not only in the sense of environmentally green, but green in the sense of putting money back in the pockets of consumers.

 Oh, and there’s a carbon tax. Come Canada Day, the price of gasoline will increase by 2.4 cents per litre. All fossil fuels get this tax, including the natural gas you use to heat your home. But don’t worry! The tax is revenue neutral: 2/3 of that will go directly back into the pockets of those who need it, and help reduce BC’s greenhouse gases by 5% by 2020 (or something). The remaining 1/3 goes to business.

 Nevermind that the largest polluters – particularly the gas business – aren’t affected by the tax. More on this later.

My first point: the government is passing the costs of greenhouse gas reduction on to the citizenry. Apparently, the government can confer with big businesses on this, but not the people who actually vote for them.

By raising the price of gas, the carbon tax could reduce B.C.’s GHG emissions in 2020 by up to three million tonnes. Go ahead and click that link to see pundit Michael Smyth’s take on it. I think he makes some really good points. Read the comments, too.

Instead of 3 million tonnes, lets look at something we can all understand. That decrease is somewhere around 5%. Which is somewhere around 0.06% of global GHGs.

Lets face it: in BC, we have largely clean energy thanks to hydro-electric power.

Back to the transit thing: this tax is going in before the new transit lines are put in. This makes it a cash grab, despite the fact that its revenue-neutral. Oh, and transit fares have just increased, and the new TransLink board just gave itself a HUUUUUUGE raise.

All of this boils down to: how does it affect me?

Quite honestly, this budget just further alienates me. I drive to work every day. Every month, I burn between $120 and $150 in gas. My West Coast Express pass would cost me $195 for 28 days. It runs in the mornings, and in the evenings, and that’s it. Then there’s the “train bus” on the weekends. And because I have several evening meetings per month, I lose anywhere from 4 to 12 days per month on the pass. You do the math. We live where we do because we simply cannot afford to own a house in the city.

To take the SkyTrain from Vancouver to Surrey is now a $10 round trip.

My second point: if you’re going to tax me for driving, you need to build the amenities on the other end. Start by lowering transit fares. Then we can talk.

Speaking of talking, remember the point above about businesses not being affected by the carbon tax? (Pardon me if I get ranty here – this is the part that gets me MAD) They’re part of a separate process. Representatives get to meet with the government to discuss what to do.

Now, I know a thing or two about democracy. And I know that one of the things about democracy is that people vote, not businesses.

My third point: who do you think you are dealing with big business and ignoring the citizens?

What a fucking insult. Every single citizen, whether you voted for the Liberal government or not, should be deeply insulted at a fundamental level. Not only because business is being consulted and citizens are not, but because this tax is going to hit you whether you like it or not.

My fourth point: I recycle: we throw out one bag of garbage every 10 days. I drive a fuel efficient car; it is as fuel efficient as many hybrids. I buy meat from local growers. We buy local veggies whenever possible and stock up from Darren’s mom’s garden in the summer. Even the beer and wine we drink is local and the wine is organic – well, the wine is from the Okanagan, but that’s local enough. And business doesn’t have to do this and still gets consulted?

Where’s my tax credit for doing what I can? Where are my chits for locally grown meats and vegetables? Why not start there where its something more tangible?

IMHO, this is a great big, “Fuck you very much” to the citizens of BC.

As a follow-up, you should read Crunchy Carpets’ post over at Wet Coast Women.

Cross-posted at Wet Coast Women

Fall has settled in over the last couple of days. Its not cold, per se, but there’s this bone-chilling dampness in the air that requires me to put on socks and a sweatshirt when I get up.

Its the kind of dampness that makes me switch my cold-water-and-lemon in my water bottle for hot-water-and-lemon in a mug or herbal teas (Rooibos Vanilla – yum).

Its the kind of cold and dampness that inspires me to make this:

Read the rest of this entry »


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