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About

Apres moi...

Journalist. Malcontent. Cutie-pie. Worry-wart.

Think Green Kick-off

No doubt most of you have heard about “going green”. It’s a movement that has people exchanging their incandescent light bulbs for the squat and swirly CFL bulbs, carpooling with co-workers and looking at their thermostats with more critical eyes.

In my house, the “going green” trend was a passing notion until we took a look at just what was filling up our trash bin.

We’re addicted to Coca-Cola…and we’re always on the run. We’re not fans of two-liter bottles. They aren’t very portable and the tasty Coke tends to go flat. For us, aluminum cans are the only way to go — they chill down quick and fit right in your hand. We buy the 12- or 24- can packs with regularity. And we go through them at a breakneck pace that would cause any self-respecting kidney to shudder.

The empty cans were taking up precious space in the trashcans and, since aluminum is one of the materials that is touted as infinitely recyclable, it seemed a shame to waste so many.

To top it all off, the health department said recycling aluminum uses 95 percent less energy than producing aluminum products from raw materials.

So…

We took a cheap plastic tub container — one that came with a sticker warning I shouldn’t try storing any toddlers in it — slung it under one of our kitchen counters and started collecting.

I learned a few things rather quickly. Rinse the cans or risk the horror of congealed Coke at the bottom of your bin that, at least to me, appeared to have many similarities to the acidy spit from “Alien.”

Crush the cans. It’s easier said than done for me. I couldn’t possibly get by stomping them on our hardwood floor but I’m embarrassingly weak when it comes to crushing them with my hands. (I won’t even entertain crushing them on my forehead.) And, before you say it, we’ve yet to invest in one of the can crushers that would solve all of that.

I just rinse them out, leave them on the counter until someone masculine comes along and handles the crushing and throws them in. It’s a good system.

That bin of cans, it seems, was our first step toward taking a closer look at green living. Along the way, we’ve found our efforts not only make us feel like better residents of Earth but we’ve also saved a little money in the process.

From reducing, reusing and recycling we’ve found some things work and some things are a complete hassle. Check back next week to see how we fare with weather stripping to eliminate drafts, getting rid of other heat-stealers and, fingers crossed, lowering our heating bill.

Link of the week...
The Green Guide
Brought to you by our friends at National Geographic -- or NatGeo for you hipsters -- this site gives you good resources and practical tips. My favorite? The article by Emily Main about Greener Guitars.

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