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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I Guess I'm Gonna Save the World

So, I watched An Inconvenient Truth on Friday. I highly suggest that you watch it if you have not. Basically, it's a total bummer. I shocked myself by finding that I was having trouble holding back tears for a whole lot of it (especially the part where the polar bear was looking for some ice. He wasn't even a real polar bear, he was animated). After watching the movie, I got up to empty the dishwasher and didn't even want to turn on any lights because I felt guilty about it. Turns out that saving the world involves more than saving the cheerleader.

I figure that the two biggest things I can do is to try and get better gas mileage and to recycle. The first question I had was should I buy a Prius? Well, there are a bunch of reasons why I cannot or should not buy a Prius right now...

  • I am trying to buy a house and don't need to go out and buy a car right now. I'm just now paying off the car that I currently have, so I just can't run out and buy a new one. Buying ANY new car right now would be just plain stupid.
  • My car isn't that bad on fuel economy, as far as SUVs go. As a matter of fact, at the time that I bought it, fuel economy was important and only the RAV4 got better gas mileage (and one of the reasons why I did not buy a Mazda Tribute was because of the gas mileage).
  • It was pointed out to me that if I were to buy a Prius, my car would get sold to someone else and would continue to stay on the roads anyway. So, I may as well keep driving it and when it comes time to replace it, buy a Prius or hopefully some other hybrid that will be available by then (preferably by Honda, I want them to ditch the Insight for something more Prius-like). If my car is going to be driving around anyway, I may as well be the one driving it. Once my car is paid off (should happen in the next few weeks), then my money spent on gas will not exceed money spent on less gas plus a payment on a new car. So, I wouldn't even save any money on a month-to-month basis by buying a hybrid.
So, I'm going to focus on recycling. Here's a random list of things about recycling that are either interesting or piss me off...
  • Information about recycling - how to recycle, where to take recycled goods, etc, is sparse. At least for parts of Maryland. Anne Arundel County used to make it easy to recycle. Other counties in Maryland do not.
  • Plastics come with a little recycle logo on them, which states what type of plastic it is. This logo does not mean that you can recycle it. As it turns out, only #1 and #2 plastics are recyclable. And of those, only narrow-mouthed containers (like milk jugs) are recyclable. Lean Cuisine trays, for example, are made of #2 plastic, but most places don't recycle them.
  • Even if your milk jugs or whatever are "recycled," they are not made into milk jugs again. They're made into bumpers and things that are not recyclable. So, you're not stopping more plastics from being manufactured if you're recycling plastics. More information about plastic recycling and the myths about it.
  • Because plastics recycling is so ridiculous, I've decided that it's best to buy sodas in aluminum cans, since aluminum is 100% recyclable and also becomes aluminum cans again.
  • I started really thinking about what types of waste I make and I thought about yogurt containers. This is especially because Stonyfield Farms (the yogurt that I like) claims to be earth-friendly, but their containers are not recyclable. I went to their website and found some info about their packaging and I feel better about them because they make a lot of valid points about why they chose the packaging they chose.
  • FYI... Cereal boxes are "chipboard," not waxed cardboard. I think it's confusing as to what you can recycle and what you can't. This is what I'm talking about.
  • It is VERY difficult to purchase a recycle bin. Granted, I haven't actually been into a store, I've only looked online, but GEEZ. Where even do I get one? Maybe Staples, but Home Depot and Lowes didn't have them on their websites. Neither did Bed, Bath and Beyond.
So, anyway, I'm going to start recylcing cans, bottles, plastic stuff (that I can recycle), battieries, grocery bags and paper. Yay me!

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